5 Indoor Surfaces We Don't Clean Often Enough
Salmonella is a harmful and dangerous bacteria that causes food poisoning.
While most of us are aware that germs, molds, and bacteria can be found in common household locations –like the bathroom, some of the most germ-friendly spaces are all-too-often overlooked.
If these areas aren’t cleaned properly, they can quickly become hotbeds for bacteria, creating a prime environment for germs, and a number of other dangerous organisms to grow and thrive.
Here are five indoor surfaces that most of us don’t clean often enough. Take a look to see which spaces you may want to start cleaning more!
- Work Desk
Research shows that work desks contain more bacteria per square inch than toilet seats. If this comes as a surprise to you, you’re not alone. Most are unaware that typical office work desk, including computer, keyboard, and mouse, can harbor up to 25,000 bacteria per square inch. This is because many of us eat at the desk, and it can easily become a magnet for mold and bacteria. The workplace toilet seat, on the other hand, only has about 49 bacteria per square inch.
To keep germs from spreading, and help prevent sickness, be sure to disinfect your desk, keyboard, and mouse daily. This will help to keep the viruses and microbes at bay.
- Cutting Boards
While it’s probably no surprise to hear that cutting boards are among the dirtiest surfaces in the home, you may not know that even after you wash them, they can still harbor germs. Statistics show that eighteen percent of cutting boards tested by the NSF tested positive for bacteria from the same family of E. coli and Salmonella.
To prevent your cutting boards from becoming a problem, wash them in between uses with hot soapy water. Try to avoid using cutting boards made from soft woods, since knife marks can be perfect places for mold or bacteria to grow. Having a separate, nonporous cutting board for raw meat is also a good idea, and can help to prevent the spread of bacteria to other food.
- Kitchen Sink
When you think about it, your kitchen sink has certainly seen its share of disgusting things. The kitchen sink is used when we prepare food, clean dishes, rinse off dirty items, wash our hands, and so much more. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the dirtiest surfaces in the home. Forty-five percent of all sinks tested by the NSF had potentially harmful coliform bacteria. Not something we want near our food!
It is recommended that kitchen sinks are thoroughly washed at least twice a week to cut back on germs and bacteria. Use surface cleaners that are designed to clean and disinfect.
- Handles and Knobs
Stove knobs, door handles, and faucet handles are some of the worst surfaces for harboring germs and bacteria. This also makes them the perfect environment for mold. Stove handles and knobs are often overlooked and under-cleaned. Bathroom and kitchen faucet handles are another prime place for bacteria and germs; when we wash our dirty hands –the first thing we touch is the faucet handle, and as a result these handles often contain bacteria, yeast, and mold.
Combat the issue of contaminated handles and knobs by taking measures to disinfect and clean them regularly. Clean faucets often with cleaning products that are designed for molds and bacteria.
- Toothbrush Holders
We take special care to ensure that our toothbrushes are clean and germ-free; replacing them every so often and rinsing them off before and after we use them; but then we place them in the toothbrush holder –a place that’s full of bacteria and mold. Tests have shown that sixty-four percent of toothbrush holders harbor mold and yeast. This is because the gunk that we wash off our toothbrushes drips down into the holder where it becomes trapped. Another disturbing fact: holders are often placed in an area where contaminated water droplets from the flushing toilet can reach them!
Protect your toothbrushes by investing in toothbrush covers or store your toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet to keep them safe from toilet water. Regularly disinfect toothbrushes by soaking then in antibacterial mouthwash or even running them through the dishwasher on a hot, soap-free cycle.
While knowing that bacteria and germs are inhabiting some common surfaces in your home isn’t exactly comforting, it’s important to be aware of their prime locations, as well as the dangers that these organisms present. By being aware, you’ll know exactly where to clean, and will be able to take steps towards ensuring that your home is a safe, and healthy place to be.
These are just a few of the many surfaces we touch and use every day: surfaces that should be cleaned more often than they are! Which surfaces are you going to tackle first?