Lamendola, health and fitness expert (see my photos below)|
If you've worked in a nuclear radiation area, you understand about
step-off pads. You understand how to contain contaminants. The concept is very simple:
don't put something clean onto something dirty. In the home, that concept often goes
Here are some tips:
- Shower BEFORE going to bed, not when you get up. Why? Well, if you wash your sheets and
then sleep on them without washing your body, your sheets will be as dirty in one night as
they would be in a week or longer of sleeping on them after a shower.
- Don't eat from countertops. Don't set food directly on countertops. Why? Because these
surfaces typically have higher bacteria counts than do toilets!
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly before hanging it back up. Otherwise, it becomes a
bacterial breeding ground.
- Wash your hands BEFORE handling your genitals to urinate. Why? Urine is sterile. Your hands are loaded with bacteria, especially if you have been shaking hands.
- If anyone in your house has allergies, set aside clothes to wear outside and clothes to
wear inside. This way, you do not spread outside allergens all over your home.
- If more than one person uses a bathroom, designate towel colors for each person, rather
than sharing towels. Always let towels dry before throwing them in a hamper, where they
take much longer to dry and breed bacteria in the interim.
- Wash your hands after handling mail or money.
- Wash underwear separately from dish towels. Soap does not
disinfect; it merely lubricates. So when you wash clothing, (much of) the dirt
and germs get dislodged from the cloth fibers into the water. You don't want to
wipe your dishes with underwear water.
- Rinse dishes semi-clean before putting them in the
dishwasher. You don't have to scrub them or wash them. The dishwasher can easily
handle that for you. What you don't want is to have large amounts of proteins
sitting on dishes and feeding bacteria until wash time.
Some more thoughts on sanitation
Many people completely overlook the concept of sanitation in their home, car,
and office. Clutter is an issue when it comes to compliance. If you see, for
example, a desk covered in stacks of paper you know that's a desk that has not
been cleaned in a while.
Keep surfaces clear of clutter. There's no reason to leave stuff out. If you
think you don't have enough storage space, then get rid of things you don't
really use until you free up enough space to properly store things. The tools
and other things you really need for getting tasks done doesn't even come close
to taking up the typical amount of storage space a work area contains. This
applies in the kitchen, office, and garage.
Keep cabinets free of clutter. Organize, using containers with lids, Lazy
Susans, and other devices that make a shelf easy to use.
Keep closets free of clutter. Also drawers, shelves, nooks, crannies, purses,
briefcases, and anything else where things can accumulate. The more things you
have cluttering your physical environment, the more surface area you provide for
mold, bacteria, and various pathogens.
Wash surfaces frequently. Don't just move dust around, and don't just rub
grime to a fine shine. Use water, a soft cloth, and some kind of gentle cleaner.
If you stay on top of the dirt, it doesn't accumulate. And when it can't
accumulate, it can't provide a nice environment for nasty little bugs that make
people and pets sick.
Do you have a pet? Wash water and food bowls after use. Putting down a water
bowl and just refilling it is a good way to erode your pet's health. The slime
that builds up in the bowl makes your pet averse to getting enough water, and
that's not healthy. But the slime itself is unhealthy for you and for your pet.
Wash the bowl. Often.
Your toilet bowl should look pristine. Clean it frequently. Soap, a brush,
and some hard scrubbing applied often will keep you from having an embarrassing
bowl. Also check the tank. It's possible for mold to grow inside the toilet
tank, especially if the toilet is in the "guest bathroom" or for some other
reason isn't frequently used. Do not rely on commercial chemical bowl cleaners.
You cannot set it and forget it, you must look and clean.
Don't leave wet sponges and rags around. Kitchen sponges must be completely
dried out, at least once a day. Rinse them out, then let them dry in the
sunlight or hasten the drying by popping them in the microwave for a minute or
two. Soap is typically animal fat; it's a lubricant, not a disinfectant, so it
will not inhibit bacterial growth. Antibacterial soap won't inhibit bacterial
growth, either. But it will produce a bacteriacide-resistant strain of bacteria
when used regularly.