General Health

The Not So Good Bacteria Lurking in Your Home

Home Bacteria

Keeping a house clean of germs might be harder than you think. The reason for this is because the highest concentrations of germs might be in places that you’ve never thought about before.

Before we get into that list, let’s explain about the conditions which promote germ growth.

  • Areas with lots of moisture and warm temperatures. Germs love water and warm temperatures, these are their favorite conditions to grow in.
  • Porous surfaces. Surfaces that contain little pockets to hide in are good for microbes because they are somewhat sheltered from the outside environment.
  • Places where our hands touch. Because our hands touch everything, it is very difficult to stay germ-free. Simply put, our hands are in constant contact with surfaces, and those surfaces contain germs. The most frequent things we touch tend to have more germs as a result!

That being said, here is a list of all of the unexpected places you might find those, not so good for you, germs.

1. Your Cell Phone

Because we use our cell phones for more than just communication, it is frequently in contact with our hands. As a result of using it, we can naturally find more germs on it. Phone batteries can often put out some heat, which provides a consistent temperature for germ growth. Plus, phones are fairly close to our ears and mouth, two places where different kinds of germs can reside. Using a disinfectant wipes on the phone will help to reduce the germ count.

2. Your Kitchen Sponge

Kitchen sponges are breeding grounds for germs mostly because it is a consistent source of moisture. A sponge comes into contact with used kitchen utensils, plates, cups and serving dishes. The porous nature of a sponge also provides pockets for germs to multiply in. Microwave your sponge or soak it in white vinegar for a minute to get rid of all the bad bacteria.

3. Your Beard

Recent research into the hygiene of beards has revealed some startling findings, that there is E. coli found in most beards. Scientists understand that there are small numbers of that kind of germ outside of the gut, but the concentrations can be higher in the beard. The beard can mimic the porous nature of the sponge, add the closeness to the face which is a constant source of heat and you have another place where germs can grow.

4. Your Toothbrush

You use your toothbrush twice a day to clean your mouth, which itself can contain many different bacterial strains. Plus, most toothbrushes are stored in the same room as the toilet, which means that airborne germs from other sources than the mouth have the potential for coming into contact with the toothbrush. In order to avoid this risk, store your toothbrush in a separate room or the medicine cabinet, using a toothbrush cover or cap is excellent. Remember to store it in a dry place, so it reduces the chance of it staying moist and creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

While other places like doorknobs and kitchen cabinet handles have microbes, it is much more difficult for them to survive on those metallic, non-porous surfaces. They are in open spaces with plenty of air flow. Conditions that favor dryness make it harder for germs to grow, so keeping your home at a cool temperature at all times is critical for staying healthy and keeping bacteria counts low. Consider these factors when you are cleaning and disinfecting your home!