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Pesky germs - favorite hiding places
Posted on December 3, 2009 by Grey's Properties
Germs live in our midst, scientists call them organisms. Only about 1% of them are "bad campers" . These pathogens are either viral or bacterial and can give you a bad cold or send you to the hospital - or worse. Our first thoughts of where germs hide would be the toilet and in doctors offices during the flu season. Let's look at the unlikely places and the best ways to make them scoot.
1.* Your car's dashborad - think about it. Air which carries mold and bacteria get sucked through the vents right to the dashboard. The sunshine beams down on the spores and germs resting on the dash and causes them to grow. In fact, the dash is the second most comon spot for bacteria and mold - the first is food spills. Quick Fix: On a regular basis swipe the inside of your car with disinfecting wipes.
*The garbage disposal - I really don't want to imagine what lurks down there. There are 1,000 times more bacteria in the disposal than in the average toilet! Germs thrive in the rubber parts and the stopper. Dishes, utensils and your hands could be contaminated. Quick Fix: Weekly clean the rubber parts and general area with a diluted bleach solution.
* Soap dispensers - okay, this isn't pretty. A study found that 25% of liquid soap dispensers in public restrooms were contaminated by fecal bacteria. YUCK! Quick fix: Scrub your hands for 15 to 20 seconds with lots of hot water - an alcohol get disinfectant is even better.
* Dish towels. 7% of kitchen towels tested were contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus, that can cause life-threatening skin infections. If that's not enough, dish towels can contain E. coli. Quick fix: Use paper towels for cleaning countertops and launder towels often with hot water and bleach.
*Kitchen faucets. That little screen at the end of the faucet stays moist and bacteria just LOVES moisture. Fingers or dish rags coming in contact with this screen can add pathogens that could build up and later break off into food or dishes. Quick fix: Weekly remove the screen and soak in diluted bleach solution. Then replace and let the water run for a few mintues before using.
*Your vacuum cleaner. A good phrase for vacuums is "meal-on-wheels". Think about everything that get sucked up and is sitting in that dark bag - a perfect place to grow bacteria. 13% of tested vacuum brushes tested positive for E. coli and you are spreading this ALL OVER THE HOUSE! Quick fix: Change the vacuum bag often and do this outside when possible. Clean the cavity of a bagless vacuum with diluted bleach and air dry.
*The refrigerator seal. Mold loves the seal and it can spread every time the door opens. This exposes mold to the food inside. Quick fix: Weekly wipe the refrigerator seal with a diluted bleach solution or disinfectant.
* Restaurant ketchup bottles. Condiment containers rarely get a bleach wipe down. And sadly many folks don't wash their hands often. Their germs become your germs. Quick fix: Use a disinfectant wipe before you grab the container.
*Your cell phone. They go with us everywhere and we sit them down everywhere. No wonder several studies found that they carry tons of bacteria. Quick fix: Be careful where you place your phone and use a disinfecting wipe several times a week.
*Your welcome mat - wow what irony! Our shoes leave bugs on that mat - the area near your front door proves to be the dirtiest in the house. AND WE WALK IT IN. One study found 96% of shoe soles had traces of coliform. Quick fix: Spray the mat weekly with a fabric-safe disinfectant and leave your shoes at the door.
We can't escape germs, but we can be more careful during flu season. I suggest we all buy stock in bleach and disinfectant wipes. Stay well.
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