Don’t Touch That!

Toilets and kitchen drains are obvious germ-fests. But you might be surprised at the other microbial hotspots. With flu season in full swing, don’t forget to clean these:

Keyboard and mouse. Public and home workstations are virus magnets. Computers harbor a multitude of germs — courtesy of every hand that’s touched the surfaces. Wipe down with disinfectant cloths before and after use.

Briefcase/handbag/diaper bag. You’ve probably set these down in public restrooms and parking lots before lugging them home… and then onto your kitchen counter or table. Regularly swab the bottoms and straps, and store them in a hanging position to avoid contamination.

Washing machine. The nature of laundering suggests cleanliness, but washing machines are anything but. According to the Hygiene Council, an average load contains up to 100 million E. coli. To properly decontaminate, set your dial to hot. For garments that require cooler temps, use laundry disinfectant. Wash very soiled garments separately. Dry immediately. Run the washing machine without clothes once a week to clear it out.

Other colonization hubs. Phones, remote controls, steering wheels, water cooler spigots, doorknobs/handles, microwave panels, gas pumps, light switches, salt and pepper shakers, office equipment, and faucets. Use disinfectant cloths and wash hands after use. For a nonchemical approach, use vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to combat infectious bugs.

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