CHICAGO -- Grab some disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer because flu season is in full swing, according to the CDC. The Center's newest report states that the virus is active in more than half the country, and it's going to take more than a flu shot to stay healthy and symptom-free.
In response to the CDC's report, local cleaning experts from Two Maids and a Mop, a residential cleaning company, are urging families to be proactive this flu season and pay close attention to some of the germiest places in their homes. Four spots in particular have been reported to carry the largest amount of germs, and they may come as a surprise to some.
Watching television is a common activity in many households, but cleaning the remote regularly is not, making it the fourth germiest spot in the home. Several hands touch the TV remote, causing bacteria to build up over time. Two Maids and a Mop suggests using a disinfectant wipe or a cotton ball dabbed with alcohol to rid remote controls of pesky bacteria and viruses weekly.
The kitchen counter is typically a space for food and utensils, not bacteria and viruses; however, this space manages to rank third on the list. The flu virus can live on a surface for up to 24 hours, and anyone who is infected can spread virus-filled droplets in the kitchen that could infect others by sneezing, coughing or even talking. According to Two Maids and a Mop, wiping down counter tops and cabinets frequently with a kitchen disinfectant that fights off cold and flu viruses is the best solution to germ buildup in the kitchen.
Bacteria like to grow in wet, moist areas, making bathroom hand towels the perfect home for germs to settle down in. In fact, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona found more than 90 percent of bathroom towels he examined to be contaminated. Since these towels are the second germiest place in the home, Two Maids and a Mop says it is important that bathroom hand towels are washed every two or three days, or swapped for paper towels instead.
The top spot on the list goes to the places in the home that get the most action--the door knobs and handles. According to a study by Michigan State University, most people who do wash their hands do not do it correctly. Only five percent of participants actually washed their hands long enough to kill germs that can cause infections, meaning most people leaving the bathroom are inadvertently spreading bacteria and viruses onto the door. To prevent this infectious transaction, Two Maids and a Mop suggests frequently using anti-bacterial wipes to disinfect door knobs, switches, even the handle used to flush the toilet.
Flu season typically lasts through the fall and winter months, but these tips can be used to keep the home clean and safe from infectious germs year-round.
4 germiest places in your home during flu season revealed