by press profile homify

These 12 germ hot-spots are sitting comfortably at your home!

SHILPI CHAKRAVARTY SHILPI CHAKRAVARTY
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Lately, alarming reports about germs seem to scare us much more than the little devils themselves. Your work-desk is a better hospitable haven for the little buggers than a toilet bowl!… … Your bathroom is much more cleaner than your home-office!—shocking but true, as claimed by the numerous studies undertaken on a daily basis someplace or the other across the globe. But are the millions of germs we're exposed to daily hazardous… … or simply disgusting?

Many experts say that most of the germs we encounter on a daily basis do not come from inanimate objects around the house- door handles, mobile phones, money, etc. are not a major source of illness. Basic hygiene tips like cleaning your hands properly before eating and after going to the bathroom, maintaining hygienic cleaning practices in the kitchen, etc. takes care of most germs. Plus, going overboard with the anti-germ activity may kill the good & helpful bacteria as well.

So what is all the fuss about? Apparently, there are 12 potentially dangerous & germy hotspots around the house that no interior designer talks about, and today this homify article will discuss at length about the same. Read on to find out! 

Kitchen sinks.

The kitchen sink is an area brimming with germs, but a daily rinse with soap & water helps prevent germ buildup. If you've been handling poultry or raw meat, make sure to wash your hands properly and then clean your sink with hot soapy water before you touch anything else or place another food item/ kitchen tool in the sink for washing. It is also a good idea to pour some diluted bleach down the drain, every now & then. 

Germs from the sink can spread throughout the kitchen, including door handles, knobs & faucets, if you don't wash your hands after preparing a meal.

Bathroom door handles.

There are claims that the bathroom door handle is quite a breeding ground for germs. However, since most of the people wash their hands before leaving the restroom, this claim is not that substantial. Also, most bacteria need a moist, warm environment to survive and can live on hard, dry surfaces for only an hour or two. BUT, it is still advisable to use alcohol & bleach based cleaning products to be sure of proper disinfection.

​Objects in the home-office.

Recent studies have shown that your work-desk is way dirtier than a toilet bowl… .scary but true! People usually don't clean their desks on a regular basis, hence the germs thrive. The parainfluenza virus, that causes colds and flu, has been found on about one-third of the office elements. 

The dirtiest object, as per the study results, is your phone. Yes, that's true! Viruses can survive for a couple of days on phones, desktops and computer keyboards. They're transmitted when you touch these contaminated objects & then put your hands on your eyes, nose and mouth. 

You can keep microbe levels on your desk down by regularly cleaning with a disinfecting wipe. Don't apply disinfectant directly to the equipment, spray first on a paper towel/ washcloth and then clean. If you share a phone, make sure to clean it every day. Wash your hands often, preferably with warm water & soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, before touching your face.

​Gym floors.

Walking barefoot on the home-gym floor can give you plantar warts and athlete's foot. Both of these are often contracted from the floor in the gym locker room. This is because the floor is warm & damp from the shower and sweat, offering the ideal breeding ground for viruses & fungi. It is advisable to always wear slippers/ flip-flops, and never go barefoot in the social spaces of your home.

​Sponges.

Sponges are the most contaminated object in the home and can harbor countless bacteria, which can cause food-poisoning. Your good old kitchen sponge if washed in the dishwasher with detergent, gets cleaner. But putting the sponge in the microwave for a minute is even better. The idea is to keep them clean & dry after use; the more frequently cleaned & dried the better it is. It's also wise to rinse sponges well and keep them out of the sink so that they can dry out between uses as drying kills a lot of germs. The best idea, though, is to change sponges frequently to avoid bacterial buildup and definitely throw them away every 2-3 weeks.

Pillows.

Many experts have noted that if you use the same pillow for a long time without washing it or changing its cover, you may get infection from it. Although pillows themselves aren't breeding grounds for germs, it is advisable to sleep on a pillow with a clean pillow case. Washing pillow cases once a week and pillows regularly in the washing machine is good from the hygiene point of view.

Bed sheets.

Washing bed-sheets regularly helps you rid of dust mites, the microscopic bugs that live on dead skin cells, and other allergens. 

Toothbrush.

A really gross but very true finding states that microorganisms are ejected when you flush the toilet even if you close the lid, landing all over the bathroom including your toothbrush as well… .EEEEEWWWWW! But when the toothbrush dries, most of the microbes die. Nevertheless, the only way out is to keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible, or place it in the bathroom cabinet. 

Bathroom tiles, bathtub & shower curtains.

A thorough weekly cleaning prevents the growth of mildew, a fungus that feeds on body oils & soap scum and can cause allergy. Using disinfecting wipes or a mild abrasive for tough stains is a good option. If mildew grows on your bathtub or shower to form a thin odorous white/ black film, use a product with bleach to get rid of it. Also, wipe the faucet & spray the shower curtain with bleach as both of these can possibly harbor germs.

Laundry.

Letting wet clothes remain in the washer for long allows mildew to form. Apart from smelly clothing, this could trigger an allergy/ asthma attack. If your clothes have a funky odor, run the washing machine again. If they still smell, you may have mildew spores, which could multiply in your machine. To clean it out, just run an empty cycle with hot water & diluted bleach once every month, and always leave the lid open between loads to let the tub dry out completely. You can also end with a bleach load to clean up the machine. It's also a healthy idea to wash your hands well after handling dirty laundry.

Makeup.

Germs sitting on your hands or face contaminate the makeup when they come in contact. This could have two possible outcomes: pimples caused by bacteria trapped inside pores, and pinkeye- a bacterial infection caused by staphylococcus. You can avoid infection by washing your hands before applying makeup & cleaning your applicators once a week. 

Experts suggest tossing the makeup item after two months. Wipe applicator brushes with alcohol if you don't have the time to wash them. And NEVER SHARE MAKEUP- you can quite easily transfer infections this way.

Money.

Dirty money indeed! Although currency notes & coins are not that dangerous, it is still a good idea to wash your hands after handling money kept in your wallet or bedside drawers. This is more so particularly when you sit down to eat afterwards. 

How clean are your living spaces?
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