DECLARE WAR ON GERMS! – At Home

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Home is where the heart is. Along with the germs. This week we’re waging germ warfare and offering you tips for finding and obliterating the germs in your home that can make you and your family sick.

Next week, we’ll take a look at the germiest places away from home. You’ll need to be armed and ready.

Where are the hotspots for germs at home? You’ll find out with these tips to help keep your home and your family healthy. Let’s just start in the kitchen:

Kitchen

After every family meal, the family of germs come to dinner. Your sink, countertops and sponges are all covered in bacteria from the leftover food build up.

Sponges – 70% of kitchen sponges in U.S. homes failed the hygiene test by having high levels of bacteria, according to the Hygiene Council. The council recommends running sponges through the dishwasher or zapping in the microwave for four minutes.

Faucets/Sinks — With more than 500,000 bacteria per square inch in the drain alone, your kitchen sink is dirtier than most bathrooms. People typically wash their hands after handling raw meat, but they touch the handles of the faucet to turn on the water and leave bacteria all along the handles. Disinfect your sink every day to keep it fresh.

Counters- Besides using your countertops for food preparation, counters also come in contact with often handled objects that come from places you can’t track, like grocery bags. Unload groceries from the floor instead.

Don’t miss our 5 Tips for Fighting Food-Borne Illness in the Kitchen, and see our homemade recipes for window cleaner and a soft scrub cleanser.

Bathroom

No one ever said bathrooms were the most sanitary sorts of rooms, and many of us employ some pretty impressive maneuvers to make sure we don’t touch a single inch of surface in a public bathroom. Here are the most common spots to find germs and what you can do to keep them clean.

Toilet –This is most commonly the first place you think of when it comes to germs. But most toilets aren’t as dirty as your kitchen sink. Even so, make sure to clean the bowl, lids, and handle on your toilet frequently to avoid exposure to germs.

Bathtub – The bathtub may have 100 times more bacteria than the trash can, according to an in-home bacteria study conducted by the Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community at Simmons College in Boston. The Hygiene Council recommends that showers and tubs be disinfected twice a week to get rid of dead skin cells left in the tub that can carry germs too.

Shower/Curtain – Remove mold on your tiles with cleaners and don’t forget about the shower curtain. Use a mixture of hot water and vinegar to regularly clean off the mildew of your shower curtain.

Kitchen-sink drain or shower drain? Which one has more germs? Click here to find out.

Electronics

We use our electronics on a daily basis and we’d probably be lost without them. I mean, does anyone really know how to work the TV without the remote? Proper cleaning and care of your electronics will keep them working for a long time, not to mention the fact that cleaning them will keep you and your family from getting sick or spreading sickness.

TV Remote –At home in front of the television is the time when most people are very relaxed. They eat food, rub their noses, scratch themselves—all the while flipping the channels with their tv remote. Make sure to periodically wipe down your filthy tv remote with sanitizers.

Light Switches – The bathroom light switch can have as many germs as the trash bin, according to the Simmons College in-home bacterial study. Disinfect light switches twice a week or every day if a member of your household is sick.

Microwave – It is important to wipe down the touch screen regularly, especially after cooking raw meat. You can put something in the microwave that is raw and it could leave behind E. coli or Salmonella.

For more germ fighting tips, check out the article Germ Warfare: How to Win the War!

Stayed tuned next week for Part 2 of our DECLARE WAR ON GERMS when take a look at germs outside our homes.

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