The Germs are Coming from Inside the House

We encounter a host of germs every day, from bacteria and parasites to, yes, viruses, and the battle against them begins at home. Grab some disinfectant wipes, and let’s break down the germiest items in your home.

Kitchen & Bath
Studies of germs in American homes find, unsurprisingly, that the kitchen is the most germ-ridden room. The biggest offender: your trusty sponge. Sponges can contain millions of bacteria and can quickly spread it over every surface in your kitchen. Using a paper towel or disinfectant wipe is a more effective method to clean countertops and other hard surfaces.

In the bathroom, the toothbrush holder is the biggest germ culprit, meaning yes, it’s more germ-ridden than the toilet. Yuck. Cleaning your toothbrush holder weekly will help cut back on germs and give you peace of mind when polishing your pearly whites.

Another surprising bathroom germ culprit: faucet handles. Yes, even diligent hand-washers are at risk, as the faucet’s handles are more infested with germs (especially e. coli) than the toilet. Leave a tub of disinfecting wipes near bathroom sinks and urge family members to wipe down the faucet and handles after they use them.

The Office
Clean those keysYour keyboard is full of cooties. Well, not exactly, but you may never look at a keyboard the same way when you learn that it’s dirtier than your bathroom. A study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found bacilli, staphylococci, streptococci, and micrococci, among other germs, on keyboards in the home.

Researchers recommend disinfecting the keyboard (and other electronics) at least once a week with an alcohol wipe or solution with 60-80% concentration. Alcohol evaporates quickly, avoiding potential electronic damage from excess moisture.

Living Room
Clean that clicker! We’re willing to bet that not many people sanitize the TV remote, but they should. It’s the second germiest electronic in the average household (laptops being the first), which makes sense when you think about how many hands touch it on a regular basis. Use disinfecting wipes to sanitize your remote at least once a week. You’ll find a list of disinfectants on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website.