Sunday, 31 July 2011
Every day you see television commercials for the latest germ-killing products on the market. Companies are constantly reminding you of the pesky, persistent bacteria that apparently attacks your home throughout the day. It's remarkable that something so small, that you can only see with it a microscope, can be so harmful! But germs are real. However, you have to know what they are exactly to truly combat them. Here's a guide to germs and how you can keep them out of your kitchen in particular.
Bathrooms have a bad reputation for hosting threatening germs, but this reputation is not really earned. Kitchens are where the majority of germs in your house are located. And that's why it's so important not to ignore them. It's easy to forget that the invisible little buggers are lurking behind every corner, but if you do, they will certainly make your life a lot tougher.
The reason you can kill a germ, is because it is indeed a living organism! There are four kinds of germs: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Many germs may invade plants, animals and humans temporarily and with little consequence, and some germs are even good! For example, there is bacteria in out intestines that help us digest our food. Also, doctors are able to engineer medicines and vaccines with the help of bacteria. But for the most part, if germs decide to hang their hat in your body, they will try to take over. Ever been stuck in bed with the flu? If you answered “yes,” then you were infected by a virus. Or maybe you've had an ear infection! The culprit was bacteria in that case. Germs consume your much-needed energy and nutrients and produce nasty toxins; toxins that cause those classic symptoms of sickness, like sore throat and coughing. So germs, for the most part, are not our friends.
They are everywhere though. And in places where you store food, like the kitchen, this can be a unique problem.
The best way to prevent germs from invading your body is to simply wash your hands often. Germs are typically transferred from person to person. If someone coughs on your or even just touches you, those nettlesome germs may hop from them to you. This is why door knobs and other objects that people commonly touch are especially germ-ridden. By simply washing your hands with soap often, however, you can kill germs before they have a chance to make you sick. If you've just pet your dog or coughed, then you are more vulnerable to germs, so wash your hands. It's as plain as that.
So, in the kitchen, the same rule applies. Remember to wash your hands often and always before you prepare food. However, there's a bit more you can do than that. Here are some steps you can take to keeping your kitchen nice and clean, so that those malicious germs don't stand a chance.
Fortunately, you don't have to be a neat freak to create a healthy environment for your family. In addition to washing your hands frequently (with soap and warm water), you can use the following tips to ensure those germs die young.
Your counters and sink are a breeding ground for germs. Because your hands, food, utensils, rags, etc, will all grace the counter tops and the sink, you have to keep them clean. Don't cry over spilled milk. Just clean it up immediately!
What you use to clean the counters and sink is not as important as you might think. A sponge or rag or a one-time wipe will all work perfectly. The key is to keep them clean too! Throw that sponge or rag in the washer often. You can also soak your dishcloths in warm, soapy water when they're not being used. The worst thing you can do is clean up your kitchen with a dirty dishcloth. This is why those throwaway disinfectants can be really advantageous! (Always use disinfectant sprays, as well, to go along with your other cleaning supplies.) Remember that warm water and soap are a germ's enemies.
Moreover, be wary of cutting boards. The nooks and crannies in your home are commonly invaded by germs, until they can find a better, living host. When you use a cutting board, you will likely make small dents into it with your knife, and these small crevices lure germs. So make sure that you scrub your cutting board hard after every single use.
Obviously you want your dishes to be spic and span. Thankfully, we have dishwashers these days that do the trick. It can never hurt to give the dishes a little rub with a clean dishcloth before putting them away in the dishwasher however.
Another surprising piece of advice is that paper towels and cups are better than the alternative. You may want to dry off your hands with that cloth towel or drink from that glass. However, sharing hand towels and drinking glasses is the first thing germs want you to do! Why not buy some cheap dispensable paper cups to keep around the kitchen and invest in paper towels? It's a really simple way to prevent those germs from traveling.
Also keep in mind that a room where food and water are common, you have to be extra careful. Damp areas can produce fungi and food that's left out too long will encourage the growth of bacteria.
So, instead of fretting about how clean your toilet bowl is or wiping that sponge over your counter top 20 times in a row, just take into consideration these tips and your kitchen will be less inviting for those ugly germs. Yes, you probably will come down with a cold every once in a while, but you certainly can be on the offense more often than not if you know where to find and kill those germs!