8 Spots Germs Love to Lurk in Your Home
by Joseph Mercola: Boost
Your Metabolism, Curb Cancer, and Slash Blood Sugar with This Easy
watch TV while they absent-mindedly chew their fingernails, snack
on food and flip through channels, leaving all kinds of bacteria
on the remote. Make sure to sanitize the remote control regularly
to prevent sickness.
Tub and shower
may have 100 times more bacteria than the trash can, according to
an in-home bacteria study conducted by the Center for Hygiene and
Health in Home and Community. The Hygiene Council recommends that
showers and tubs be disinfected twice a week to get rid of dead
skin cells left in the tub that can carry germs too.
Pet food dish
Most pet food
dishes stay on the floor and do not get washed regularly.
Kitchen cloths and sponges
use sponges or cloths to wipe germs from surfaces in the kitchen.
As a result, 70 percent of kitchen sponges in U.S. homes failed
the hygiene test by having high levels of bacteria, according to
the Hygiene Council. The council recommends running sponges through
the dishwasher regularly and washing kitchen cloths on the hot cycle
in the washing machine.
Microwave touch screen
This spot is
notorious for not getting cleaned. Even though the food comes out
cooked, the germs that can make you sick are left on the outside
of the microwave for the next person to touch. It is important to
wipe down the touch screen regularly, especially after cooking raw
light switch is practically unavoidable, but keeping it clean is
not. The bathroom light switch can have as many germs as the trash
bin. Disinfect light switches twice a week, or every day if a member
of your household is sick.
Baby changing table
changes, the baby wipes container, the diaper packaging, the trash
can and anything around the changing area get contaminated with
bacteria through touching after handling a dirty diaper. The baby
changing table area should be cleaned often.
wash their hands after handling raw meat in the kitchen, but they
touch the faucet to turn on the water and do not think about the
bacteria that they leave. The Hygiene Council found more than half
of faucets in American homes are covered in bacteria.
Tribune August 16, 2009
human hand harbors 150
species of bacteria, some harmless and even beneficial, others
capable of causing serious illness. Any number of those bacteria
can be left behind every time you touch something and considering
that in the United States, Americans actually touch about 300 different
surfaces every 30 minutes, there are a lot of germs being spread
In fact, regular
contact with household items is thought to be the trigger for over
65 percent of colds, 50 percent of all cases of diarrhea and 50
percent to 80 percent of food-borne illnesses.
Among the worst
offenders are those objects you touch often but rarely clean, such
as your kitchen faucet, TV remote control, doorknobs, refrigerator
door handles, computer keyboards, mice and trackballs, and light
So you can
make a major improvement in decreasing the spread of infections
in your home and where you work if you make certain that someone
is REGULARLY cleaning the kitchen faucet, TV remote control, doorknobs,
refrigerator door handles, computer keyboards, mice and trackballs,
and light switches.
This may not
seem like a big change, but I can confidently assure you that preventing
these infections is FAR easier and less expensive than treating
A recent Washington
Post article also cited a study showing ALL
salt and pepper shakers tested were contaminated with cold germs.
sponge is also likely to be one of the most contaminated objects
in your home. The Hygiene Council found that 70 percent of kitchen
sponges in U.S. homes failed the hygiene test by having high levels
of bacteria. Adding to the “yuck” factor is that when you use a
contaminated sponge to “clean” your counters or dishes, you are
essentially spreading those germs around even more.
While it is
a mistake to ignore the basic hygiene steps that can keep disease-causing
germs in check in your home … it is an even bigger mistake to go
on a disinfecting rampage through your house.
Perfectly OK to Have Some Germs in Your Home
In fact, it’s
quite impossible NOT to have them. No matter how diligent you are
at keeping your home clean, germs are a part of life and you’ve
got to learn how to live with them.
Your home should
not be a sterile environment, and if you’re attempting to turn it
into one by dousing everything with antibacterial cleansers and
hand sanitizers you are doing yourself and your family an extreme
This is especially
true if you have young children, as they need to be exposed to common
bacteria and viruses. If your child is healthy, this exposure will
only make his or her immune system stronger. Unfortunately, children
are now growing up without being exposed to the bacteria, viruses
and parasites that have existed throughout the world even
in developed countries like the United States since the beginning
To some extent,
this is a good thing. But to children’s immune systems, which are
not being exposed to bacteria and viruses like they were in the
past, it results in an excessive
In other words,
children’s immune systems are becoming unable to differentiate between
real threats and harmless items like pollen and dust-bunnies. The
result is a significant rise in allergies, asthma and autoimmune
diseases in the Western world.
system, too, can benefit from a “workout” here and there as it reacts
normally to common bacteria and viruses in your environment.
You Do Clean, Do So Smartly and Safely
your home is not at all necessary or wise, but it is a good idea
to cleanse frequently used household items regularly, especially
if someone in your home has been sick. But please avoid using commercial
disinfectants and chemical cleaners to do so.
cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals that are not listed
on the label. A manufacturer can omit any ingredient that is considered
a “secret formula” from its label, and many of these secret ingredients
are toxic and carcinogenic.
You can actually
keep your home fresh and clean by making
your own natural cleaning products using items you probably
already have around your home.
To clean with
natural products all you need is:
essential oils (optional)
- Spray bottles
- Micro fiber
- Vodka (optional)
Here are some
simple tips on how to use these all-natural cleansers:
- Use baking
soda mixed with apple cider vinegar to clean drains and bathtubs,
or sprinkle baking soda along with a few drops of lavender oil
or tea tree oil (which have antibacterial qualities) as a simple
scrub for your bathroom or kitchen.
can be used to clean almost anything in your home. Try it mixed
with liquid castile soap, essential oils and water to clean floors,
windows, bathrooms and kitchens. It can even be used as a natural
peroxide is another natural disinfectant that is safer to use
than chlorine bleach for disinfecting and whitening.
- Vodka is
a disinfectant that can remove red wine stains, kill wasps and
bees and refreshes upholstery (put it into a mister and simply
spray on the fabric).
One of my favorite
cleaning tricks and one
of the only reasons I ever use a microwave is to zap
Placing a wet
kitchen sponge in your microwave for two minutes will likely kill
99 percent of the bacteria hidden in the sponge.
And one of
the simplest tips to stop the spread of germs in your home is simply
washing your hands (and your kids’ hands) regularly, especially
after coming home and before eating or touching your mouth, eyes
when deciding when and how often to wash your hands, as you will
want to avoid becoming obsessive about it; your skin is your primary
defense against bacteria NOT the soap. It is rare when a
germ on your skin will cause a problem it is typically only
an issue when you transfer that to your nose, mouth or an open wound
like cracked skin.
So please avoid
anything but absolutely crucial hand washing as that will actually
increase your risk of getting sick by providing an entryway for
potentially dangerous pathogens into your body.
Your Immune System a Fighting Chance Against Germs in Six Easy Steps
Germs are literally
everywhere and you’ve got them on your body right now. If you’re
at a computer reading this, there are likely many germs on your
computer mouse, keyboard and desk. The point is, you can’t run from
germs and there’s really no need to, especially when your immune
system is healthy.
A strong immune
system is the best defense against any pathogenic bacteria you come
across, and will serve you well if you nourish it with the proper
So relax and
get used to the idea that germs are all around you. You can co-exist
with them peacefully as long as you support your immune system by:
a good night’s sleep
outlets for the stress in your life
regularly and effectively
enough sun exposure or, alternatively, enough of the right
sugar and grains, and instead eating plenty
of raw foods
probiotic (good bacteria) or eating plenty of naturally fermented
2011 Dr. Joseph Mercola
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