Dr. Oz: The Germiest Places in Your Home Revealed (Kitchen and Bath)
According to the National Sanitation Foundation, twenty percent of food-borne illnesses come from simple mistakes that we make in our kitchens. Dr. Oz admitted that even he makes many of these mistakes; and once you know what they are, they are easy to avoid. The foundation analyzed surfaces and appliances and found all types of germs, including e. coli, salmonella, listeria, yeast, and molds. Lisa Yakas, a microbiologist from the foundation, appeared on the Dr. Oz show to explain where the most germs are found and how to get rid of them.
Germs Spots In Kitchen
Blenders are used everyday and not many people know that they can be completely taken apart. Most germs are found on the gasket, which is around the blade. Make sure that you disassemble blenders after every use and clean them. Wash all parts separately in warm water and soap, or put through the dishwasher if dishwasher safe. Make sure to dry everything completely before reassembling, as germs love moisture.
We use our coffeemakers every day but never think to clean the water reservoir. This area is dark and moist, so a perfect environment for bacteria and mold. Every 40-80 uses (generally once every month or two) take four cups of undiluted white vinegar and pour into the reservoir. Let the vinegar soak into the plastic for 30 minutes and then run the coffeemaker through a cycle. Follow this with two to three cycles of clean water, until the vinegar smell is gone.
Though they are the easiest to sanitize, sponges are the number one worst place for germs in a home. Germs are easily killed by putting a wet sponge into a microwave for two minutes. Sponges should only be kept for around two weeks and then they should be thrown away. If using dishcloths, these should be run through the washing machine with bleach.
4. The Utensil Drawer
A couple of items generally found in utensil drawers tested high for germs like e.coli, yeast, and molds — the rubber spatula and the can opener. Rubber spatulas almost always come in two pieces, and can be taken apart to be cleaned. They can either be washed by hand with warm and soapy water, or run through the dishwasher. Always dry before reassembling. The can opener should also be put through the dishwasher, or if there is food stuck to the blade, use a small brush and warm, soapy water.
5. The Fridge
There are four major problem areas in your fridge: the insulator seal, the vegetable and fruit drawer, the meat drawer, and the ice container. All these areas can have listeria, salmonella, e. coli, yeast, and molds. To clean, pull drawers out, empty, and use water and a mild detergent to clean. Seals can be wiped down. To avoid the spread of germs, empty your fridge once a month and clean with warm water and a mild detergent. The temperature should always be below 40F, produce should be kept in bags, and meat should always be on the bottom shelf or wrapped up in the meat drawer.
Germs Spots In Bathroom
1. Toothbrush and Holder
Toothbrush holders can be one of the most germ-covered items in a bathroom. Keeping these items cleaner can be as simple as closing the toilet cover before flushing. Holders should be cleaned often (through the dishwasher or with bleach and water), and toothbrushes should be cycled through the dishwasher once a week. Make sure to regularly replace your toothbrush.
2. Bath Toys
Always rinse and drain bath toys well, as they get wet often and water can get trapped inside of them. Toys should be kept in a mesh bag when not being used and can be put through the dishwasher. Toys can be washed with a water and bleach solution, but if they start to smell or have stains that are hard to remove, it is best to dispose of them.
3. Shower Curtains
Most people don’t realize that shower curtains can be put into a washing machine to be cleaned. Use hot water, bleach, and old towels, and this will scrub the curtain clean. Between uses, leave the curtain open and flat, not folded tightly together.