There are a number of ways bacteria spreads and we couldn’t possibly cover them all in one article. Nonetheless, there are some things you can do around the house that will most certainly decrease your exposure. Since bacteria is an asexual organism that can efficiently grow rather quickly, keeping it from spawning is key.
At the end of the day, you won’t be able to eradicate all bacteria as it can be found everywhere. There’s even some inside our organs, glands, and muscles. From the doorknobs that let us in at the end of a tiring day to the kitchen counters where we prepare food, it’s also on everything we touch.
One cough, blown nose or sneeze can share tons of microbes with housemates. Avoiding cross contamination is nearly impossible. Even masks can’t always protect you from bacteria spreads. In other words, your cozy abode, that’s meant to give you an escape from the craziness of the world, can be an incredibly fertile breeding ground for bacteria of all types—both benign and not-so-benign.
How Bacteria Starts Spreading at Home.
While not every bacterium is dangerous, many strains carry potentially life-threatening health risks. Arizona already has plenty of allergens and pollutants floating around in their air. Improving air quality and keeping the home clean is important – especially with COVID-19 on the loose. So let’s take a look at 6 ways bacteria spreads in Arizona households.
1. Not Washing Your Hands Increases Bacteria.
This may come as no surprise, but preventing the spread of bacteria starts with proper hygiene. This means washing your hands regularly should be habitual if you like being healthy. Like the CDC first advised back in March of 2020, handwashing with soap for 20-30 seconds is the most effective way to remove germs from your hands.
Doing so also helps prevent infections because people frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Microorganisms from unclean hands can make their way into food and beverages where they’re just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting diners.
Removing germs through hand washing can even help prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and might even prevent skin and eye infections. If you really want to keep bodily bacteria in check, you could also add bathing and teeth brushing to your routine.
2. Refusing to Protect Yourself When Cleaning.
Whenever you clean the toilet or other germ-infested areas of your home, it’d be wise of you to protect yourself by wearing gloves. Not many of us think too much of it, but any bacteria that our skin or clothing comes in contact with becomes a host.
Wrists, elbows and sleeves aren’t often scrubbed with soap and water after cleaning. Aside from protecting yourself from harmful chemicals, brought to you by modern day cleaners, wearing gloves safeguards you from the bacteria and viruses that throw parties in your toilet bowl. When bacteria spreads this way, it’s pretty gross.
3. Flushing Your Toilet with the Lid Up.
Speaking of toilets, have you ever argued with your spouse about the toilet seat being up or down? Well, sorry fellas, but closing the lid is important. But not because your wife might fall in. Every single time you flush the toilet with the lid open, bacteria splashes into the air. It’s like an invisible pathogenic geyser.
In fact, researchers have tested the air above toilets and found that C difficile (a germ that can cause explosive vomiting and diarrhea) is often sprayed up to ten inches above the seat when it’s open. Sadly, bacteria spawned by toilets were found everywhere in the bathroom. It didn’t even matter if the toilet happened to be in use.
Although the most significant concentrations of pathogens were found right after someone flushed, there were still high amounts of toilet-bred bacteria spreads even 90 minutes after the fact. While this may frighten you, all you have to do is close the toilet lid when you flush.
4. Not Drying Off Your Toilet Scrubber.
Continuing the toilet bowl trend, being mindful of your cleaning tools also keeps bacteria at bay. For example, a toilet bowl brush can be a thousand times filthier than the toilet bowl that it cleans. What may seem like common sense is rarely even pondered.
Truth be told, it can impact your health. If a family member gets the flu (or COVID-19), replacing your toilet scrubber should be one of your first considerations. When an immune system is compromised, the last thing you want to do is add to its workload.
After replacing the scrubber, make sure you’re cleaning and disinfecting it on a regular basis. The best way to do so is to place the brush in a bucket full of boiling water and two caps of bleach for an hour or so.
After you finish, spray down your brush with antibacterial spray and dry it off with paper towels. While this may seem tedious and gross, it’s far better than constantly inhaling toilet juice every time you use the bathroom.
5. Ignoring Gross Smells from Washing Machine.
These days, high-efficiency washing machines are extremely popular. However, researchers are finding that they might not eliminate bacteria as efficiently as appliances of old. In other words, consumers are buying appliances that save them money but cost them cleanliness.
In fact, a drug-resistant disease-producing microorganism was discovered on babies’ clothing at a German hospital in 2019. This happened even after every possible precaution was taken to ensure such a nightmare scenario didn’t transpire. The origin of the outbreak happened to be the hospital’s laundry room.
Heated Washing Cycles Make a Big Difference.
Instead of using the high-temperature industrial behemoths that were required, they were “cleaning” laundry with common household washing machines. Today’s washing machines are designed to do the job at lower temperatures. Because of this, more bacteria survive the washing cycle.
Researchers found bacteria spreads in the washer’s rubber seals. From here, it reproduces through the unheated rinse cycle. In turn, gross, musty smells start to emanate from your washing machine. This is something you shouldn’t ignore as it enters your respiratory system with ease.
6. Making Your Bed Right Away Every Day
Last but not least, protect your bedroom sanctuary. Those of you that immediately make your bed every morning, the tight sheets will trap millions of dust mites that live there, devouring your dead skin cells and sweat. Pretty gross right?
This type of unnoticed problem could eventually contribute to asthma and allergy problems. It also encourages bacteria spreads. If you throw off your sheets and wait 30 minutes or so to make your bed, fresh air and sunlight will help dehydrate the creatures en masse and kill them off.
Protect Your House From Bacteria.
Now that you know all the ways that Arizona household germs multiply, you can work with your family to keep sickness out of your home. When bacteria spreads, it affects everyone that enters the house.
If you make a concerted effort to decrease your exposure, you’ll be sure to live a healthier, more prosperous, and joy-filled life. For those of you interested in IAQ checkups or HVAC service, we’re only a phone call away.