We can’t see them but they are there. Germs are waiting to be passed from surfaces to our hands to our eyes, our noses and our mouths. Pretty unsavory thought, but keeping on top of cleaning those surfaces where germs lurk will hopefully help keep you and your family from becoming sick.
Different germs are thought to live varying amounts of time.
A recent study from the State University of New York at Buffalo showed that bacteria can persist for weeks or months on certain surfaces due to the formation of biofilms that make them more resistant to general cleaning than other forms of bacteria.
In an attempt to take a stand against bacteria, make sure you pay attention to the following everyday surfaces.
1) Kitchen sink, drain and faucet screen
Our sinks and drains often look clean after we have rinsed down food or the like. But actually they are hidden sources of tons of bacteria from every fork, dish or fruit we have rinsed in them. Make sure you scrub out the sink with a disinfectant and wipe around the drain every couple of days.
Microbiologist Kelly Reynolds explained in Prevention that bacteria can build up on the metal screen in the faucet where the water comes out. A biofilm may form there that can break off and get onto our plates or food.
She suggests soaking the screen once a week in dilute bleach solution and let the water run after you replace it.
2) Water faucet handles
We don’t think much about what is left on the faucet handle after we reach for it to wash our hands. Or where the hands of the person who turned on the faucet before us have been. Faucets should be wiped down with a disinfectant at least once a week.
3) Towels and sponges
Many of us like to use kitchen towels to avoid overusing paper ones but unbeknownst to us, those kitchen towels may harbor fecal bacteria that can be harmful.
1) How Long Can Germs Live? Huffington Post.ca. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
2) 10 Worst Germ Hot Spots You Touch Every Day. Prevention. Com. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
3) Gerba, Charles P. et al. Bacterial Occurrence in Kitchen Hand Towels. Food Protection Trends September/October Vol. 34 No. 5 pages 312-317. Foodprotection.org. Retrieved October 3, 2016.