January 18, 2012

January 18, 2012
Are You Hosting Billions of Germs in Your House?

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and we have almost made it through another work week. I hope you are having a safe and great week so far. It has been another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

From reading my blog, you know Todd and I have been dealing with illness since the start of the year. But what causes illness. Is it the germs out in public or could it be germs around the house?

Even the tidiest house hosts multitudes of unwanted guests. You can not see the microscopic moochers, but your next sneeze, sniffle or full fledged stomach flu might come courtesy of the bacteria and viruses growing by the billions on surfaces you touch every day. Here are 12 top spots where germs lurk and some suggestions for wiping them out. (Hint: Your dishwasher is your new best friend.)

1. Kitchen sponge

The sponge you use to clean with is the germiest thing in your house. It is a happy home for bacteria because it is wet, moist and you are always picking up food with it is you wipe up crumbs and spills, Gerba says. Tuck sponges into the dishwasher before you run it the heat will kill the salmonella and E. coli hiding within. Another option: Pop your wet (nonmetal) sponges and dishrags in the microwave for about two minutes. Be sure to allow them to cool before retrieving them.

2. Kitchen sink

There is usually more fecal bacteria in your kitchen sink than in your toilet bowl after you flush because many people clean the toilet regularly, but only rinse out the sink. But because your sink is often wet, bacteria from uncooked meat products grow quickly there. Stainless steel sinks should be scrubbed daily with disinfecting cleanser. For ceramic or cast iron sinks, use diluted bleach (1 tablespoon of water in a gallon of water).

3. Cutting boards

Raw meat and even fresh produce can carry E. coli and salmonella, so cutting boards need to be sanitized after each use. Run plastic boards through the dishwasher and clean wooden ones with diluted bleach.

4. The faucet

Water that has been sitting in a pipe all night can become a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause respiratory or stomach illnesses. Run the water for a minute every morning before you shower or fill a glass.

5. TV remotes, telephones and video game controllers

What do you do when your are sick? You jump in bed with the TV remote. Clean these regularly with a disinfectant wipe to banish flu and cold viruses.

6. Coffee tables

Like to put your feet up after a long day? Odds are you are sprinkling salmonella, campylobacter and other fecal bacteria on your coffee table. So consider leaving your shoes at the door.

Tomorrow I will give you six more places to think about in the home.

Hope these tips help you stay healthy. Hope you have a great Hump Day!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab