Debbie’s Dirty Dozen – The 12 Grimiest Places In The Home
You may be a fanatic at cleaning, or you may have a cleaning service coming in weekly. But did you know there are still places you touch every day in the home that are filthier than a toilet? During flu season these areas need more attention than ever.
Wet Laundry – one soiled undergarment is enough to contaminate the whole load and your washing machine. Even just a small amount of e-coli in the laundry can contaminate the entire load. When washing soiled garment, especially children’s underwear, use hot water and just a little bit of bleach. If you’ve washed in cold water, be sure and wash your hands thoroughly after transferring clothes to the dryer.
You’re Purse – when tested, women’s purses to have been found to have tens of thousands of germs and bacteria on the bottom. When a public restroom doesn’t have a hook on the back of the door for your purse, where do you set it? We set our purses on floors, restaurant chairs, grocery store carts (where babies with leaking diapers have sat), and more. Then we go home and plop it on the kitchen table to dig out a pen. Clean the bottom of your purse during flu season, and never set it down where you eat.
Light switch plate – turning off the light just might be the nastiest task you can do. All those little germs love hanging out on the switch where lots of coughed-on fingers have touched over the years.
Keyboards – Everyone in the house is using the computer, and sometimes even guests type on your keyboard. A British study found some of the keyboards tested were grimier than a typical toilet seat.
Toilet handle – of course everyone knows to clean the toilet. But the toilet handle can be a party host for germs and bacteria. Keep it clean too. Use a disinfecting bathroom cleaner to wipe the handle clean during the cleaning routine. And if people in the home have been sick, clean daily.
Kitchen Sink – Contrary to popular opinion, the kitchen may actually be the dirtiest place in the house. Over 500,000 germs can be lurking in the drain. We wash raw meat in the sink, dirty hands, and some use their sink to mop the floors! Scrubbing the sink daily during flu season is not over-kill. I like to scrub with a bleach-based cleanser. Once a week pour ½ a cup of baking soda and ½ cup of vinegar down the drain and rinse with hot water.
Kitchen Sponge – NO! — Say it isn’t so! The very sponge you wash your dishes with is probably a cozy home for a host of germs and bacteria. So instead of wiping a surface clean, you might be spreading germ. An easy solution is microwave it for 60 seconds to kill germs and bacteria.
Your Bathtub – Even though you clean your tub, you use it to wash germs off your body. The moist environment makes it perfect for germs to grow. Believe it or not, bacteria left lingering near the drain of a bathtub is worse than bacteria found in the toilet. By cleaning the bathtub with bathroom cleaner just once a week, you can minimize these unwanted germs (and illnesses) from coming in contact with you and your loved ones
Your Smart Phone – We share our phone with lots of people, showing off pictures of the grandbaby, or the cool new app you found. Our phones are fairly well covered in germs. Think twice about using a friend’s phone that had the flu last week. And wipe yours clean with Clorox Wipes as often as you can.
Room Remote Control – The remote control is touched by everyone in the house. Coughing, sneezing hands have been all over it, and it’s rarely –if ever, cleaned. Just a few minutes a week to wipe down the remote can go a long way to removing germs and bacteria.
Lemons – most people buy lemons and put them in the fridge as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Then we squeeze that unwashed lemon juice over salads and cooked fish. Wash lemons thoroughly before putting them away as they’ve been caressed and touched by other coughing, sneezing grocery shoppers before you took them home.
Long acrylic fingernails – thousands of germs can reside under those long, glamorous beauties. Long nails often get missed during the hand washing process. Take extra care this time of year, keep a clean toothbrush by the kitchen sink, and diligently scrub up under those babies. So we can protect ourselves more, even though germs are everywhere, without become as paranoid as Howie Mandel. Good habits and awareness will go along way to keeping you healthy during a flu epidemic. Clean the counters more often during flu season, but don’t use a germy sponge. Wash your hands more frequently, and be more diligent with the fingernails. Have a regular cleaning routine so you aren’t battling build-up during the flu season; you’re just maintaining with a little extra elbow grease. It’s not as hard as it seems when you follow a few simple steps and know where the trouble spots are lurking.