Your germiest items.....
Your germiest items.....
In an age of increased awareness about bacterial contamination, and micro-organisms living on our everyday things, some generations are more aware than others of the dangers that are on our own possessions. I remember vividly as a child when I’d eaten something messy my mother would get a cloth from the kitchen sink, wet it a bit and then wipe my face. I’ll never forget how that cloth smelled, I know with hindsight and in the sector I’m working in that that cloth was full of bacteria. My mother had no idea, so I guess it’s a generation thing.
So let’s kick off with some of the more obvious ones, kitchen counters. We know that the whole household has access to kitchen counters, the children butter toast straight on the counter, people slice fruit straight on the counter, even teenagers clean their shoes on the counter! So before we begin preparing food or laying food out, we must sanitise these counter tops to make sure that whatever bacteria the cat has dragged around the counters, or what ever germs were on the kids shoes have been dealt with. You can of course use this sanitiser, which is 30 second contact which won’t delay you in getting started, just simply spray around all your worktops and take a piece of kitchen roll and wipe it away. Then you can start your food prep safe in the knowledge that your kitchen has been sanitised.
So if we can move on to one of my absolute pet hates it would be dirty handbags. There is nothing more unsavoury than when someone comes into my kitchen and plops their dirty handbag down on my sanitised countertops. Know this might sound very uptight, however I am going to be preparing food for my family on the counter top and I have gone to great trouble to sanitise said countertop. I have no idea where that handbag has been!
If we can think about the places we take our handbags we take them into high traffic areas, and by high traffic I mean places that people are walking around with their shoes which have been traipsing around outside in really dirty places picking up all manner of bacteria, and sharing that with the piece of ground you are selecting to put your handbag down on, therefore picking up that bacteria. By putting your handbag on my counter top you are now sharing that bacteria with my countertop. If you are fortunate enough to get out to the pub or to a nightclub and you take your handbag with you you are picking up bacteria there as well, which you are wantonly sharing with everyone’s counter top you put your bag down on.
Cleaning bags is also a contentious issue in terms of the expensiveness of your bag…..how much have you paid for your bag? If it’s a really expensive one, or if it’s made of good quality leather you really wouldn’t want me attacking it with my sanitiser spray which will of course dry the leather out! In fact it would be really bad etiquette if somebody came into my house put their bag down on my counter top and I attacked it with my sanitiser (which you and I both know that is what I want to do!) or with a tub of antibacterial wipes. The best way to care for your bag and to make sure that you’re not offending anybody with your bacteria sharing behaviour is to clean it yourself, with antibacterial wipes and then nourish the leather.
It is also good etiquette to put your back on the floor, or if it’s a really expensive one pop on the back of the dining room chair. If someone comes in to my house and puts their bag on my table or counter tops I immediately move it to the back of a dining room chair. It is equally bad etiquette to put an expensive bag on what may be perceived as a dirty kitchen floor!
Everyone of course has heard horror stories about the grubbiness, the bacteria load, and all of the niceties that we are carrying around in our hands on a daily basis – the bacteria on our mobile phones. The amount of people who don’t wash their hands after they go to the toilet is astounding in this day and age.
Now that might make me sound pompous, however working in the sector and having exposure to the data I have access to it would really make your head spin if you knew the amount of people that don’t wash their hands after they go to the toilet. This means the amount of faecal bacteria that has been transferred to mobile phones is astronomical. Those people who touched the mobile phones and then stick their fingers in their mouth, may be transferring faecal bacteria from the phone to their mouth – and that’s how Norovirus is spread.
Various other bacteria stick to mobile phones and can survive on hard surfaces for a long time, such as the cold virus which can survive on hard surfaces indoors for up to 7 days. The flu virus again indoors can survive on hard surfaces for 24 hours, and a lot of other strains of viruses can survive on metal or plastic for a sustained period of time and even longer on soft furnishings on kids teddies – I’ll come back to kids teddies!!
So if we apply this logic to the non-handwashing population, what kind of bacteria do we think is living on their iPads or tablets, or keyboards at work? Have you ever thought about that hot desk, the communal keyboard which is cleaned maybe once a week/once a month by that external company that comes in to clean them? How many of the non-hand washing masses have been sat at that keyboard, how many times have you sat at the keyboard typing an email and put your finger in your mouth; thinking about your phraseology? How much faecal bacteria have you ingested? Disgusting thought right?
So what is the best way to clean this bacteria breeding ground? Well in the main these devices are electronic, so you can't go squirting sanitiser at them! The best way would be to sanitise them and give them a good wipe down with one of these wipes.
So we were talking earlier about the survival rate of viruses and bacteria on hard surfaces, and I did mention that soft furnishings or children’s teddies are a great area for them to survive. You can of course wash your soft soft furnishings or children’s teddies in a boil wash, 80°C or above which will kill the bacteria, but it’s likely to ruin the teddy, or certainly make your cushion cover misshapen – so we will use an alternative suggestion. Disinfecting laundry powder is what I use on my daughters favourite teddies. She has two, and she likes to rub them against her nose while she sucks her thumb. So, these teddies are in close proximity to her mouth, are infected with whatever virus she is carrying at whatever time, and she likes to rub them in her mum and dads face, which neither of us like! After a few days they get a bit whiffy so I like to put them in the washing machine with the dose of disinfecting laundry powder, and we give them a bath! The disinfecting laundry powder which we sell at Astral kills various bacteria including MRSA and Ecoli, so I know my daughters teddies are not teaming with bacteria. I put my cushion covers blankets and all of those things I provide to my daughter when she’s unwell through a 30° wash with the disinfecting laundry powder – it’s great stuff!
For those soft furnishings that I can not fit in my washing machine (chairs, sofa etc) I use a spray sanitiser or are use an odour neutraliser with an embedded sanitiser. The odour neutraliser is BSEN1276, meaning it kills 99.999% of bacteria in 30 seconds; so I effectively mist my sofa cushion etc. Without getting it too wet then the bacteria is dead, and any smell that is omitting from that bacteria will also disappear.
I’ve talked about a number of products in this blog and I hyperlinked them all so you can have a peruse on the website and see a detailed description. If you’d like any further support or you like to hear us talk about something specific in our next Blog Don’t hesitate to contact us.
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