Your Home's 10 Germiest Places

Once you know the 10 most common places germs linger in your home, you can take simple steps to eliminate them.

| March/April 2011

  • The kitchen harbors more germs than almost any room in the house. Sponges and rags, kitchen surfaces and cutting boards are all hiding places for germs and bacteria.

Germs, bacteria and viruses are everywhere. Most are harmless, some cause runny noses, and 1 to 2 percent could lead to life-threatening infections. Our advice? Worry less, learn more. Once you know the 10 most common places germs linger in your home, you can take simple steps to eliminate them.

1. Sponges and rags. When you wipe down a dish or counter, you’re simply transferring bacteria from one place to another. Wash sponges and rags with soap and hot water between uses or replace these items often; wash your hands after touching sponges. Zapping a wet sponge in the microwave for four minutes will kill most disease-causing germs. The sponge will be hot, so be careful when removing it from the microwave.

2. Cutting boards. Use caution if you cut different types of food on the same board—salmonella, staph and E. coli are commonly transmitted this way. Don’t chop vegetables or other ready-to-eat foods on a cutting board used to trim meat, poultry or fish. Wash boards thoroughly after each use. A good scrubbing with dish detergent and hot water will do the trick; you also can wipe the boards clean with undiluted white vinegar. Replace boards that become deeply scratched.

3. Kitchen surfaces. Just because the countertop looks clean doesn’t mean it is. Viruses and bacteria are invisible to the human eye. Spray down countertops with a solution of equal parts warm water and white vinegar and wipe dry using a soft cloth. Thoroughly clean the faucet, sink and knobs, too.

4. Doorknobs. When you touch a doorknob, you touch the hand of everyone who was there before you. Wash your hands after touching a public doorknob, and regularly clean your own doorknobs with a nontoxic all-purpose cleaner (store-bought or homemade) diluted in hot water.

5. Toothbrushes. Brushing transfers plaque, bacteria and more to your toothbrush. After each use, rinse the toothbrush with tap water and shake several times. Store upright to allow the toothbrush to air dry. Replace it every three months.

7/20/2015 5:05:45 AM

Thanks for all your information, Website is very nice and informative content.

7/20/2015 4:51:18 AM

This article is really fantastic and thanks for sharing the valuable post.

6/17/2014 9:47:36 AM

I found out interesting tips on how to find and clean the places where germs linger from specialists from a when they came to make a mold inspection. In each day I put the sponge in the microwave for a couple of minutes to kill disease-causing germs, I searched on the internet and saw a lot of people doing it.

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