“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”-stands good as a saying only maybe! Personal hygiene is basic for well-being of individuals but its rare to find our homes tidy and our streets clean. Public toilets are in an unusable state most of the time and even our homes get a fresh look only during festive seasons. But our homes are comparably far better than our environment that’s filled with air pollution and extremely bad/dirty public spaces and this makes it even more necessary to ensure better care of our personal hygiene and hygiene of our homes to stave off infection.
On the very utterance of the word ‘hygiene’ our minds whirl back to our restrooms and toilet seats. Many have the habit of cleaning their restrooms often, use disinfectants on toilet seats and try to maintain it clean as much as possible. A professor of microbiology at the Arizona University even states that you cannot find a germ researcher who does not recommend eating off the toilet seat as everyone’s afraid of butt-borne diseases but toilet seats tend to be the cleanest thing in the bathroom as we tend to clean them so very often (https://time.com/4620966/dirty-germ-bacteria/). While we have a list of things that we assume to be the dirtiest of the lot all of you reading this are in for a sure surprise as listed below are different other items that one would have never imagined to be infected by germs.
Almost all of us believe that toilet seats are the dirtiest part of the house but shockingly there are about 200 times more faecal bacteria on a typical chopping board compared to the toilet seat! The part of the house (kitchen) that’s supposedly the origin of wellness and good health exists as the epitome of bacteria and germs.
Put Your Thinking Caps to Use: How Many of You Can Think About a Few Germ-enriched Places/Things in the House?
KItchen: Every kitchen has a hand towel by default, a sponge to clean the sink and a cutting board to chop veggies. Each of these items have a hundred ways in which they can be adulterated. Almost 15% of sponges and dish cloths have salmonella growing in them. Isn’t it common that most of use the same sponge that is used to wash the vessels to clean the sink as well? The hand towel in the kitchen is our saviour in times of cooking. But we use the same towel to dry the vessels as well spreading germs to every utensil around us.
Bathroom: In the bathroom, do we even care a little bit more for our toothbrush stands or the had towel hanging in one corner of the room? Never! Our only concern is the ghastly toilet seat that’s treated with royalty and kept spick and span! Most people never bother to clean their toothbrush stands and a study found that almost 27% toothbrush holders were home to Coliform bacteria that can cause sickness. Likewise, hand towels are placed to dry our hands. But we are indeed lazy and try to wipe off germs using the towel without giving a proper wash to our hands. This way, the bacteria spreads from person to person who makes use of the towel. Ideally, any towel (hand towel or bath towel) must be washed every two days to maintain hygiene. The toilet lid is there to save us from the umpteen bacteria that is sprayed in the air when we flush but none of us take the pain to close the lid before flushing it off. Do we?
Birthday Cake: Each of us wait around the birthday cake to grab a piece of the yummy treat once the candle is blown and the cake is cut into pieces. Hardly do we realize that the birthday boy/girl has showered us with his/her germs that’s now onto the cake because of our tradition of blowing off the candles. Study shows that blowing candles increases bacteria on the surface of the cake by 1400%. `
Purses: You can find a woman’s entire needs resting inside her cute little handbag. While women take care to clean the inside of it every once a while they don’t seem to care much about the outside. We can see the bags lying on the ground in hotels, shops and everywhere else becoming the breeding place for germs. Our purses too need regular cleaning as we constantly hold them with our hands after touching everywhere else.
Pens: You might seem to be deep in thoughts chewing your pen but you are also ignorant of the fact that you are personally choosing to swallow some of the germs that have stuck onto it by different means.
Smartphones: Mankind is unable to survive without a smartphone in hand but little do they know that mobiles are storehouses of bacteria. Studies show that one in six phones are covered with faecal matter (yikes! I know) but we happily take them inside restrooms and kitchens without bothering to think twice.
Beard: Maybe you have re-read the word twice but a man’s beard carries more germs than a dog’s fur. Men with beard feel masculine but now they also have a reason to trim it off or at least, clean, wash and maintain it with equal care as they would do to the hair in their head.
All these things don’t immediately call for a chemical cleaner as these cleaners cause more harm than good. The simple way to maintain personal hygiene is to wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap frequently, use a hand sanitizer and ensure to clean your house and keep it neat and tidy as much as possible.
Keep those Germs Away: Six Easy Steps to Hand Hygiene: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/six-easy-steps-to-hand-hygiene-4773025/
Men with Beards have More Bacteria than a Dog’s Fur: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/men-with-beards-have-more-bacteria-than-a-dogs-fur-study/articleshow/68935868.cms
Germ’s Found in Places You’d Least Expect: https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/germs-found-in-places-youd-least-expect-20120420-1xbql.html
10 Germ-spreading Habits to Give Up Now: https://www.thehealthy.com/habits/germ-spreading-habits/
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.