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5 surprising places where germs hide in our home

Many of us try our best to keep our homes free from harmful bacteria and germs. While it’s true that exposure to ‘friendly germs’ can be beneficial to our immune system, bacteria and germs that can cause disease and illness are not welcome. A study in 2011 by the National Sanitisation Foundation (NSF) revealed the commonly held misconception that the bathroom is the dirtiest place in the house. In actual fact, there are many areas of the home which are much worse than the bathroom!

So where are the hotspots in the home where germs and bacteria may be hanging about? Here are 5 surprising places germs may be hiding in your home.

The kitchen sink

When it comes to the germiest place in your homes, your kitchen tops the list, and your kitchen sponge and sink being one of the worst offenders. Dishwashing sponges are a hotbed for bacteria and germs to breed. According to microbiologist Dr.Charles Gerba, also known as “Dr.Germ”, your average kitchen sink contains more germs than the bathroom. That’s not hard to believe when you consider that this is the place where you wash off dirt, germs and food residue. “There’s more E. coli in a kitchen sink than in a toilet after you flush it” says Dr.Germ.

Britex tip: Heat damp sponges in the microwave for a minute to kill bacteria. At least once a week, remember to disinfect the sides and bottom of the sink.

Countertops

Similar to the kitchen sink, if you picture what goes on in the kitchen, it comes as no surprise that your kitchen countertops are riddled with bacteria and germs. Results from an NSF study found coliform bacteria to be present in 30% of the homes tested. These bacteria can be traced back to the inappropriate handling of a wide array of food items including raw meat, poultry and unwashed produce. Experts advise against using the same bacteria riddled dishwashing sponge or sink rag to wipe down the countertops as this will only spread bacteria.

Britex tip: Have two sponges: one for benches, one for dishwashing. Or opt to use a kitchen disinfectant and disposable paper towel to wipe down countertops. Paper towels are great because of their absorbability.

Washing machine

You’d think that an appliance you fill with soap every cycle would be one of the cleanest places in your home, well think again. Often dirt, bacteria and even faecal matter from our clothes and undergarments are enough to contaminate a load of laundry, and even worse? The germs are likely to be transferred to the next batch of laundry as well. Wet laundry left in the machine, even for a short amount of time can also cause germs to flourish. Remember to periodically clean your washing machine tub to limit the germs as you do the laundry. Always wash your tea towels in a separate load, rather than throwing them in with your clothes.

Britex tip: At least once a month, run a hot cycle of vinegar to clear out germs in the machine. Letting your clothes dry in the sun will also kill any germs on your clothing that has survived the wash.

Handles and switches

Better Homes and Gardens reported that all kinds of dirt and germs can lurk in the most unexpected spots in your home. and one of the worst locations is handles and switches. Touched frequently but cleaned infrequently, your doorknobs, handles and light switches are some of the most common areas where germs congregate. Germs residing on these surfaces can also be easily transferred to another surface. A 2014 study has found that one germy doorknob could potentially infect half of an office within a few hours, so remember to disinfect regularly.

Britex tip: To prevent germs from spreading around the house, wipe down frequently used handles, switches and doorknobs at least once a week with a disinfectant. Do it more often if someone in your home is sick (or especially during flu season or the current COVID-19 pandemic)

Carpet

Carpets are notorious for trapping all sorts of particles, from the more visible particles such as dirt, dust and pet dander to the more invisible ones such as bacteria and germs. While carpets provide a cosy and luxurious aesthetic, if they are not properly maintained, they can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. A microbiology research published in 2001 found that an average indoor carpet houses a staggering 4,000 times the amount of bacteria compared to a toilet seat!

So what do you do?

The good news is that regular vacuuming helps to remove some of the more visible nasties, but what do you do about the less visible ones? The Britex deep cleaning machine is one way to tackle the germs and bacteria on carpet. Choice recommended as the #1 carpet shampooer, the Britex deep cleaning machine is Australian’s preferred choice for DIY carpet cleaning. Not only will you save time and money by taking the DIY route, the Britex deep cleaning machine offers professional cleaning results that rivals most professional carpet cleaners on the market.

Britex tip: Did you know that using a Britex Carpet Cleaner with Britex Cleaning Solutions in a high traffic office area, reduced the bacterial load by up to 99.95%.

And while you’re deep cleaning your carpet, why not consider tackling another one of the dirtiest parts of your home as well – your upholstery. With the Britex interchangeable wand system, the Britex machine easily switches from a carpet cleaner to an upholstery cleaner, while still promising professional results. Get started on your post-ISO cleaning today! And if you’re feeling the need to clean, here are 5 cleaning tasks to prepare your home for a cosy winter.

All Britex products are available to hire at the Britex hire stand in Bunnings Warehouses, Woolworths, selected Coles, IGA, Mitre 10 and Home Hardware Stores.

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