Tackling Germs in your Home

Learn about the places in your home where the germs and bacteria gather and tips for getting rid of them.

Deep cleaning is very likely one of the most dreaded household chores, but getting rid of germs and bacteria makes scrubbing and sanitizing unavoidable. Time Magazine published an article discussing a study that researched seven families and their homes over the course of six weeks. The study showed that our bodies release natural bacteria onto nearly every single surface we contact. Not surprisingly, the individuals spread the most bacteria between family members because of frequent physical contact. (This is why contagious illnesses tend to spread through the family quickly).

Creepy fact: Germs can divide every 20 minutes! This means regular cleaning (and handwashing) is the only way to keep the illness-causing germs at bay.

Most of the germs in your home are neutral. They’re normal and they aren’t going to get you sick. The bacteria and germs you need to worry about lead to colds, stomach flu and other illnesses, and there are certain areas of the home you are more likely to find these pesky microorganisms.

Dirtiest places in your home

You’ll want to take a few extra minutes to scrub the most popular germ hangouts in your home including:

Kitchen:  Wash sponges and dishtowels regularly. These babies get a lot of use and the moisture sucks up bacteria. While you are in this room, don’t forget the sink faucets and refrigerator handle.

Every room: All of the knobs, switches and door handles are prime areas for bacteria to collect because they get the most hands on attention (literally).

Makeup bag: You’d be surprised at how much bacteria you’ll find in your makeup kit. Most of these brushes and tools touch your face on a daily basis so they collect bacteria on a regular basis.

Laundry: If you let wet laundry sit in the washer for more than 30 minutes, you’ll need to run a wash again as they build up germs quickly when left unattended.

Office: Your computer, desktop, phones and remote controls are a hotbed of germy activity. Think of how often your hands touch these items or how often you breathe on them. Then try to remember the last time you sanitized these items… (Creepy fact: A desk can have 400 times more bacteria on it than a toilet.)

Bathroom: You’d think the toilet would be bacteria haven in the bathroom, but you’re actually going to find more bacteria within a three-foot radius of the toilet. When you flush, toilet spray shoots bacteria and germs everywhere! Other areas people neglect include the sink handles and tooth brush holders. Whirlpool tubs are also notorious for collecting bacteria and fungus.

What works (and what doesn’t) for killing germs and bacteria

Sometimes simple is better. You can get rid of most bacteria by using soap and water. You’ll need to wash most surfaces at least once a week, but you do not need a bunch of fancy chemicals. If you want a quick trick, antibacterial wipes are effective. However, you cannot use the same one for more than one surface; you’ll just spread germs and bacteria around. Eco-friendly cleaners are just as effective as store brand products. Cleaners that work through Sparkling Clean agency bring an in-house eco-friendly cleaner that gets rid of bacteria and germs without a ton of additives.

Insider tip: Get a pet. While Fido is likely to drag in more dirt and bacteria, this can actually be good for your health in the end as your body learns to adapt.

Tips and tricks for effectively ridding your home of germs include:

-Frequent handwashing by everyone in the home (have soap and sanitizer readily available). Wash your hands for a full 20 seconds each time (or sing Happy Birthday twice) to remove the most amount of germs possible.

-Use paper towels to dry your hands or have every person (including guests) use their own hand towel and wash them every two or three days.

-Wipe down surfaces at least once a week. You should tackle some spots (like the kitchen table, counters and stovetop) daily.

-Ditch sponges and opt for rags to do your cleaning. Wash your dishrag at least once a week.

- Keep toothbrushes as far away from the toilet as possible.

-Wash your sheets in hot water at least once per week.

-Open your windows for a few minutes each day to freshen the air in your home.

-Use a plastic cutting board. Glass dulls your knives and wood cutting boards hoard germs and bacteria.

Regularly cleaning your home is the best way to ensure your family stays healthy all year round. Hiring a professional cleaning service for weekly or biweekly cleanings is a simple way to reduce bacteria in your home and save time. Call us today to learn more about our cleaning services.

What are some ways you keep your home germ free? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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