Germs are everywhere. On the bus to work, on your hands, the soles of your shoes, even in your car. Most of these bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms won’t do us any harm, but a few can cause annoying allergies, horrid tummy bugs and even skin irritations. These pesky germs are not just in the areas you’d most expect -toilet bowls, kitchen bins, the floor. They lurk in rather unexpected places. And it’s not just germs either. Mould spores, house dust-mites and chemicals can also be harmful. We uncover these bug-infested hotspots, and give you easy solutions to keep you in tip top health.
If you spend plenty of time tapping away at your computer, think how many times you might also pop to the loo, eat a sandwich and sneeze. You’re touching a keyboard constantly, transferring dead skin, oil from your skin, crumbs, plus germs if you haven’t washed your hands properly after going to the toilet. This provides food for bacteria to grow and multiply, which can lead to stomach upsets.
KEEP IT CLEAN: Wash your hands! Sounds obvious, but this is the easiest way to prevent the spread of germs.And if you’re worried about germs, invest in a keyboard cover. They protect difficult-to-clean areas from spills and dirt, but can easily be removed and disinfected.
We take our mobile phones everywhere and put them down everywhere, but how often do we clean them? Never? That trusty gadget you touch and hold to your face is loaded with bacteria -more, in fact, than a toilet seat.Research shows that there’s a 20 per cent chance your mobile could be harbouring E.coli, the bug that causes tummy upsets. Even if it’s not, there’s a nine in 10 chance it’s carrying something else like the flu bug or MRSA.
KEEP IT CLEAN: Clean it with a disinfectant wipe at least once a week.
One of the worst culprits for cultivating germs in your home are bathroom towels. A recent study from the University of Arizona has found that damp, warm bathroom towels -especially ones you place on a heated towel rail after use -are the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria.
KEEP IT CLEAN: Never share towels, make sure each member of the family has their own, especially if someone has an eye or skin infection. And always wash towels at 60°C or higher at least once a week. Research says bacteria can survive washes colder than this.
Feeling bunged up, or suffering from a cough or a sudden bought of asthma? You could be allergic to the mould spores in your home.
KEEP IT CLEAN: Keep windows open as much as possible. Regularly wash shower curtains to prevent mould and mildew, and wipe around windows with a disinfectant to remove mould and prevent more from growing.
Washing up brushes, scourers and dish cloths can all be home to some horrid sickness-inducing germs including E.coli, salmonella, MRSA and the flu virus. Kitchen cloths are one of the dirtiest items in the home.