It’s Spring time.

The arrival of Spring means many things to many people. For most though, Spring has become the traditional time for that all-encompassing Spring Clean!

While we often wait for this time of year to prompt us to ‘clean’ house, it’s important to remember that our homes can be germ collectors year-round. Maintaining the home on a daily and weekly basis, focusing on the areas of our homes that are the biggest germ culprits, will help keep us healthy all year long.

NSF International, an internationally recognized public health and safety standards organization, conducted research* not too long ago, in which it identified the top five spots in the home most attributed to accumulating germs. These are:

  1. Kitchen rag/sponge
  2. Kitchen Sink
  3. Toothbrush holder
  4. Pet Bowl
  5. Coffee Reservoir

Before you throw away your coffee machine, hand off the family Daschund to the neighbours and switch to eating take out for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, the NSF points out that a few simple steps are all that’s necessary to keep germs at bay.

In the kitchen, kitchen cloths should be replaced every 2 weeks. Bacteria counts can also be reduced by microwaving cloths for 2 minutes or washing them in bleach.

As for your kitchen sink, it should be thoroughly washed once or twice a week with disinfectant. You should also combine a tablespoon of bleach in a quart of water, and pour the mixture down the drain on a weekly basis.

Toothbrush holders in the bathroom should be cleaned in the dishwasher 1-2 times per week as well.

The dishwasher is actually a great cleaning aid for a variety of germ collecting items, including your pet bowls, which should be washed in the dishwasher daily.

 And yes, the rumours are true, even those stained old ‘favourite’ ballcaps, that no man seems to be able to live without OR replace, can be washed safely in the dishwasher too!

As for your coffee reservoirs, most come with manufacturer`s recommended cleaning methods in  the product manual. Follow those and you should be fine.

An additional note, though not covered in the NSF research, water coolers can also be a nasty germ collector. It’s advisable to thoroughly clean your water cooler regularly and give water jugs a good wipe over before attaching them to the cooler.

So, this year, while many things can be put off until the big, annual Spring Clean, remember to keep up to date on cleaning the most important germ collecting areas of the home regularly, throughout the year!

Check out this great little infographic we found on the worst home germ spots, put out by our friends south of the border at Ferndale Healthcare.


* Ref: http://www.nsf.org/consumer/newsroom/fact_top5_germiest_places.asp


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