What are the dirtiest items found in the home?

Monday Sep 23rd, 2019

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The dirtiest items surprisingly were not found in the bathroom but in the kitchen. 
 
Guide to cleaning supplies:  for the best cleaning supplies click here or keep reading to the bottom of the blog
Most items can either be thrown into the dishwasher for cleaning or hand washed with a mild bleach and water solution and rinsed thoroughly afterwards.
 
The items below were checked for yeast, mold, coliform bacteria (including salmonella and E. coli) and staph germs. The dirtiest items are at the top of the list. Cleaning instruction are also noted for each item.
  1. Dish sponge/rags                  

     -Microwave wet sponges once a day for 2 minutes. Replace sponge every 2 weeks. 
     -Replace rags every other day and wash all rags in hot washing cycle with a touch of bleach. 
     
  2. Kitchen sink and strainer  

     -Clean the sides and bottom twice a week. 
     -Fill sink with hot, soapy water and 1/4 cup bleach once per month
    -Let sit before scrubbing, draining, and rinsing.  
                                              
  3. Tooth brush holder              

    -Mainly since they are usually found in the bathroom. 
    -Place holders in the dishwasher or wash in hot soapy water twice a week.
     
  4. Pet bowls                                

    -Clean bowls in the dishwasher regularly. 
     -Or hand wash with diluted bleach solution and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
     
  5. Coffee makers                   

     -The reservoir is a great breeding ground for micro-organisms.
    -Check cleaning instruction for your coffee maker.
     -A good practice is to clean the reservoir regularly by adding 4 cups of vinegar
    -letting it sit for 30 minutes
    -then brew the vinegar
     -Then run 2-3 cycles with fresh water through the coffee maker until the smell is gone.
     
  6. Faucet (tap) handles           

    -Clean faucets daily with disinfectant wipes or spray
     
  7. Pet toys                                 

    -Clean toys regularly.
    -Hard toys can be cleaned with soap and water or with a mild bleach solution (as above) and rinsed thoroughly with water
    -Soft toys can be placed in the dishwasher or washing machine
     
  8. Kitchen counter                   

    -Rinse countertops with mild bleach solution after preparing food.
     
  9. Stove knobs                          

     -Remove knobs once a week and wash with hot soapy water.
     
  10. Cutting Boards                    

    -clean after each use with hot soapy water or place in the dishwasher.
    -Or a solution of bleach and water can also be used.

Other items which are high on the grungy list:

Home and cell phone                    

-Since phones get warm during use, bacteria thrives and gets transferred to our hands, face (eyes, nose, ears, and lips) 
-Clean with a disinfectant wipe or slightly moistened microfiber clothe and mild bleach solution
 
Your computer keyboard           

 -First turn your computer off
 -Vaccuum the keyboard to get particles from the cracks
-Wipe with a slightly dampened microfiber cloth with a mild bleach solution
-use a cotton swab for the crevices
-using a disinfectant spray will kill germs as well
 
Doorknobs                                       

-outside and inside your house or apartment, fridge, stove, and microwave.
-Wipe with a mild bleach solution and micro fiber cloth 
 
Pillows                                             

 -Are full of dead skin, bugs, and dust mites
 -Can be thrown in the washer
 
Washing Machine                        

 -Since bacteria grows in the washing machine it should be cleaned as well.
  -Add vinegar to your load of laundry if using a public washing machine.
 -For a home machines run the washing machine with a cycle of water and bleach once a month
 
Carpets and Rugs                          

-Do not use your outdoor shoes inside your home. 
-When moving into a new home or apartment have your carpets and rugs cleaned and clean the rugs regularly thereafter.
 
Your purse or handbag               

-This items follows you into public washrooms, is placed on the floor in a restaurant, or public transit
-Depending on the material either clean with a soap and water solution or a mild bleach and water solution.
-Do not place your purse on the kitchen counter unless it has just been clean

Children's toys                     

 -Wash in dishwasher or use a mild bleach and water solution   
 

Guide to Cleaning and Supplies:

Microfiber cloths                          
        
 -use to clean and wipe
 -use a new cloth every day
-preferred to using cotton rags (more sanitary)
-wash all cloths in washing machine with hot water and bleach                
                
Soap and water                            
 -cleans visible dirt and can also kill potential pathogens
 
Cleaning wipes and sprays         
-can be used to clean and disinfect as well however 
 -some may be harmful to human health (use with caution)

Bleach                                               
-The most effective readily available disinfectant
 -Having a mild bleach solution on hand can be very useful

Uses Concentration Recipe Contact Time  
Everyday 200 ppm 1L Water +
5ml Bleach
No rinse Food Contact Surfaces
Everyday use 500 ppm 1L Water +
10ml Bleach
1 minute Toys
Diaper change tables
Water play tables
Animal Cages
Minor blood
or body fluids
500 ppm 1L Water +
10ml Bleach
2 minutes Bathroom Surfaces
Chairs
Counter tops
Door handles
Light switches
Sink faucet handles
Tables
Telephones
Ext. toilet parts
Wall around toilet
Vinyl mattress cover

 
Everyday use 1000 ppm 1L Water +
20ml Bleach
1 minute
Everyday or Major 
blood or body fluids
1000 ppm 1L Water +
20ml Bleach
30 minutes

Confirmed bacterial
or Viral infection

5000 ppm 1L Water +
100ml Bleach
10 minutes
             
 -Can be used after washing visible dirt with soap and water
 -Rinse after use (in most cases)
-Do not mix household cleaners with bleach!
-Be careful - bleach can stain clothing
-Use with rubber gloves, eye protection, and with open windows (Bleach c
an irritate eyes and lungs)
 
Vinegar                                             

-Is a good cleaning solution however bleach is better for killing germs
 -great for cleaning hard water deposits
 
Hydrogen peroxide                    
-is only effective as a disinfectant if not exposed to oxygen therefore difficult to use
 
Note: cleaning supplies need to be in contact with the surface for at least 2 minutes to clean effectively
 
Sources:

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/yuck-top-10-germiest-spots-in-your-home/
https://www.bustle.com/p/10-really-dirty-items-in-your-home-that-you-never-would-have-guessed-8394864
https://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/doing-business/resources/Documents/Surface-Disinfection-Chlorine.pdf


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