Those of you who have been here with me on the blog for a while have probably figured out by now that I’m a bit of a germ-a-phoebe. Sorry. It is what it is, and believe me, I’m much more relaxed about it than I used to be! The reason I’m still pretty on guard, though, is because I have Celiac’s disease, which is an autoimmune disorder. That means my immune system is more likely to attack itself than attack whatever germ gets in my body. So I like to be extra careful!
Now, anyone who walks into my home right now would label it clean. It really doesn’t matter if we’re hosting a party or a dinner, or we’re just there by ourselves, both my husband and I HATE clutter. So you won’t find hardly any of that at our house. You also won’t find much dust, because I dust often, due to our allergies. And you won’t find dirty floors, either, because I can’t STAND to walk around on our tile and wood floors and my feet get dirty! (Not to mention the hairs of the small black furry creature who lives with us that I’m constantly vacuuming up!)
But I got to thinking the other day, after my hubby came down with a nasty yucky that gave him a 102 fever and an awful cough, I’m SURE there are places in our home that could have the potential to make us sick anyways. So I did a little research. Let’s take a tour of my house and see what I found!
1. The #1 germiest place in my home is…are you ready for this? My KITCHEN sink!!! (And my faucet and garbage disposal)
That was a shocker! I would have at least thought it would be the toilet, ya know? It looks so nice and shiny! But no, there are typically more than 500,000 bacteria per square inch in the drain ALONE! And how can we prevent the spread of these germs? Clean your kitchen counters with an antibacterial product after preparing or cleaning food, wash your hands, sanitize your sponges in the dishwasher, and clean your sink with bleach.
2. A load of wet laundry in my LAUNDRY ROOM
Did you know that any time you transfer underwear from the washer to the dryer, you’re getting E. coli on your hands? Blech! Fix this by running your washer at 150 degrees, wash underwear separately (with bleach, if you can) and dry for at least 45 minutes.
3. The tub in my BATHROOM
That’s just scary – that’s the place we go to get clean! A recent study found staphylococcus bacteria, a common cause of serious skin infections, in 26 percent of the tubs tested, as compared with just 6 percent of garbage cans. To keep it clean, take a disinfecting cleaner to the tub and actually scrub. Then you need to wash the germs down the drain with water and dry the tub with a clean towel. If you leave the tub wet, germs are more likely to survive.
4. My welcome mat at my FRONT DOOR
I never thought of this before, but it’s true! All your guests come through that door and bring all the bugs on their shoes with them! But this is an easy fix: spray the doormat once a week with a disinfectant. Leave shoes at the door, and avoid resting bags and groceries on the mat, too. (This is huge, because where do my grocery bags go when I come home from the store? Directly onto the rug in the kitchen!)
5. The vacuum cleaner in my HALL CLOSET
I guess this one really makes sense, because you’re sucking in all the bacteria and old food around your home, and it all likes to grow inside the bag! So change the bag frequently, and change it outside. We have a canister vacuum, so it’s best to clean that with a disinfectant and let it dry.
6. The TV remote in my LIVING ROOM
I mean, it’s dropped on the floor, coughed on and handled by everyone in the house. Pretty simple to wipe it down with a bleach wipe!
7. The mouse and keyboard for my computer in my HOME OFFICE
Yeah, this one makes sense, too, I just never think about it! If you eat at your computer, sneeze on your keyboard, or sit down to surf the Internet without first washing your hands, your computer keyboard could be a health hazard. A simple washing of the hands before going to the computer or a quick light wipe-down with alcohol or bleach wipes will kill all that nasty.
I think that’s enough yuckies for today! But, in all seriousness, remember to take good care of your home so no breeding grounds for germs start growing. You’ll have a healthier and happier 2014, that’s for sure!