Surprising Germ Hot Spots in Your Home – and How to Clean Them
Germs can lurk in unlikely places! Keep your family healthy with our cleaning tips.
The toilet isn’t the only place bacteria in your home can hide! “Germs are transferred when we touch something or someone and then touch our mouth, nose or eyes,” explains Dr. Ronald W. Stout, Medical Leader for Procter & Gamble’s Global Health & Wellbeing Business Unit. “This is true regardless of the season, so it is very important to maintain healthy habits and proper hygiene throughout the year to help prevent the spread of germs.” Here’s what you can do to remove hidden germs from hot spots around your home – and help keep you and your family healthy.
Give your home office some extra attention, as a desk can harbor 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. In particular, the area where you rest your hand can hold nearly 10 million bacteria. Disinfect your workspace weekly with Mr. Clean Antibacterial Cleaner with Lemon (use as directed) to do away with 99.9 percent of these germs.*
Research suggests that your showerhead could be a potential breeding ground for bacteria, which then can contaminate the water as it comes out. In particular, it could be harboring Mycobacterium avium, which can cause respiratory infections in people with a weakened immune system. Prevent blockages caused by limescale in your showerhead by periodically soaking the showerhead overnight in a vinegar and water solution.
Thanks to sweat, dirt or make-up that may be left on your skin when you crawl into bed, just one night’s sleep can leave dust mites, dead skin cells and bacteria on your sheets. Aim to wash sheets at least once a week. As for your duvets, in between trips to the dry cleaners use Febreze FABRIC Allergen Reducer, which prevents inanimate allergens from becoming airborne from fabrics.**
Gross but true: The average wooden cutting board has 200 percent more bacteria than the average toilet seat, and illness-causing bacteria such as E. coli can survive for days, even months, on kitchen surfaces like countertops and cutting boards. As they’re often not dishwasher safe, remember to disinfect them regularly and thoroughly after each use. Use a paper towel to wipe down the cutting board with vinegar. Then repeat this step with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. As a final cleanup step, wash the cutting board thoroughly with Dawn Ultra Dish Soap and hot water.
The average trashcan holds about 411 bacteria per square inch. Try to sanitize it weekly with Mr. Clean Antibacterial Cleaner with Lemon* (use as directed), making sure to scrub both the inside and outside of the can – and don’t forget the lid!
According to research conducted by the National Sanitation Foundation, the dirtiest place in your entire bathroom, is, surprisingly, the humble toothbrush holder. Situated near the toilet, it can collect nasty airborne germs transferred from flushes, plus it can pick up bacteria from your toothbrush itself. Give it a deep clean in your dishwasher once a week.
* Mr. Clean kills Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli in 10 minutes. Effective against Gram-negative bacteria only.
**Refers to inanimate allergens from pet dander and dust mite matter that can become airborne from soft surfaces.