Symptoms of illnesses show up when there is bacteria and germs in your home. A recent study found that the most contaminated objects in the home (30 different things) have more than 300 different types of bacteria on them. Ack! So to help you, your family, and any visitors stay healthy, it’s important to know how to get rid of germs in the household.
When germs spread
While not all bacteria are harmful, there are many varieties that can make you sick. Germs can spread from one person to another and from person to surface.
Different rooms in your home have different types of germs you need to be aware of too. In order to eliminate the germs, you need to start room by room.
Here’s what to look for, around the house:
The first place you need to begin with is the kitchen. Any area where food is prepared and stored has more bacteria.
Dish sponges and rags lying near the sink are the dirtiest places in your kitchen. They have more germs than even bathroom faucet handles.
There are many other kitchen items that need frequent cleaning, including:
- Coffee maker
- Cutting boards
To help keep these areas clean, use disinfectant wipes on the countertop, refrigerator and on the faucet. And use them regularly.
Also, soak the sponges in warm water with a teaspoon of bleach and change your dish towels a couple of times a week to get rid of germs. Always wash your hands before and after you touch the food too.
Switches, handles, and knobs
Never overlook knobs, switches, and handles when cleaning the house. Many people tend to assume that the bathroom doorknob is the dirtiest place in the house but there are many other places that are ranked higher with bacteria (Forbes).
Whaaaa? Yes. As per Forbes, some places where you’ll find a whole lot of germs are:
- Microwave handles
- Refrigerator handles
- Bathroom light switches
- Stove knobs
So now you know not to clean these spots with disinfecting wipes. At least if you’re wanting to get rid of germs, that is.
Get rid of germs in the bathroom too
You scrub dirt off your body in the bathroom, sure, but do you ever think about whether the bathroom you’re in in really clean? Due to the moisture from a hot shower, the bathroom remains a favorite place for germ growth.
Thus, you need to pay special attention to certain spots when cleaning the washroom, such as:
- Shower walls
- Countertop (especially by the toothbrushes)
- Floor area surrounding the toilet
- Floor space around the vanity
While cleaning the tub and shower once a week makes sense, use your intuition as to whether to do the other places on the list above more often than that. For example, wiping the counter with a disinfectant daily makes sense for a family bathroom.
Whether you call it a living room, sitting room, den, front room, or common room, it’s all the same: A single room to relax and unwind together as a family as well as host guests. It’s likely the most used room in your house.
But there’s a danger that comes with sharing a room among many people. And, yes, I mean more than having a messy house. I’m talking about the spreading of bacteria on shared surfaces.
There are many different items you likely share:
- Computer keyboards
- Remote controls
If you have carpet flooring then there’s also the growth of bacteria on it. When guests come and go they might leave dirt and debris on the carpet.
Did you know that a carpet can hold about four times its weight in dirt or even more? It’s startling to think it could be dirtier than a street in the city.
All the more reason to get a professional carpet cleaning, especially if you’ve never had one done. My friends rent out a suite in their home and they say they always ensure the suite’s carpets are pro cleaned before a new tenant moves in.
Summary on how to get rid of germs
The best way to reduce or eliminate germs is to keep things clean and organized. Thus, you need to schedule cleaning of different rooms in your home from time to time.
To help you start getting organized, use a free printable cleaning checklist that I shared before in a post. Then you have a gameplan.
As for what to use while cleaning, it’ll depend on the type of surface, obviously, and whether you go green for part or all of the cleaning tasks. Water, a bleaching element, and disinfect are essentials for a residence; obviously keep them locked up or high up if you have kids.
A hand sanitizer is also handy to have around for when you need it. Sometimes I keep a travel one in my purse to use after I pump gas or take out the garbage on the way to the car, for example.
Psst… Good habits help!
All of the above advice is much easier to keep on top of too when you maintain good habits around your place. Just a few to point out are taking off your shoes before walking into the house and washing your hands after using the bathroom.
When you the house is clean and tidy, you will minimize the chances of germs, illnesses, and infections significantly.
How do you get rid of germs? Also, how do you keep from getting paranoid about whether surfaces are clean enough?