The 8 germiest spots in the home

Wash your hands. That's a common mantra -- and a worthy one -- as the H1N1 flu continues to spread around the globe.

Here is a list of eight most germiest spots in your home:

1.) TV Remote: Imagine the typical couch potatoes -- watching TV while they absent-mindedly chew their fingernails, snack on food and flip through channels, leaving all kinds of bacteria on the remote. "Anything in your home that you touch a lot leaves germs behind," . Make sure to sanitize the remote control regularly to prevent sickness.

2.) Tub and shower: Shower as the third germiest place in the home. The bathtub may have 100 times more bacteria than the trash can, according to an in-home bacteria study conducted by the Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community at Simmons College in Boston. The Hygiene Council recommends that showers and tubs be disinfected twice a week to get rid of dead skin cells left in the tub that can carry germs too.

3.) Pet food dish: Most pet food dishes stay on the floor and do not get washed regularly. Rubino said "it's not practical to disinfect it every time, but wash your hands after you touch it. Pets -- we love them -- but they don't practice good hygiene."

4.) Kitchen cloths and sponges: People frequently use sponges or cloths to wipe germs from surfaces in the kitchen. As a result, 70 percent of kitchen sponges in U.S. homes failed the hygiene test by having high levels of bacteria, according to the Hygiene Council. The council recommends running sponges through the dishwasher regularly and washing kitchen cloths on the hot cycle in the washing machine.

5.) Microwave touch screen: This spot is notorious for not getting cleaned. "You can put something in [the microwave] that is raw to cook it and could leave behind E. coli or Salmonella" . He added that even though the food comes out cooked, the germs that can make you sick are left on the outside of the microwave for the next person to touch. It is important to wipe down the touch screen regularly, especially after cooking raw meat.

6.) Light switches: Touching the light switch is practically unavoidable, but keeping it clean is not. The bathroom light switch can have as many germs as the trash bin, according to the Simmons College in-home bacterial study. Disinfect light switches twice a week or every day if a member of your household is sick.

7.) Baby changing table: "When changing a baby's diaper, in all likelihood bacterial contamination will occur" Rubino said. He likens the changing table to a "dirty toilet seat" that the baby's whole body touches. During diaper changes, the baby wipes container, the diaper packaging, the trash can and anything around the changing area get contaminated with bacteria through touching after handling a dirty diaper. The baby changing table area should be cleaned often.

8.) Kitchen faucets: Typically people wash their hands after handling raw meat in the kitchen, but they touch the faucet to turn on the water and do not think about the bacteria that they leave. The Hygiene Council found more than half of faucets in American homes are covered in bacteria. Use a disinfectant spray on faucets to kill germs.


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