Some viruses can last for hours on a surface – sometimes on things you don’t even think about. But when you do think about the dirtiest place in your home, the first place you might say is the toilet followed by the bathroom and kitchen.
But how would you feel if we told you that a study conducted in 2012 found that mobile phones had 10 times more disease-causing bacteria than most toilet seats?
The house is our safe place, it’s where we relax and recuperate after busy days at work. The last thing we want to be worrying about is the build-up of dirt, germs and bacteria lurking in every room. Whether you spend a couple of hours a week cleaning or get help from trained domestic cleaners, it’s important you’re aware of the spots that are breeding grounds for dirt, germs and bacteria. Let’s take a look at three of the dirtiest places in your home.
The kitchen is probably the place that gets cleaned the most. If there’s a spillage or raw food on the worktop it will see a spay of the disinfectant. However, there are some hidden spots which harbour bacteria, dirt and grime. A study by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) found that more than 75% of dish sponges and clothes had salmonella, E. coli and faecal matter on them. Other areas which may have a few germs lurking on them:
- The kettle handle
- The fridge (especially areas which hold uncooked and unwashed food)
- The microwave
When cleaning your kitchen, use wipes and sprays which are at least 70% alcohol to help fight bacteria and don’t forget about those areas which are touched regularly.
The living room
The living room is a relaxing zone. It’s where we settle down for the night and spend time as a family. But did you know it is also a bit of a health hazard? If we take a look at the bacteria and germs lurking in one of the comfiest rooms in the house, you might not want to curl up on the sofa. Germs stick to you like glue, so sitting on the sofa in clothes which, for example, have also been sat on a bus could be transmitting bacteria into your home and trigger skin irritation and other health conditions – and this could be even worse if you sit on the bed in ‘outside clothes’. Other areas in the living room which hold nasty germs include:
- Remote control (and any other hand-held electronic devices for that matter)
- The carpet
Vacuum regularly to reduce dust and any germs brought in from people’s shoes. Also, use antibacterial wipes on remotes and frequently touched areas.
Your home office, while it doesn’t see any of the typical things we think spread germs (like raw meat), it is used frequently and so can get visits from harmful bacteria. The worst places dirt builds up is on the computer keyboard and the mouse. This can be worse if you eat at your desk – and let us not forget that toilet breaks happen during the day.
To keep this area clean, avoid eating at your desk. Keep some hand sanitiser on your desk (which is at least 60% alcohol); you can use it before you eat if you do want to work through lunch. Although the NSF did find yeast and mould on the keyboard when carrying out its tests, so maybe chose a different room to tuck into that sandwich in.