It’s no secret that germs are everywhere. Those microscopic organisms can be helpful, but then again they can cause serious illness in plants, animals and humans; they can even lead to death. Microbiologists say it is wise for us to educate ourselves about where germs are concealed. Some of the top places they hide may surprise you, but knowing where they lurk will allow you to protect yourself.
Microbes, pathogen, fungi, microscopic organisms; whatever you like to call them they are germs, and we are all used to them lurking around our toilet bowls and our kitchen garbage bin. Research shows they can also be found in and around the products built to keep us clean.
Cleaning Machines and Your Immune System
According to microbiologists at New York University, your dishwasher can serve up a heaping helping of bacteria if you aren’t careful. The damage can happen more than one way. The gasket on the door can be full of fungus or black yeast, and/or a bacterium accumulates when dishes are left unwashed for a few days. This happens when the temperature inside the machine isn’t hot enough to kill off all the microorganisms. If plates sit and become crusty you should rinse them with a mild bleach solution first before running them through the dishwasher. Microbiologists say a mixture of bleach and water can also be used to occasionally clean out the door gasket.
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Washing machines are just as bad. Studies show that feces get left behind by undergarments. The feces then spread to the next load and of course to humans. The best preventative approach is to wash all underwear in one load using hot water. You can then run another load with just bleach to rinse out any lingering feces.
Personal Hygiene and Your Immune System
It is hard to imagine that your immune system may have to fight off an attack due to your toothbrush; however, a study in Microscopy and Technique says it is true. Apparently, if you leave your toothbrush out and you don’t have a low-flow toilet, flushing it can cause aerosolized droplet splatter that can cover those bristles. You can either run your toothbrush through the dishwasher, (remember to keep it germ free) or keep your brush in a closed cabinet.
While you are in the bathroom be careful not to use a towel that has been hanging there for more than 2 or 3 days. Whether they have been used to dry hands or an entire body, once they get damp they collect bacteria. The preventative tip here is to wash them every few days with hot water and put them in a hot dryer.
Here are a few other places that can force your immune system to start fighting germs.
• ATM machines
• Computer keyboards
• Gas pumps
• Shopping cart handles
• Light switches
• Remote controls
It is common knowledge that kitchen counters and cutting boards are a breeding ground for bacteria, but most people assume that since the microscopic organism tend to like warm temperatures, the refrigerator is safe. Not so according to science experts at St. Louis University. They say when meat for example leaks onto some vegetables, bacteria can grow and suddenly your fridge can make you ill.
Microbiologists say they don’t expect people to live in a bubble and fear health damage due to germs every minute of the day. They say when you really stop and think about it, common sense tells you where the nasty protozoa might be living, and preventative measures can always be put in place.