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See Where Dangerous Germs Are Hiding In Your Home

See Where Dangerous Germs Are Hiding In Your Home

It’s time for spring cleaning. You’re probably tackling the obvious spots, like scrubbing the toilet and dusting off the doormat. But there are spots in your house you probably haven’t thought about, that are crawling with germs.

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Kitchen sponge

The thing you’re using to clean your dishes can be riddled with bacteria. In a recent study, researchers looked at germs on several kitchen sponges and found 362 different kinds of bacteria in the crevices. On one sponge alone, it could have 5.5 trillion microscopic bugs crawling around it.

What to do with the sponge? You might be tempted to toss that sponge in the microwave. Check out this study that found the microwave trick, doesn’t really sanitize your sponge. The researchers found that microwaving the cleaning tool only killed around 60% of bacteria. In fact, sponges that were cleaned in the microwave or dishwasher actually contained higher amounts of bacteria. The experts found that several germs survived microwaving, then grew and spread quickly on the sponge. It’s best to throw away your sponge and get a new one every week. Or you can use a bristled brush to clean your dishes; they dry easier and normally house less bacteria.

Towels in the bathroom

Bathroom towels can harbor lots of germs because they’re the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. After you use a towel, it’s damp and warm and hanging in a dark bathroom. One microbiologist’s study found 90% of towels tested contained coliform and 14% had E. coli.

How often should they be washed? Use a towel a maximum of two times, then throw it in the wash. Experts say it’s also a good idea to wash towels separately from your clothes.

Shower curtains

Scrubbing the shower? Take a look at the plastic shower curtain liner too. Sometimes you can visibly see the mold that could be growing at the bottom but it can also have hidden bacteria on it too. Researchers found shower curtains can harbor 60 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

How to wash it? Remove the rings and toss it in the washer on a cool setting. Or you can wash the liner in the tub with your preferred cleaner. Hang the liner to let it air dry.

Shower and tub surfaces

Experts say these services should really be wiped dry after every use to prevent bacteria from growing.

How often should they be cleaned? Showers and tubs should be disinfected up to three times a week. That’s a lot. But there’s an easy way to do it. Use a product that contains at least 3% hydrogen peroxide. Lightly spray the surface and walk away. Hydrogen peroxide evaporates quickly, so it doesn’t need to be wiped down.

Toothbrush holder

The National Sanitation Foundation tested surfaces in more than 20 homes. It found 27% of toothbrush holders had coliform bacteria, 14% had staph and 64% had mold growing on them.

How to clean it? Some dish soap and hot water will do the trick.

Pet beds and toys

Your pet brings in all sorts of dirt and bugs. They can also bring in bacteria and germs like MRSA and fecal matter. Pet toys can become home to things like yeast, mold and staph.

How to clean a pet bed? When you take the sheets off your bed to wash them, grab the cover off your pet’s bed and throw that in the washer too.

How to clean pet toys? If the toy is made of fabric, throw it in the washing machine every could weeks. If your pet toys are made of rubber or plastic, toss them in the sink and wash with hot water and dish soap every couple of weeks.

Kitchen sponge

The thing you’re using to clean your dishes can be riddled with bacteria. In a recent study, researchers looked at germs on several kitchen sponges and found 362 different kinds of bacteria in the crevices. On one sponge alone, it could have 5.5 trillion microscopic bugs crawling around it.

What to do with the sponge? You might be tempted to toss that sponge in the microwave. Check out this study that found the microwave trick, doesn’t really sanitize your sponge. The researchers found that microwaving the cleaning tool only killed around 60% of bacteria. In fact, sponges that were cleaned in the microwave or dishwasher actually contained higher amounts of bacteria. The experts found that several germs survived microwaving, then grew and spread quickly on the sponge. It’s best to throw away your sponge and get a new one every week. Or you can use a bristled brush to clean your dishes; they dry easier and normally house less bacteria.

Cleaning utensils

The tools you use every day could also have unsafe levels of bacteria. In the National Sanitation Foundation’s study, it found 36% of those tools contained E. coli. Rubber spatulas, blender gaskets and can openers were at the top of the list. Can openers and blender gaskets were also high on the list when it found 36% of items tested were positive for salmonella. And 43% of items tested were positive for yeast and mold. Rubber spatulas and blender gaskets were on that list as well.

How to clean those tools? If your item needs to be assembled, make sure you’re disassembling it when you’re cleaning it with hot water and dish soap.

Coffee maker

Experts say dangerous bacteria festers inside the water reservoir and could make you sick.

In fact, in a study, 50% of coffee water reservoirs swabbed -had mold and yeast, and 9% had coliform bacteria.

How to properly clean it? You should clean the coffee maker by washing the inside of the machine about once a month. It’s easy, just add equal parts vinegar and hot water and let it sit for a half-hour. Run the mixture through the coffee maker cycle. Then run a few more cycles of just water until the vinegar smell is gone. Here’s more on how to clean your Keurig coffee machine.