Germs are everywhere, even inside of our bodies. Fortunately, most of the germs encountered on a daily basis are not the type that will cause a virus or illness. It’s impossible to avoid all contact with germs, but the encounters can be limited and viruses can be avoided with these tips.
Avoiding Germs at Home
Knowing where virus causing germs lurk around the house (even in spotlessly clean homes) and taking a few simple precautions can prevent them from spreading.
The kitchen sponge is a porous, damp surface ripe for bacterial growth and spread. After each use, wash the kitchen sponge with soap and hot water before using again. Toss the sponge in dishwasher at least once a week for a thorough cleaning.
Cutting boards can be a hot bed for virus causing germs. To avoid germ growth and spread, use two cutting boards, one for meats only and the other for vegetables. Wash cutting boards in hot soapy water between uses and sanitize kitchen counter surfaces with bleach after cutting raw meats.
The bathroom shower curtain is prime breeding ground for germs. The water from the shower doesn’t wash the germs away, it creates a moist environment for bacteria to grow. Wash shower curtain with bleach solution regularly and/or toss the shower curtain in the washer for cleaning.
The bathtub harbors staph germs and showers harbor athlete’s foot fungus. Use a disinfecting cleaner in tubs and showers before use, and when using a public shower, like at the gym, wear flip-flops while showering.
Everyone in the house touches the family phone and computer and if any family member has a cold or flu, these communal surfaces often are the source of germ spreading. Wipe phone and computer surfaces off with a disinfecting wipe before using.
Purses and book bags carry as much on the outside as on the inside. Purses and book bags are often placed on the floor in public places, then placed on the kitchen counter at home, spreading the germs on food prep surface. Avoid picking up germs on purse and book bag bottoms by hanging them up in public places and store away from food and eating areas at home.
Avoiding Germs Away from Home
Shopping cart handles are touched by a multitude of people daily, not to mention the raw meats that touch the shopping cart surfaces and leave germs behind. Wipe the shopping cart handle with a disinfecting wipe before touching and never eat while pushing a shopping cart.
Public restroom doorknobs and handles most always have salmonella and E.coli bacteria, avoid contact with them by using a paper towel to cover the doorknob or handle before touching. When that’s not possible, use a hand sanitizer immediately after contact.
ATMs, credit card and debit card machines at checkouts are covered with germs. Use hand sanitizer after touching any of these items.
MRSA bacteria lurks on gym machines and is easily transmitted when a towel is used to wipe off a gym machine then later the same towel is used to wipe sweat off the face. MRSA bacteria causes antibiotic resistant staph infection and can be avoided by using two separate towels at the gym, one for wiping gym machines and the other for wiping off facial sweat. It’s also advisable to cover all cuts with band-aids before a gym workout.
Germs are lurking everywhere and many virus causing germs can be avoided with a few precautions, namely keep hands and surfaces clean and disinfected.