Saturday, January 15, 2011

The dirtiest spots in your house!

Does the five-second rule apply when you drop a piece of fruit in the sink while rinsing it off? Would you go ahead and pop it in your mouth? How about if you dropped it in the toilet? Which is worse? You might just be surprised.

One of the dirtiest places in your home is the kitchen sink. As disgusting as this may sound, your toilet may be cleaner! Food particles from rinsed plates or soaking dishes are a great breeding ground for bacteria. The bacteria can then transfer to your hands or other foods during the preparation process. Rather than rinsing the sink with water, wash it thoroughly with a bleach water solution daily to sanitize it.

Your toothbrush is also a prime germ carrier. After you rinse it off and store it away until next time, it becomes a moist haven for bacteria. Add that to the toilet germs that are spread each time you flush the toilet and you have quite a germ fest on your hands. Surprisingly, flushing the toilet sends a spray of bacteria- and virus-contaminated water droplets into the surrounding air that can float around the bathroom for about two hours before landing. Prime landing spots include your toothbrush. Store it somewhere it can air out and dry between uses. Somewhere not too close to the toilet. (Closing the toilet lid before flushing also helps prevent the spray of germs). Also, replace your toothbrush frequently, especially after you have gotten over being sick. Consider storing your toothbrush somewhere it can air out and dry between uses. Somewhere that is not too close to the toilet. Replace your toothbrush frequently (particularly after recovering from an illness).

Anything in the house that is touched frequently is suspect as a germ carrier. Viruses have been found to be able to linger on surfaces for 18 hours or longer. When you wipe off the kitchen counters or dining table after eating, wipe off things most commonly touched, e.g., the salt and pepper shakers. The same holds true for the television remove control, as well as the computer keyboard and mouse.

Bathtubs are also loaded with bacteria with a recent study finding staphylococcus bacteria in 26% of the tested standard bathtubs. Whirlpool tubs had even worse statistics. Clean and disinfect the tub with bleach or bathroom cleaner each time you bathe. Dry with a clean towel. Clean out the pipes in whirlpool tubs to prevent bacteria from accumulating.

Many germs are harmless, and some may be good for your health. Protect yourself from the majority of the bad ones by keeping your hands clean. Your hands transfer bacteria and viruses to your eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as to other people. Make it a habit to wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds frequently. While hand sanitizer gel can be used to kill germs, it should not replace hand washing.

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