Bacteria isn’t always a bad thing, we actually have types of bacteria in our bodies that help us function and keep us healthy. Bad bacteria however can do some serious damage to your health and wreck havoc to your immune system. A typical household can contain harmful bacteria on almost every surface, bacteria which can make you or your children sick. Common bacteria include salmonella, staph, and E. coli. Most people think that just counters and table tops have germs, but they can actually be found almost anywhere. Here are some of the most germ-ridden things in your house and how to effectively clean them.
- Kitchen Sponge: That’s right, the thing that you clean your dishes and wipe down your counters with is full of harmful bacteria. The damp sponge can even begin growing mold and could carry the influenza virus that you then wipe on your dishes. Always remember to ring out wet sponges and place them out to dry. If you’re really looking to kill the bacteria, you could place a wet sponge in the microwave for about a minute but the best thing you can do is replace your sponges every few weeks.
- The Television Remote: The TV remote is one of those things that you probably would never think to clean, but it’s actually home to an assortment of different illness-causing bacteria. Most people sit at home and watch TV when they’re under the weather and they transfer germs and bacteria to the remote, which can lead to illness outbreaks in your family. The oils and food residue from TV snacking also create a breeding ground on the remote for potential bacteria. Wipe down the remote with a disinfectant wipe every now and again as well as any other consistently touched surfaces such as keyboards and doorknobs. General surface disinfecting is always a good idea as well; any area can host bacteria and flu viruses can remain for up to 48 hours on hard surfaces.
- Carpets: You don’t always suspect your carpet as a being a petri dish full of harmful bacteria, but a living room carpet can house up to 200,000 bacteria per square inch. Bacteria such as salmonella can be found on the carpet fibers, and unless disinfecting carpets is your hobby your rug probably is probably no different. Every time you walk on your carpet you actually bring those little bacterium closer to the top, and closer to contact. Remember to vacuum often as well as use a cleaner specific for disinfecting carpets, and it’s never a bad idea to deep clean or shampoo your rugs about once a year.
- Your Toothbrush!: You may not realize it but a toothbrush is home to all kinds of bacteria and even fecal matter. You leave germs on your toothbrush after every use and can even continue to infect yourself over and over again. If you use the toilet in the same bathroom that you brush your teeth (which is most likely everyone), then your toothbrush is probably getting contaminated. Every time you flush the toilet little particles of fecal matter get dispersed all over the bathroom and land on your damp toothbrush. You can run your toothbrush through your dishwashers sanitizing cycle to help deep clean the bristles and you should close the lid on your toilet before every flush to help cut down on the spread of airborne contamination.
Disinfection is important in keeping your home and family healthy and you should use every resource available to learn more about where bacteria live and how to get rid of them. Try searching for things like how to go about disinfecting carpets or the best ways to keep your home germ free.