Diwali cleaning spree: 7 dirtiest places in your home

According to Microbiology Society, a bacterium can generate 2,097,152 bacteria in 7 hours if it gets the right temperature and nutrients to grow.

Myupchar October 24, 2019 16:06:39 IST
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Diwali cleaning spree: 7 dirtiest places in your home
  • According to Microbiology Society, a bacterium can generate 2,097,152 bacteria in 7 hours if it gets the right temperature and nutrients to grow

  • Staphylococcus aureus, yeast, mould, salmonella and E. coli are some of the household germs that can make you sick

  • Their growth in the house depends on the surface type, your lifestyle practices and cleaning procedures

With Diwali drawing closer, there is one thing on everyone’s mind - the need to get your house in order before the surprise guests start pouring in. And while you might dust every day, some surprising dirty places need your attention. 

According to Microbiology Society, a bacterium can generate 2,097,152 bacteria in 7 hours if it gets the right temperature and nutrients to grow. Staphylococcus aureus, yeast, mould, salmonella and E. coli are some of the household germs that can make you sick. Their growth in the house depends on the surface type, your lifestyle practices and cleaning procedures. 

Diwali cleaning spree 7 dirtiest places in your home

Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

Let’s have a look at some of the places in your house that might be dirtier than you think.

1. Your kitchen sink

Heat and humidity create the most suitable conditions for germs to grow. In 2011, the US-headquartered NSF International (previously National Sanitation Foundation) swabbed 30 household items of 22 families to check the levels of mould, yeast and coliform bacteria. They found that the most contaminated items belonged to the kitchen.

The results showed that coliform (bacteria that includes E.coli and salmonella) was found on 18% of cutting boards, 32% of countertops, 45% of kitchen sinks, 75% of sponges and dishes.

Various studies have also shown that the places where food is prepared are the most contaminated. To keep your kitchen bacteria-free, use clean and dry kitchen towels, wipe and dry the dishes and squeeze the sponges and place them in the sun to dry. Clean the sink and the countertop with a good disinfectant.  

2. Your bathroom

Bacterias in the bathroom isn’t all that surprising, is it? But what is surprising is that according to the NSF study, your toothbrush holders and the bathroom faucets were the most contaminated items in the bathroom. The floor area near the washbasin and the WC, bath towels, bathtubs and drains - there was bacteria everywhere and on almost everything in the bathroom. 

A weekly thorough bathroom clean up and daily use of disinfectant for cleaning the bathroom and bathroom accessories can help you to keep your bathroom germ free.

3. Your makeup bag

When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brush? If you can’t remember, it was definitely too long ago. Makeup can enhance your beauty, yes, but it may also gather bacteria from the environment that can cause skin or eye infections and even make acne worse. Bacteria can hide and survive on your uncleaned brushes, applicators and in the corners of your makeup bag. Try to keep your makeup bag clean and dry. It is best to thoroughly clean your applicators and nozzles every week and replace expired makeup items regularly.  

4. Your washing machine

You dump your clothes in the washing machine, set the timer and get ready to relax for an hour or so after which you will need to take out the clean clothes for drying. Sadly, that might not be the case. The moisture in the washing machine promotes bacteria growth. Leave the damp clothes in the washing machine for 30 minutes and all the bacteria will be more than happy to extend their families into your favourite clothes.

It might seem silly to clean an appliance that was designed to clean but taking out the clothes as soon as the cycle is over as well as regularly cleaning the detergent drawer and rubber seals will help reduce bacterial growth. 

5. Your coffee maker

You might think that since you’re making hot coffee, your machine will kill all the bacteria that may find it’s way into it. Well, it doesn’t. The moist environment of the coffee maker creates an ideal condition for the bacterias, yeast and moulds to grow and populate. Descaling it with vinegar every three-six months will help you to keep it germ-free and your coffee will taste better, too.  

6. Your laptop and TV remote

Anything that touches many hands will obviously contain germs and bacteria. And your living room has many such items like remote controls, computer keyboards, key-holders, magazines, telephone handsets, video game controllers, etc. The difficulty of cleaning between the nooks is what makes them such a great breeding ground. But you can use cotton swabs and toothpicks to clean these crevices with ease.

7. Your microwave

If you use a pan to heat up food, you clean it right after. But what about when you use the microwave? Just because you think the heat of it will kill any bacteria present? 

Unfortunately, that’s not true. While many people use containers to heat things in the office microwave, you often don’t do that at home. Then you hear a pop and realize the roof of the microwave is now covered in gravy. Putting things straight onto the plate, using open containers, even defrosting meat can help many germs spread in the microwave. 

Another problem? The microwave handle. Wipe that thing down every day. 

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Bacterial Infections.

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