3 Facts about Household Germs

Household germs are everywhere. The secret to staying healthy is to know where they are hiding and how to stop them from spreading. The following provides some useful  information about germs that can help keep you healthy.

There Are Four Main Types of Germs

Bacteria - These are single cell organisms that can either make us sick or aid in the development of vaccines. Healthy bacteria live in intestinal tracks and help with the digestive system.

Viruses - These are the germs that need a host to survive. They are spread by way of body fluids, attaching to air born elements. Though they can wait patently to be picked up through the touching of door knobs, telephone mouthpieces, toilet seats or counter tops, they will not survive long without a host.

Fungi - These are not usually health threatening, but they grow prolifically in moist warm zone loving germs. Fungi germs are the cause for of athletes foot and yeast infections.

Protozoa - Single-celled organisms that live in water and are often contracted through contaminated water.

Once germs find a host, they begin to eat and destroy healthy cells. As they work through the host, they give off "toxins" that cause symptoms like skin irritation, high fever, flu, coughs, head aches, or diarrhea.

Fact 2: Germs Lurk Everywhere

Some of the more common, but most overlooked places for germs to hide and thrive are:

  • Bathroom floor mat - The constant damp bathroom traffic is a breeding ground for germs to spread.
  • Your tooth brush - The toothbrush is constantly moistened by frequent use and then often stored in a dark drawer.
  • Your TV Remote - This constantly passed on item is almost never cleaned, so it can be the number one cause of illness being passed from one family member to the next.
  • Dirty dishes in the sink - E. coli thrives in this environment.
  • Kitchen sponge being wiped over a kitchen cabinet - When using a sponge that smells musty to wipe a counter top, you are spreading bacteria all over that flat surface.
  • Salt and pepper shakers - These are also transfer catalysts similar to the TV remote. They're passed around the table often and almost never washed or wiped.

Fact 3: You Can Drastically Reduce Exposure by Following These Simple Habits

Each time you come into your home from work, school, shopping etc., wash your hands. This kills the most common germs as contacted through daily exposure to human interaction.

Once a week, wipe down everything that is frequently touched. Use a mix of 3/4 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Use a spray bottle to mist the rag or spritz directly onto the item being cleaned.

Soak each family member's toothbrush in a 1/2 mix of hydrogen peroxide and water each day. Allow brush to dry between bushings and do not store in a dark location.

Kitchen sponges need to be replaced once every 2 weeks. In between replacement, wash them in your dishwasher or toss them into the microwave for a few minutes to sterilize.

Don't allow your dirty dishes to sit in the sink indefinitely. Wipe counter, cutting boards, stove tops etc. with some sort of disinfectant frequently and based on use.