Are germs lurking in your home? Check out five areas in most homes that bacteria and viruses are most commonly found — and how you can banish them before they make you sick:
1. Door knobs and handles. Wipe those down with a disinfectant wipe frequently. Any surface that is used by the whole family should be disinfected regularly, including toilet handles, phones, microwave and refrigerator handles and salt and pepper shakers. Don’t forget the TV remote and computer keyboard!
2. Kitchen counter tops and cutting boards. Make sure you are disinfecting any surfaces that you’re using to prepare food. Don’t forget to sanitize your kitchen sink — the bottom, the sides and the strainer.
3. Kitchen sponges and dish cloths. Because they are damp, they pick up germs easily and when you wipe your counters, you spread them. Soak your sponge or dish cloth in a bleach solution frequently. Or microwave your sponge for one minute to zap germs and wash and dry dish clothes using the hot setting in your washer and dryer.
4. Toothbrushes and toothbrush holders. Consider replacing toothbrushes more frequently during the winter months — especially after you’ve been sick — and disinfect holders frequently.
5. Coffee maker and tea pot. Clean your coffee maker (check your manufacturer’s recommendations in the your instruction manual) at least monthly. If you keep a tea kettle on your stove with water in it, empty the water and thoroughly clean the teapot before refilling it.