It’s that time of year again, where kids are coming home with the sniffles and every handshake gives you a case of germ anxiety. Washing our hands often (with soap, for 20 seconds at a crack) is the best way to fight the spread of germs, however there are plenty of sneaky spots where germs fester. Read on to find out where – and how to keep it clean.
Cell phones are crucial modes of communication for all of us, but there also crawling with bacteria. Studies have shown they’re one of the germiest common items we have. Think about it, you’re constantly touching them and putting them up to your mouth. Yuck. Rid your cell of nasty bacteria, including MRSA, and cleanse it with a germ-killing, disinfecting wipe once a week.
Millions of microbes may be lurking on your shower curtain – it’s almost a certainty unless you regularly throw it in the washing machine in hot water. Bacteria enjoy warm, wet places – just like your shower. Wash that curtain monthly to rid it of nasty germs that may float up into the air and end up in your lungs.
Because cutting boards come in contact with all kinds of food, they can harbor bacteria that cause foodborne illness if not properly taken care of. It’s vital to wash a cutting board after each use, and not use it for different types of food between washes. You may even want to use one cutting board for fruits and vegetables and another for meat.
Stove Knobs and Faucets
You may not have thought about cleaning the knobs on your stove that you use so frequently, but these can easily harbor bacteria. Same goes with all of your faucets. Both should be wiped disinfectants at least weekly to kill illness-inducing germs.
Pet Toys and Dishes
Playing tug of war with Fido is essential for his well-being and fun for both of you. Getting sick from touching the bacteria that has covered the toy is not. Wash these toys weekly in hot, soapy water. Dog and cat dishes should be washed daily to keep your pet’s health in check.
One of the germiest places in our homes, is also where we clean our dishes. Studies have found kitchen sinks to be crawling with microbes and germs. Wash out the entire thing twice a week, using disinfectant wipes. Throw your dish drainer in the dishwasher weekly too. Germs love to make a home there.
Dish Rags and Sponges
Ah, the sponge. Oh, the irony. Using something dirty to make something clean. Sponges and dish rags should be changed frequently because they’re almost always bursting with bacteria. Sponges can be tossed in the microwave for a minute or two to kill germs.