If you have friends or family visiting over Christmas, you will want to keep everyone safe from infection, especially under the current pandemic.
To help you keep on top of things, we’ve highlighted the 10 dirties places in your home so you can make them clean again!
10. Chopping boards
We use chopping boards for a wide variety of foods – fish, vegetables, meat. Under ideal conditions, we should use a different chopping board for different things, particularly raw meat to prevent the spread of bacteria, but not every household sticks this rule.
Unsurprisingly, 18% of the chopping boards tested were contaminated with coliform bacteria – these nasties include E. coli and Salmonella.
So, what’s the answer?
As well as ensuring we use the right chopping board for the right type of food, the type of chopping board can make a huge difference. Nonporous materials are much more hygienic and easier to clean. If you must use wood, choose a hard wood and always clean between uses.
When it comes to cleaning, you can’t do much better than hydrogen peroxide. After use, it breaks down into harmless oxygen and water which won’t leave behind any residue or harm your delicious recipes!
9. Cooker knobs
This one might be obvious. Food splatters during cooking, repeatedly touching knobs during food preparation. What is more of a concern is that often, immediately after touching these filthy specimens, we will often get our hands right back into our food preparation.
Regularly remove and properly wash and rinse your knobs. Nothing special, easy peasy!
8. Kitchen worktops
That surface where you roll out pastry is also the surface where you put carrier bags down after shopping. You might put a handbag down or even just rest your grubby hands there.
In tests, 30% of kitchen worktops had coliform bacteria present. Do you still want to make that pie?
How to solve the problem…
Different surface types need different treatment. Natural surfaces like granite call for washing up liquid and hot water. This will also work for stainless steel but should always be dried with a soft cloth. For an extra shine, a dab of baby oil works a treat!
For a deeper clean, hydrogen peroxide will work on most surfaces and kills 99.9999% of pathogens.
7. Pet toys
Have you thought about what our furry friends lick before they get that toy in their mouths? You’re not going to stop throwing a toy for your pet, but you should be aware of the germs that transfer onto your hands each time you shout ‘fetch’.
Pet toys harbour so many germs… too many to list here. They include mould, yeast and staph bacteria.
What do I do?
Always wash or sanitise your hands after playing with your pets. You should also clean plastic toys every week or two in the sink and run fabric ones through your washing machine.
6. Tap handles
We turn on the tap with our dirty hands… we wash those grubby mitts, and we then turn off the dirty tap with our clean hands.
Researchers found that most taps in both the bathroom and kitchen have coliform bacteria present as well as yeast and mould.
Yuck, what’s the solution?
Regularly clean your taps and spray with a good disinfectant cleaner. Then use a firm toothbrush (not the one you put in your mouth) to remove any stubborn grime.
5. Coffee machine
It may be your reason for getting out of bed in the morning, but most people neglect to properly clean their coffee machines.
Finding show that haf of water reservoirs in coffee makers contain yeast and mould.
Eww, what can I do?
After each use, you should wipe out the reservoir. A few times a week, you should properly clean each component. Once a month, for a thorough clean, decalcify using white vinegar, letting it stand for 30 minutes, then run it through the machine and flush with water.
4. Pet food dishes
Our pets aren’t known to be the cleanest of eaters. The same germs that are present on pet toys are also present in their feeding bowls. What’s worse, is that they multiply faster in the presence of food particles.
How do I deal with that?
Clean your pet’s water and food dishes ever day. It’s also recommended that you deep clean them once per week with a water & bleach solution using about one cap of bleach per gallon of water.
3. Toothbrush holder
How often do you brush your teeth then place your dripping toothbrush back onto the holder?
They quickly become breeding grounds for coliform bacteria that make you sick, staph bacteria that can give skin infections, mould, and yeast.
Should I stop brushing my teeth?
That’s not the answer. You can however put your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher a couple of times a week or give it a good soak and scrub.
2. Kitchen sink
It’s where we wash the dishes we eat from, but it’s also one of the dirties places in our homes. Coliform bacteria was present in almost half of the sinks tested. The moist nature is also the perfect habitat for moulds and yeast.
Are paper plates the answer?
That’s just wasteful! You can easily clean and sanitise your sinks. You should disinfect the sides and bottom of your sink twice a week using an appropriate cleaner or bleach solution.
You should also sanitise your drains and any disposal unit once a month using a similar solution.
1. Kitchen sponge
That right, the filthiest place In your home is the same thing you rub all over your plates and cutlery.
75% of kitchen sponges are contaminated with coliform bacteria. They are also home to mould, yeast and numerous other nasties.
That makes me feel sick… what can I do?
Aside from replacing your sponge every week or two, you can also run them through your dishwasher. Another option is to put your damp sponge in the microwave (don’t put it in dry) for a minute or two.
A more hygienic option is to use microfibre cloths which you can just pop in the washing machine at the end of the day.