If you think the toilet bowl and rubbish bins are the most bacteria filled places in your home, think again. You could be in closer contact and exposing yourself to a plethora of germs and bugs more often than you realise.
It’s easy to see the contamination in public spaces like door handles, elevator buttons and taxi doors where everybody and anybody’s grimy hands could’ve gotten a hold of it. But don’t take your personal space at home for granted – be aware of these 5 germiest everyday items that you use all the time:
1. Bath Towels
Bath towels, as long as we need to take a shower everyday, we will always need them. Bacteria love moist environments and a damp towel is a breeding paradise for them. Reusing a tainted towel can increase the chances of developing rashes or allergies. You could sometimes contract more serious infections.
Solution: Don’t leave your towel damp for more than 20 minutes. Make sure towels air out quickly after each use. Instead of hanging it on a hook, spread them out on a rail so it dries faster.
Simply toss it in the dryer after everyone has taken a shower. We recommend laundering your towels every 3-4 uses in hot water and bleach (for whites), and dry it on a high setting to eliminate any remaining bacteria.
2. Handbags, Purses & Backpacks
It is a must-bring item for everybody when going out – to the supermarket, movies, school, office, shopping mall or just about any kind of outing.
There are over tens of thousands of bacteria on most handbags from the things that you put in and pull out of the bag. Germs and bacteria can be picked up from cash exchanged, the phone that you put down on the restaurant table and from the pen that you’ve been lending to a few friends in the last week.
Solution: Use a fabric-safe sanitizing spray to mist your cloth and nylon handbags or purses, gym bags and backpacks. Do this weekly.
You can also clean vinyl bags with disinfecting wipes. For leather bags, use a special cleaning product made just for it. Keep bags off the floor, try to hang them on hooks whenever you can.
People everywhere can’t live these days without any kind of electronic device, they are attached to our bodies 24/7!
Remote controls and computer keyboards used by the whole family are rarely cleaned and not surprisingly, tops the list for the most bacteria filled electronic items.
A single device may contain thousands of bacteria, especially when people are in the habit of snacking and changing channels at the same time – this leaves oils and crumbs for germs to stick on the remote control which will help them grow. Eww!
Solution: Swab all your devices once a week – remotes, keyboards, video game controllers, mouse, smartphone, tablet covers. Use a disinfecting wipe which has been wrung-out to minimise moisture contact with your electronic devices. Look for scratch-free products to clean touch screen surfaces.
4. Family Room Carpet
The most common area in the house where everybody hangs around is probably your living room. Depending on when was the last time you cleaned your carpet, you can have as much as 200,000 bacteria per square inch hanging out with your family as well.
These bacteria are trapped in between carpet fibres and have the potential to cause skin infections. Frequent walking and rolling around on the carpet will only bring these microbes closer to the surface and be in direct contact with your skin.
Solution: Vacuum your carpet weekly and spray with a fabric sanitizing product. Going DIY generally works to keep your carpet fairly cleaned. However, in a humid environment like Malaysia, a professional carpet clean is recommended every 6-9 months.
The toothbrush – a must-have everyday item, germs travel daily from between your pearly whites and onto your toothbrush.
Then it makes its way to be left to dry in a very damp bathroom. If your toilet sits across from where you store your toothbrush, it could be further contaminated by airborne bacteria which are released with every flush of the toilet. You can actually get sick and keep re-infecting yourself from using your own toothbrush.
Solution: Allow toothbrushes to air-dry in an upright holder, preferably away as much as possible from the toilet. You can also significantly reduce the number of germs wafting through the bathroom by closing the lid when you flush. Replace toothbrushes every three months and also after you’ve been ill.
If you’ve just thought about other places in the house that hasn’t been cleaned in the last 1 year (or more), it’s time that you put an end to those festering germs before it affects your family’s health.
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