Last month was the first instalment of our three month feature covering the most surprising locations of dirt and bacteria in your home. Forget the kitchen bin, the toilet or the mouldy food in the fridge, because they’re nowhere near the top of the list of bacteria ridden places in the home. In fact, those items that you’re likely to wear gloves to touch and clean are likely to be the least of your problems. Last month we saw that kitchen sinks and toothbrushes are two of the locations with the highest bacteria count in your home. So, what do we have in store this month?
Salt & Pepper shakers Your salt and pepper shakers are likely to sit on the very table that you and your family gather around to eat every day and they’re likely to be covered in bacteria.
A study, conducted by the University of Virginia in 2008, showed that salt and pepper shakers were one of the main causes of a cold in a test group of 30 adults. These adults were showing the first symptoms of a cold and were asked to name ten places that they’d touched in their homes in the previous 18 hours. These places were then all tested. These tests found viruses on 41% of surfaces but found the cold virus on 100% of the salt and pepper shakers.
One of the best ways to banish the bacteria from your dining table is to wipe off the salt and pepper shakers at the same time you clean your table. Use an anti-bacterial spray on your table and shakers, but bear in mind that the best way to protect yourself and your family against infection, is to wash your hands before and after.
TV remote control The TV remote gets everywhere, it’s pushed down the side of the sofa, held in sweaty palms for hours on end, it’s dropped on the floor and it’s sneezed and coughed on by all members of the family. Remember, anything that people touch will have a lot of germs on it, and considering everyone touches the TV remote, you should expect it to be a haven for bacteria.
The only way to protect yourself from the constant cycle of germs that are breeding on your remote control is to use an alcohol or bleach wipe – be aware that this is not advisable with children because of their tendency to put things in their mouths – or to wash your hands before and after use.