Household germs are hiding WHERE in my home?!?
As a mom, you make it your duty to tackle every germy hotspot you can think of. But what if I told you some of the germiest places in your home might not even be on your radar?
Here are some of the most unexpected hiding places for germs to thrive in your home, according to WebMD.
#1: The Kitchen Sponge
The kitchen sponge is an ideal hiding place for household germs to live because they love moisture. In addition, the kitchen sponge is often covered in food debris, which germs also love. In fact, your kitchen sponge is probably the dirtiest item in your house… Yuck!
What to Do: Replace your kitchen sponge on a weekly basis to reduce the risk of cross contamination and resistant bacteria thriving on your sponge.
#2: The Kitchen Sink
Washing vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and poultry can contaminate your sink with household germs that can make family members sick if you’re not careful.
What to Do: Disinfect the sides and bottom of your kitchen sink twice a week with a kitchen sanitizer. In addition, pour a solution of one teaspoon of bleach in one quart of water down the drain once a month.
Toothbrushes — and toothbrush holders — harbor bacteria from your mouth. When they’re stored too close to the toilet, they can also become contaminated with aerosolized fecal bacteria. Gross!
What to Do: Store your toothbrush and toothbrush holder as far away from the toilet as possible. Don’t let toothbrushes touch one another and wash and use a bathroom sanitizer on the toothbrush holder once a week (or run it through the dishwasher). Want to take it a step further? Use an antibacterial mouth rinse BEFORE brushing your teeth to reduce the amount of germs you transfer to your toothbrush.
#4: The Pet Food Bowl
Fido might appear to lick his food and water bowls “clean,” but don’t be fooled: Pet bowls are sanctuaries for microscopic “pets” … like bacteria!
What to Do: Wash your pet’s food bowl daily with hot, soapy water. Once a week, soak the bowl for 10 minutes in a dilute bleach solution, made by adding a cap of chlorine bleach to one gallon of water.
#5: The Coffee Maker
There may be more in your coffee than you think… The compartment that holds water in your coffee maker is dark and moist, making it a sweet escape for bacteria. That is, until you brew that morning pot of coffee, when it “wakes up” and says good morning to your mug.
What to Do: Once a month, fill the water chamber with a few cups of white vinegar. Let it soak for 30 minutes, then turn the machine on and let the vinegar run through. Follow this up by running clean water through your machine. A light daily cleaning with soap and water also helps prevent bacteria growth.
#6: Stove Knobs
Stove knobs are frequently touched, but often overlooked during routine cleaning. They regularly come in contact with the hands of cooks, and cooks shift back and forth between the stove and other food preparation spots — transferring a smorgasbord of household germs and food debris to the knobs.
What to Do: Remove stove knobs and wash them with hot, soapy water once a week. If the knobs can’t be removed, simply clean them in place.
#7: The Bathroom Faucet
Bathrooms faucets are touched frequently by hands in need of washing, especially during flu season. That’s what they were made for, right? Unfortunately, these hygiene helpers contain more household germs than the toilet handle … Ewww!
What to Do: Motion-sensing faucets are an ideal, if expensive, solution. Fortunately, sanitizing the bathroom faucet daily will do the trick without breaking the bank.
Countertops are like bus stops … for germs! This is because we drop all sorts of objects on our countertops — purses, keys, food, drinking glasses, dirty dishes — you name it. We then pick up all kinds of household germs left behind as we give countertops a good scrub with the kitchen sponge (see Public Enemy #1 at the top). It’s no wonder they’re a breeding ground for bacteria!
What to Do: Wash countertops with warm, soapy water, rinse, and then use a disinfectant recommended by your countertop manufacturer.
With these tips in mind, you can finally say, “See ya later, sneaky household germs!”