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By: - at December 5, 2013

15 Germ Riddled Household Items

Most people are systematic when it comes to cleaning. They make a point to routinely clean their house and keep it looking spotless. Others are more thorough and they are meticulous when it comes to making sure that things are excessively clean and completely free of germs that the naked eye canít see. While it might seem extreme to be so worried about germs, thereís good reason to be alarmed.

household germs

There are a multitude of areas in which bacteria accumulates that many people may not be aware of, and they are usually in the most unlikely places.


15)  Toilet Seats
Itís obvious that thereís always a high risk of germs when it comes to the toilet, but the risk is actually quite minimal in relation to the rest of the house. Because people are so conscious of the hazards, the toilet seat is often one of the less dangerous things in regards to germs throughout a household.

sexy woman cleaning toliet

The biggest risk when it comes to toilet bacteria is when the toilet is flushed. The process releases bacteria into the air, which can land on other surfaces about the room. With this in mind, itís a wise idea to keep your tooth brush secured, rather than just sitting on the bathroom counter top, thus exposed to airborne bacteria.


14)  Door Handles
Although many people are cautious of public door handles, thereís no real need to worry about any extreme dangers when it comes to the handles on doors in your home. Unless thereís a door that is frequently in use throughout the day, the handles wonít accumulate as many germs as many people might think. They still need to be cleaned, but only once a week (or regularly if someone in the household is sick).

door handle

Perhaps the only door handle that people need to be wary of is the refrigeratorís given that thereís always a risk of germs being spread when it comes to food.


13)  Electrical Switches
Lights and other electrical switches are something that people might expect to have an extremely high number of germs, but they are relatively low in regards to the rest of the house. Itís because theyíre generally not touched that often throughout the day and their surfaces donít accumulate a high number of bacteria. They are still important to clean weekly, but not obsessively. Thereís really only a high risk of germs if your household is especially concerned with conserving energy and you are frequently turning on and off the lights.

little girl touching light switch

Increased contact can lead to the increased risk of germs.


12)  Kitchen Counter Tops
Although the kitchen has a high risk of bacteria because of all the food thatís in the area, the chance of cross contamination to the counters is generally clear of the high risk of germs. This is because people are typically extra vigilant when it comes to cleaning their counter tops. Ironically, the thing that will increase the likelihood of the bacteria in this area is caused by other things, such as: purses and cell phones that get placed on the surface shortly before food is placed and prepared for consumption.

Kitchen Counter Tops


11)  Bathrooms
It may be surprising that the bathroom doesnít top the list when it comes to areas where bacteriaís are generally found, given that moisture tends to breed more bacteria - and thereís no room in the house that typically has more moisture than the bathroom. But bathrooms are relatively clean when compared to the rest of the house.

luxury bathroom

Nevertheless, there are germs in the bathroom, but it is rare they get to the point of causing harm if you are a relatively clean person. Itís best to wipe down the bathroom surfaces at least once a week to ensure no germs. Floor mats generally have the highest risk of accumulating bacteria, so itís best to wash them routinely with some disinfectant added to the washing solution.

bathroom floormats


10)  Remote Controls
Remote controls used for the television are a household item that many people may not realize is a big breeding ground for germs. This is usually caused because the remotes are commonly moved about the room from one dirty hand to another Ė often while consuming snacks, increasing the chances for the germs to do some serious harm.

remote controls

Furthermore, remote controls are infrequently cleaned, if at all, which can lead to a surprisingly high number of bacteria on them. Sanitary wipes are the best thing to use in cleaning them, though some may require cotton swabs to get in between the buttons without leaving too much residual moisture.

cotton swabs





9)  Video Game Controllers
Like remote controls, video game controllers are one item that many people may not consider a germ hazard, but are one of the highest sanitary risks. It depends on who uses the control and how often but the controllers are typically overlooked for cleaning.

Video Game Controllers

They and can continue to build up germs over long periods of time. An added risk is that they are often used by kids, who generally donít have the best hygiene practices, and who may snack while playing.

kids playing video games

Having food nearby can add to the risk to transfer the germs from the controller to their mouths. Again, sanitary wipes are the best things to use to clean the controllers at least once a week.


8)  Cell Phones
Cell phones are one of the most hazardous items when it comes to germs and transferring them. Not only does the phone pick up a variety of bacteria wherever you put it down, it also picks up germs from your hands throughout the day. Worse still, because people are always using their phones to text and talk, the germs are constantly being transferred all over the place.

cell phones

According to microbiology professors at the Manchester Metropolitan University, cell phones commonly have more bacteria than the bottom of your shoe. Sanitary wipes are a good way to clean them, but you must be wary of the moisture in the wipes which could freeze your phone if too much is applied.

sanitary wet wipes


7)  Computer Keyboard and Mouse
You donít really think about germs while in your own personal space, for example, using a home computer, but it is the thing that people typically use the most in a household. Still, itís also one of the main things that people fail to clean on a regular basis Ė if at all.

keyboard and mouse

As a result, germs can really build up all over the desk, especially on your keyboard and mouse. Obviously, the tedium of cleaning these items plays a big part in why many people donít bother, but itís worth the effort. While any kind of spray is out of the question, the best way to clean your keyboard and mouse is to use sanitized Q-tips to clean in between the keys on the keyboard.

q-tips for cleaning keyboard

Like most cleaning rituals, itís best to get into a weekly habit of doing so.


6)  Cutting Boards
One of the most obvious sources in the household for bacteria is a cutting board. There is always a high risk of cross-contamination with these because they are so commonly used when cutting raw meats. It can be easy to insufficiently clean them afterwards.

cutting board

Wooden cutting boards are especially hazardous, given that bacteria can get into the grains of the wood and remain there even after cleaning.

wooden cutting board

The best way to ensure that your cutting boards are thoroughly cleaned is to wash them at least twice Ė once to remove surface mess, then again to ensure that any and all bacteria is killed. This is important for wooden and plastic cutting boards. Plastic cutting boards can be soaked in either a bleach or vinegar solution to ensure all germs are killed.


5)  Blenders
Blenders are one kitchen item that poses a large risk in regards to health caused by bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli. The risk lies in the gasket of the blender, which is the part with the blades that cut and blend everything together.

blender making berry smoothie

This is because it is difficult to clean the gasket, but also because most blender gaskets are poorly designed. They accumulate tiny food particles that are almost impossible to remove, no matter how thoroughly they are cleaned. The best way to counter bacteria in your blender is to clean it thoroughly after each use, and every couple of days soak it in boiling water to kill any potential germs.


4)  Shower heads
Most people shower every day. Little do they know that by doing so, many of them are possibly increasing their risk of lung infections and heart disease. This is caused when one may inadvertently inhale or sallow the bacteria in the water that comes through the shower head.

metal shower head with running water

In 2013, US researchers discovered that around 30 percent of shower heads have high levels of microbes in them. Bacteria can be 100 times higher in a shower than in other household water supply areas. While the germs arenít necessarily a concern for healthy people, others could suffer major consequences. You can typically avoid the risk of the germs by running your shower for a minute or so before getting in. Cleaning the shower head regularly is also a good solution. The best way to clean a metal shower head is to remove it and leave it in boiling water for 20 minutes.

boiling water

Alternatively, you can soak it in vinegar for a few hours or even overnight to ensure all the bacteria is killed. Itís best to do this on a monthly basis.


3)  Kitchen Sinks
Although you probably donít want to know this, and you may be horrified to learn it, the fact is that the average kitchen sink has more fecal matter in it than your toilet does!

cleaning kitchen sink

This is due to all the various meat particles and other food pieces that ultimately end up collecting in the sink. The kitchen sink handle also ends up with its share of bacteria, due to the cross contamination from inadvertently touching the sink before turning on and off the tap. The best way to avoid the accumulation of bacteria in the sink is to routinely clean it.


2)  Dish Sponges
While you typically associate the cleaning sponge as a household item of purity because it is used in cleaning; it is actually one of the dirtiest items in a home. Although it might appear to be cleaning the household, itís more often just spreading germs.

sponge used for cleaning dishes

It is only after a week of using a new sponge that the number of germs on it will skyrocket. Even when people attempt to clean the sponge they can actually do more harm than good. Many people will use the dishwasher to clean it. This action will just spread more germs to your dishes, which is even worse for hygiene. The best way to ensure against germs on your sponges is to either microwave them on high for around 30 seconds, as the heat should kill harmful bacteria.

microwave used for sanitizing sponges

Alternatively, simply buy new sponges, most of which are relatively cheap Ė especially in comparison to the health dangers that may arise from of keeping the old ones.


1)  Refrigerators
The refrigerator is probably the least likely appliance expected of harboring an extreme amount of bacteria. While people might think there would be some germs in the average refrigerator, the true amount is seriously alarming. Itís because of all the various microorganisms that food can pick up along the way before it reaches your home.

Refrigerator

In 2013, the NSF International Household Germ Study found that the vegetable and meat compartments of most refrigerators have high levels of dangerous bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli and mold. Even the refrigerator insulation seals have a high level of germs. With this in mind itís always best to keep certain types of food like meat away from everything else, ensuring that the meat juices canít leak.

meat juices

Furthermore, itís wise to clean your refrigerator routinely Ė at least once a week. Ė Make sure that you clean everywhere, including the seals, to ensure bacteria has no chance to grow or spread.


Conclusion
There is very good reason for every one of us to be extra vigilant when it comes to hygiene and thoroughly cleaning your household. Even the most unlikely of household items, areas and appliances can dramatically jeopardize you and the health of others. While it is important for people to be exposed to germs throughout their lives to strengthen their immune system, itís also equally important to be wary of the items that can be hazardous to your health.


 

 

 

 

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