A Healthy Look at Germs

Not all germs are bad, and sanitizing every surface multiple times a day is unnecessary for the typical home. However, there are certain areas that harbor some nasty germs, and some of them may surprise you. Here are the top ten spots that germs hang out, and how to properly prevent illnesses and contamination.

1. Kitchen Sponge

This is especially dangerous, as you are using this very sponge to wipe down surfaces that touch food. Sterilize your sponge daily by putting it through the dishwasher, boiling it for 3 minutes, or popping it in the microwave for 2 minutes (be sure that it is wet!).

2. Dishrags

Same issue as sponges, although there is less potential for bacteria since the surface is not porous. Prevent by using the above methods used for the sponge, put it through the washing machine, or allow to dry completely, as bacteria need moisture to thrive.

3. Kitchen Sink

Because of the various foods and other particles in the moist drain, the sink is a prime area for growing bacteria. Clean the drain with baking soda as far down as you can reach and scrub the sink often, especially after it comes in contact with items such as raw chicken or eggs.

4. Wet Laundry

E.Coli bacteria is often present in laundry, and most people do not take the proper precaution to prevent the spread of bacteria to other surfaces. Some ways to minimize the spread of bacteria are to transfer wet laundry to dryer immediately, rather than let it sit damp in the machine, wash undergarments in hot water, and do not carry clean clothing in the same laundry bag that held the dirty clothing.

5. Bathtub

Be sure to clean regularly! The moist, warm surface can harbor tons of bacteria.

6. Floors

Especially the kitchen and bathroom floors. Wash at least once a week with hot water and a cleaning solution. Close the toilet lid before flushing to avoid spray onto the floor.

7. Toys

If you have children, their toys can often became contaminated with all sorts of germs. Clean toys regularly using a vinegar dunk, warm soapy water, or run them through the dishwasher.

8. Kitchen trashcan

It is self explanatory on how it got there, but to prevent contamination to other areas, wash your trashcan out frequently, use a can with a push pedal to avoid touching with your hands while cooking, and if possible, get a stainless steel can which kills bacteria.

9. Phone

Both cellular and landlines are filled with germs. Wash with warm soapy water or a rag soaked in vinegar.

10. Cutting board

Especially ones used to cut raw meat. Be sure to wash with very hot water and soap, or run through the dishwasher. Use a brush or rag to get in the grooves to rid the board of all dangerous bacterias.

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About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)