This next piece is not for the squeamish. Because the next time you’re in the bathroom, think about this: every time you flush the toilet, bacteria-laden germs fly up to twenty feet around the room and land on everything in sight.
Dr. Charles Gerba, an environmental microbiologist, says that detailed studies have shown that the “germy ejecta” from a toilet flush looks like quote, “Baghdad at night during a U.S. air attack.” And if that thought doesn’t completely gross you out, this will: think about your toothbrush, which is probably sitting on the bathroom counter. It’s being hit by germs every time you flush.
You can avoid transmitting the airborne toilet germs into your mouth by rinsing your toothbrush in mouthwash or peroxide every day, or better yet, by storing it in the cabinet. It also helps to get in the habit of closing the toilet seat when you flush. But there’s actually another room in the house that wins top honors for harboring tons of germs. It’s the kitchen.
Dr. Phillip Tierno, author of “The Secret Life of Germs” and a professor at NYU Medical Center, says your kitchen sponge has more bacteria and germs than your toilet bowl or garbage can. It’s because most people use their kitchen sponge to clean everything from the counters, to the floor, to the dishes. And a warm, wet kitchen sponge is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Dr. Tierno advises switching to a new sponge every week, or cleaning it in a weak bleach solution, or popping it in the microwave for a minute.
So here are the top 5 germiest things in your home: the kitchen sponge was the number one carrier of bacteria, followed by the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, the kitchen faucet handles and the handles in the kitchen. Ironically, the toilet was last on his list of 15 items tested.
So how do you defeat the germ army? Go to battle once a week with a bleach cleanser, which will zap 99 percent of fecal organisms and bacteria crawling around. Now, if that doesn’t make you want to run home and clean the kitchen, nothing will.