We are always looking for ways to keep our homes in top shape. We want a clean atmosphere to provide a clean and healthy place to hang out in. We put in the effort to keep up on daily chores and find ways to make cleaning less of a hassle, but there are still things many of us do that are pretty unsanitary without even realizing it.
Here are some things that many of us do that are actually pretty gross.
Blowing Out Birthday Cake Candles
This is a time honored tradition that has been going on for a very long time. There is one large cake to honor the birthday person and right before it is served it is brought out with candles and a song. The birthday guy/gal then makes a wish and blows out the candles sitting atop the cake. In this innocent and fun motion you end up covering the cake in bacteria and saliva without realizing or meaning to. There is no way not to share your germs with your party friends when blowing out candles. To prevent this have a personal cupcake with a candle instead.
Take a minute to think of all the surfaces a school bag or purse comes in contact with during the day. Many of these surfaces are pretty dirty and germ-filled like gym floors, bathrooms, bus seats, car floors, car seats, etc. An experiment conducted at Kansas State University showed that the bottom of bags can carry more germs than a toilet seat. Bags come in contact with so many surfaces and they rarely if ever get washed. Wash backpacks in the laundry once a week and wipe down bags that are not washable by hand.
Holding on to that Loofah
Using a bath loofah or pouf can be beneficial to exfoliating and creating a pleasant bathing experience. The dead skin cells that are buffed away and the germs that get washed off your skin take up residence inside the loofah. This may seem crazy considering that you are using soap in the loofah. Soak in water and peroxide once a week or stick it in the washing machine to keep your loofah clean and skin and germ-free.
Gunky Makeup Brushes
Make up brushes, sponges, and other applicators hold a number of things creating a gunky mess over time that you end up wiping across your face while applying your makeup. Old makeup, skin cells, bacteria from skin, and bacteria from the bathroom air depending on where brushes are stored all end up in your make up tools. What’s worse is sharing tools with friends can lead to the spread of herpes. To keep brushes clean wash them weekly or more, depending on how often you apply makeup, with some baby shampoo. Make sure to lay them out in a paper towel to get them dry quickly and avoid even more germs.
Gas Pump Handles
We automatically think of the dirtiest surfaces we come in contact daily as things in the bathroom, door handles, and grocery carts. Just like these the gas pump is touched by many different people and often by people who have not cleaned their hands in some time. Have you ever heard of someone who washes their hands before they pump gas? Most gas pump handles tend to contain germs strong enough to make a person ill. On top of unwashed hands touching the pump they are never cleaned by station attendants.
Eating and Bowling
Going out for a fun game of bowling with the friends and grabbing a bite while you are playing is actually pretty yucky. You grab your used/rented/borrowed bowling alley ball that has been used by a number of strangers and stick your finger in the holes to roll the ball down the lane. While in the middle of the game you get hungry and grab a plate of nachos to bring back to the lane and munch while waiting for your next turn. You alternate between grabbing your ball, touching the scoreboard, and stuffing a chip in your mouth. Basically you are covering your hand in germs then sticking those germs along with food in your mouth. To keep those germs out of your digestive track try to stick to eating in between games when you can wash your hands and keep them clean.
Using Your Phone in the Bathroom
We are in a digital age with smart phones that are like another extension of our body. Many people are on their phone all the time. They take it everywhere they go and are constantly looking at it. All the germy places your phone goes and comes in contact with it can be dirtier than those often touched surfaces we talked about earlier. Place the phone near your ear and face to take a call and that bacteria can give you acne. Take a break and put the phone away in the bathroom.
As mentioned before this is one of the most touched surfaces we come in contact with. We usually just walk in the grocery store or other store and grab a cart without even thinking about it. We see the handle wipes provided by the store and just think those are for the overly protective germ-a-phobes. The University of Arizona conducted a study that found 72% of the carts they tested had fecal matter on them! Yuck! Make sure to use those wipes provided or to always have one on you to wipe the handle and wash your hands after shopping.
This is one of the dirtiest surfaces in your home bathroom and sadly the first place you step after getting yourself clean. These mats get wet and are left to dry out by themselves; this moisture breads bacteria and mold. If the whole family is sharing a mat the surface is even dirtier with a more frequently moist surface. Minimize bath mat bacteria by hanging it to dry after use and washing it at least once weekly in the washing machine.
Not Changing Sheets Often
Spores of fungi, bacteria, pollen, lint, and bodily fluids and skin are all living in your sheets. If you eat in bed there is even more uncleanliness hanging out in there. Food crumbs help provide a nice environment for bacteria to thrive. Bed linens should be washed every two weeks to keep them clean.