Dangerous Home Health Hazards You'd Never Even Suspect

Boy Washing Dishes with FatherWhen it comes to the health of your home, what you don’t know may hurt you.  You may not be aware of the many potential health dangers lurking in your home sweet home.

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Bacteria, viruses and other nasty little germs set up shop in some of the most obvious places that you may not be cleaning properly as well as in unsuspecting places. Even the cleanest of homes fall prey to many of these hidden health hazards.

Your Kitchen Sponge

Your kitchen sponge has about 20 million microbes of bacteria on it. And simply soaking it in bleach water will not get rid of them.

What To Do: The best way to clean a dirty sponge is to microwave it on high for about one minute.

Your Laundry

Clothes should go in the washing machine dirty and come out clean, but if you’re using a public washing machine that may not be the case.  Some public machines spread germs such as viruses and hepatitis A when water temperatures aren’t hot enough.  Those left-behind germs can find their way to your clothes.

What To Do: Wash your underwear and towels separately from your other laundry in bleach or color-safe bleach in hot water.

Your Salt and Pepper Shakers

When was the last time you gave your salt and pepper shakers a good cleaning? Chances are you can’t remember, and that means it’s been way too long.  You may remember picking up the salt and pepper shakers to give that raw chicken a dash and later sitting the germy little shakers in the middle of the dining table.

What To Do: Prevent cross-contamination and food poisoning by wiping them down with a disinfectant regularly. On top of that, wash your hands immediately after handling raw food.

Your Door Knob

You are probably careful about washing your hands often. The children, visitors, the repairman, and other people who frequently use your door may not be as careful. All the germs your visitors have picked up from their pets, the grocery store, public restrooms and other places end up on your doorknob and stay there.  Viruses can survive on doorknobs for a few days.

What To Do: Make it a habit to spray your doorknob frequently with a disinfectant spray.  Encourage guests to sanitize their hands by leaving a hand sanitizer in sight by the door.  If you have a copper doorknob you’re in luck.  Researchers found that copper door handles have 95 percent fewer microorganisms on them compared with other doorknobs. Scientists believe that many germs, including MRSA, may not be able to survive on copper.

Your Shower Curtain

According to research by the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, shower curtains and liners made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) may be harmful to your health. PVC may release potentially harmful chemicals into your bathroom. Although there is still some debate among health experts about how much of these chemicals could be harmful, it is best to avoid chemical exposure when possible.

What To Do: Check your shower curtain’s label to see if it’s made of vinyl or PVC.

Your Computer

A study by researchers at the University of North Carolina Health Care System found that keyboards contain about 21,000 germs per square inch.  To put that into perspective, the average public toilet contains about 41 germs per square inch.  Public toilet bowls get cleaned. Your computer keyboard most likely doesn’t.

What To Do: Clean your computer keyboard as often as you wash your dishes.  Gently wipe your keyboard down daily with disinfecting wipes.

Following the above tips will help keep your entire home fresher and germ-free.

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