The Plain Truth

The Plain Truth
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The 10 Dirtiest Places in Your Home

When we think of dirty places, the home isn't the first thing to come to mind. But in all actuality, millions of microbes and viruses lurk around the house in some obvious and not-so-obvious places. What we consider to be a filthy area of the house is sometimes cleaner than we thought and the real problems exist elsewhere. So before you clean house and miss some spots, be sure to tackle these 10 dirtiest places first.

  1. Kitchen sink

    Believe it or not, kitchen sinks are dirtier than bathrooms. The kitchen sink, including the basin, faucet handles, and drain are breeding grounds for bacteria and dangerous pathogens, such as salmonella, E. coli, and campylobacter. The drain is by far the filthiest part of the sink, with more than 500,000 bacteria per square inch. The faucet handles of a sink can have up to 25,000 bacteria per square inch. The entire sink should be sanitized with a bleach and water solution or another tough disinfectant. It's also a good idea to clean and replace your sponges and brushes every month. You can blast bacteria growing on sponges by placing them in the dishwasher during the drying cycle.

  2. Bathtub

    You cannot get clean in the bathtub without dirtying it up in the process. Bathtubs can contain up to 250,000 bacteria per square inch, making it one of the most unsanitary places in the house. Studies show that this germy surface can harbor staph aureus and staphylococcusbacteria, both of which can lead to dangerous skin infections and illnesses. The act of cleaning increases the amount of bacteria and the bathtub's moist environment allows it to grow more rapidly. It's advised to disinfect the bathtub at least once a week with a tough cleanser and scrub away soap scum.

  3. Remote control

    Remote controls are some of the dirtiest items in your house. Remotes are touched by multiple hands and are rarely disinfected. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona, single men have the highest levels of bacteria on their remotes. After swabbing the remote controls in 30 bachelor and 30 bachelorette pads, a shocking 30 percent contained coliform fecal bacteria. Banish the bacteria on remote controls by taking it apart and cleaning the individual parts with a disinfectant or plain ole soap and water.

  4. Trash can

    It's not surprising that the trash can is one of the filthiest places in the whole house. Although most people use trash bags to collect garbage, the actual containers see very little cleaning. Trash cans should be disinfected every time you change the bag. Liquid, food particles, and other debris in the can should be washed off with a disinfectant and allowed to air dry.

  5. Doorknobs and handles

    Doorknobs and handles are some of the filthiest surfaces in the house. Not only are doorknobs and handles touched several times each day, but people also forget to clean them on a regular basis. Doorknobs and handles can harbor various types of bacteria like staphylococcus, E. coli, salmonella, as well as the flu virus. Doorknobs and handles are easy to clean and should be disinfected at least once a week.

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