Germs. They’re all around us, and they’ve got us outnumbered. Your office keyboard, for example, may contain more than 20,000 germs per square inch!
While not all have harmful effects, some can trigger asthma attacks, allergic reactions, or unpleasant illnesses. Even worse, those bad germs may be lurking in places you haven’t even considered. The list below details four common at-home hiding places for germs that can make you sick.
You want to lay your head on your pillow each night and fall into a restful sleep. Unfortunately, the very act of touching your pillow transfers germs to its plush surface. Your pillow also absorbs germs from the surrounding air.
Over time, those germs become a food source for dust mites, mold, and bacteria. Those contaminants can lead to asthma attacks or reactions for non-seasonal allergy sufferers. According to a company for pest control in Kennewick, bed bug eggs may also attach to pillows, turning your bed into a breeding ground for pests. Make sure you wash yours every few months and try to go for hypoallergenic brands.
You rely on your refrigerator to keep foods fresh and bacteria-free. But your fridge can’t keep all germs at bay, and they often accumulate in parts that don’t receive frequent cleanings. One such place is the door seal. According to a study from the University of Arizona, mold existed on 83% of refrigerator door seals at the 160 homes tested.
Another fridge part that might have germs? The drip pan below your frost-free refrigerator. The electric coil beneath this fridge type drips water into a pan. The water eventually evaporates, but the pan can accumulate dust, and the fridge fan may blow that dust into the air. Mold and other airborne irritants often become airborne along with the dust.
Sponges and Dish Towels
The items we rely on to keep stuff clean often contain extra-high concentrations of germs. That fact certainly applies to the sponges and dish towels in your kitchen. A nationwide study found that 7% of kitchen dishtowels contain MRSA. That staph bacteria may induce dangerous, sometimes deadly skin infections.
Similarly, sponges absorb any germs they come in contact with, whether they came from your dirty dishes, your sticky countertop, or your own hands. Many sponges harbor bacteria like salmonella and E. coli. Plus, the moist conditions on a sponge allow pathogens to flourish.
Even if your feet are squeaky clean when you step out of the shower, the bath mat beneath them likely isn’t. As you towel off over your mat, you drip water into the rug. Like a sponge, the bath mat dries slowly, and the wet conditions encourage bacteria and mold to reproduce rapidly.
Germs find many places to hide in your house, and you can’t entirely eradicate them. But, a little extra diligence cleaning the items above can protect you and your family members from germ-related illnesses.