Surprising Household Germ Hotspots

As a woman who carries an arsenal of hand sanitizer with her everywhere she goes, I can understand the concern with germs. Most of us try very hard to avoid coming in contact with germs when out in public, but think very little of it when we are within the comfort of our own home. Yet, there are germ hotspots all over the house. And, unfortunately, just because they’re ours doesn’t mean they can’t make us sick.

In a 2010 study conducted by the Hygiene Council, called Hygiene Home Truths, the bathroom and kitchen were found to be the two areas in the home that are most prone to germ contamination. That’s certainly no surprise considering the constant usage and purpose of both rooms. However, the actual germ hotspots in these rooms may surprise you.

The #1 germ hotspot at home is…….

It won’t shock most people to learn that the #1 household germ hotspot is found in the bathroom. But, shockingly, the toilet is not the culprit. According to the study, the bathtub seal between the tub and tile was the biggest hotspot for germs. A reported 40% of households that were tested by the Hygiene Council were found to be rated heavily contaminated. This is particularly disturbing in households with children, as they can come into contact with the germs when being bathed.

The #2 germ hotspot at home is….

According to the same study, the kitchen towel was the second most heavily contaminated area. A reported 15% of homes tested were found with heavily contaminated kitchen towels. The truth is you just don’t know where that towel has been. If it’s been used to wipe off the kitchen counter, and then used to dry your hands, it’s likely to be covered in germs when it is later used to dry the dishes.

Other household germ hotspots include:

– Refrigerator door handles
– Computer keyboard
– Computer mouse
– Video game controllers
– Handheld electronic devices
– Light switches
– Telephones
– Remote controls
– Sink faucets
– Dishwasher handles
– Garbage cans
– S alt and pepper shakers
– Entry doors
– Stairway railings
– Children’s toys and books
– Infant cribs, high chairs, walkers, etc.
– Cabinet drawer pulls and handles

A little common sense will help you to locate most household germ hotspots. Pay attention to the areas in the home that are frequently touched, and you’ll be able to identify them.

What you can do to prevent the spread of germs:

  • 1. Wash hands frequently.
  • 2. Disinfect surfaces with wipes and sprays.
  • 3. Remove shoes upon entering the home.
  • 4. Sanitize and disinfect book bags, diaper bags, purses, and so on.
  • 5. Disinfect objects that are handled frequently, such as remote controls, toys, and so on.
  • 6. Spray stuffed animals with disinfecting spray, place in a Ziploc bag, and freeze for 48 hours.

More from Jennifer Wagner:

Your Complete Guide to Ladder Safety

10 Bathroom Safety Tips

Top Indoor Air Pollutants


Personal knowledge

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