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Germs which is the catch-all name for (bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms) that can make you sick are everywhere in your home! Yes, that can be a little alarming, but the good thing is approximately 99% of them really can’t hurt you. The other 1% of germs are the type that can cause all kinds of sicknesses like the flu, and ever scarier life-threatening illnesses.
You know of the most obvious places in your home that may have germs because they are in plain sight. Here are the most germ-infested spots in your home that you might not have known about.
1. The kitchen
The next time that you run the water in your kitchen faucet think about the metal aeration screen. This is the little screen at the end of your faucet that has running water going through it daily. Because of that, it stays moist all the time and germs love moist spots like this. Bacteria can grow in your faucet according to microbiologist Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D. The water that comes through the faucet is not sterile and when you touch the faucet with dirty hands that can transfer to the faucet and grow bacteria.
Take the faucet screen off once a week and let it soak in a diluted bleach solution. Once it has sat for a while, put the screen back on and run the water through it for several minutes before using any of the water.
2. The Garbage Disposal
This spot may make a little more sense because you put food in it, and when rotting food sits, it breeds bacteria. Bacteria love to live in the tiny crevices in and around the slimy rubber stopper in your garbage disposal. Again, Dr. Kelly Reynolds, Ph.D. estimates that more than 500,000 bacteria are in the sink that is 1,000 times more than the germ level of an average toilet.
You may think that hot water and dish soap is enough to kill all of those germs in the sink, but think again. Pour a couple cups of diluted bleach solution down the drain to kill the germs in the crevices in and around the garbage disposal hole.
3. The Kitchen Dish Towel
You probably have a dish towel in your kitchen that you use to dry dishes and clean up a spill or two on occasion. A recent study found that seven percent of kitchen towels were contaminated with MRSA(Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) a type of staph bacteria that is tough to treat. In some cases, it can cause life-threatening skin infections. Dish towels are also known to be a great host for E. coli and many other types of bacteria.
Try to stick to paper towels for spills and cleanups that are needed in the kitchen. Don’t overuse the dish towel, once it is soaked through and full of germs, throw it in the laundry with hot soapy water.
4. The Vacuum Cleaner
This handy device in your home is known as a “lunch buffet” for bacteria. Vacuums suck up all of the food crumbs, dirt, dust and many other things that get dropped on the floor. It is not just the vacuum bag that is full of bacteria. It is on the attachments like the brushes, crevice tool, and nozzle. Approximately thirteen percent of all vacuum cleaners brushes tested positive for E. Coli according to another study done on germs.
Change the vacuum cleaner bag more often and make sure you heap filters and antibacterial liners to prevent the further spread of germs. Clean the brushes with a diluted spray of bleach water.