Germs surround us in our everyday lives. They are a part of us and they make up the world that we live in. However, there are different types of germs.
Bacteria is one such type and much in the way of other germs, some bacteria can be good and harmless to humans – but others can be extremely harmful and can even lead to our untimely death.
As a result, we need to ensure we are mindful of bacteria and what we should do to protect ourselves against harmful bacteria. This guide will explain everything you need to know.
Take a seat and get comfortable as we explore the complete guide of getting rid of bacteria.
Bacteria In Your Home, Your Work And Your Transport
Bacteria can gather and live pretty much anywhere. When you go about your everyday life, you will be exposed to a whole host of bacteria.
Generally, our immune system will protect us from many of the symptoms associated with bacterial attacks on our bodies – however, there will come a time that bacteria “wins”.
In your home, there are areas that harmful bacteria will be most likely to reproduce and as a result, these areas need to be cleaned to eradicate the risk of getting sick from bacteria.
These areas are normally, but not limited to the bathroom, toilet areas and the kitchen. When you are on public transport, bacteria will be passed from person to person via droplets or via physical contact.
This may be from touching communal surfaces such as seats, tables or poles.
In your workplace, these two rules come together – so bacterial growth will be most likely in communal areas, including the bathroom and, if applicable, the kitchen.
Eradicating This Bacteria
Many stores will sell disinfectant sprays that claim to kill a large percentage of harmful bacteria, and for the majority of these products – that is indeed true.
However, you should pay attention to the label, as some disinfectants are created specifically for areas such as the kitchen or bathroom.
Additionally, some cleaning products aim to kill bacteria but work “kindly” to the areas they are in, such as the office to protect surfaces such as computers.
To kill the bacteria from these areas, ensure you do the following steps:
- Purchase disinfectant that is designed for a specific area
- Keep a cleaning station with all products separate
- Keep cleaning cloths/sponges separate for area to area
- Keep a cleaning schedule to ensure harmful bacteria is kept under control
- Always clean thoroughly
- Clean as you go
- Beware of bins – empty them as frequently as possible
- Wear protective gear such as gloves for more protection
- Always wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning these areas
Separation Is Important
As we mentioned about having separation in your cleaning station, separation is very important for most elements of the cleaning process and general hygiene.
This is perhaps most critical when it comes to the kitchen. Raw food is usually teeming with dangerous bacteria and you need to be aware of the best way to keep yourself safe and keep it under control.
Here’s what to do in the kitchen:
- Separate food types in the fridge and freezer areas, ensuring raw meat and fish are kept at the bottom and away from other cooked foods
- Have a separate chopping board and utensils for raw foods
- Always use protective equipment when handling raw foods
- Have an area in the kitchen where you can prepare raw foods
- Have a cleaning station nearby
- Always use disinfectant spray and clean thoroughly after use
- Always wash your hands after handling these things
- Do not touch your face during handling
Everyday Hygiene: Hand Sanitizer And Hand Washing
To ensure that you are kept as safe as possible, it is recommended that you carry with you a small bottle of hand sanitizer.
Now, whilst this can be very helpful – hand sanitizer very rarely kills as much bacteria as disinfectant does.
Therefore, it is wise to wash your hands and then use sanitizer for extra protection. However, it will always give you better protection than if you did not use it.
Very few things when it comes to hygiene will protect you more than washing your hands. Therefore, if you want to ensure you kill bacteria – wash your hands as frequently as possible.
This includes at home, in the office and when you’re out and about. It’s always recommended that you keep a bottle of travel disinfectant and hand sanitizer in your car too.
As with everywhere else, maintain regular cleaning of the car to protect yourself and others against harmful bacteria that may have been transported into the car throughout the day.
Dust And Dirt – Bacteria Hidden
Whilst all of these tips are important, regular cleaning of the places you most frequent is critical.
When it comes to your home, whilst the bathroom and kitchen are very likely places for harmful bacteria – it is still important to clean the rest of your home.
Using a vacuum cleaner can pick up foreign objects such as dirt and dust that can carry bacteria, especially if you have pets.
Once again, it is a good idea to keep a cleaning schedule to ensure you are as protected as possible.
The areas that people often overlook are vents and fans.
These areas often collect dust and other harmful particles which are then blown around the room creating further bacteria spread airborne.
Therefore, it’s important not to neglect these areas. Ensure you are keeping dust collection to a minimum and disinfect these areas as often as possible.
Ventilation areas that are commonly overlooked include:
- The bathroom
- The stove
- The garage
Additionally, it’s important that you are regularly washing areas in the home like your curtains, tablecloths, pet bowls and your bedding.
These areas can often be neglected but can end up being a huge breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Once again, it’s a good idea to keep a cleaning schedule to kill off these bacteria.
Bacteria And Your Clothes
Bacteria can also collect and breed on your clothes, so it’s important that you regularly change your clothes.
To eradicate bacteria on your clothes, you’ll need to know that temperature plays a huge role in this. There is a reason that it’s recommended you wash your hands with warm water and you have to cook your food!
140 degrees fahrenheit is perfectly acceptable to wash your clothes and bedding in using a washing machine, however if you really want to make this more effective – use a dryer afterwards.
There’s nothing wrong with using an outside clothing line to dry your clothes naturally (and less costly) but you’ll need to be aware of the potential of contamination with things outside, including mud.
So, if you do dry your clothes outdoors, try to keep them as high as possible, away from the ground and animals.
Common Hygiene – Keeping Yourself Safe
Above all else, you need to keep yourself clean.
Maintaining a high level of hygiene is most critical so that you can remain healthy and free of as much harmful bacteria as possible and you lower the risk of passing it on to others, including your family.
Ensure you are bathing daily and keeping up with your oral hygiene.
If you have a beard or long hair – make sure you are washing these frequently and thoroughly as foreign dust and bacteria can collect without you seeing it.
If you wear glasses, ensure you are cleaning the entirety of them regularly too. It’s very common for people to put glasses in their mouths when they are thinking… or not thinking for that matter.
Therefore, the possibility of getting sick is quite high. To kill this type of bacteria, it’s advised to purchase sanitising wipes. These are easier to use with things like glasses due to their size.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Cold Air Help Bacterial Growth?
There’s little evidence that cold air helps the growth of bacteria. However, if you are thinking of “flu season” during the winter, there’s a reason that people get sick more often during this time.
It’s kind of to do with the weather, but it’s not the weather itself.
Due to the plummeting temperatures, people are far more likely to be indoors and in close contact with one another, which increases the chances of bacterial spread.
The air being cold will not make too much of a difference to bacteria. On the flip side though, the more exposure to ultraviolet light – like the sun for example, bacteria tends to struggle.
Wash My Hands Or Use Hand Sanitizer?
Both! Nothing will ever beat washing your hands properly using soap and warm water, but hand sanitizer is a close second.
Try the former first but use sanitizer if you are not near an area you can wash your hands.
The Bottom Line
Bacteria can be harmful and knowing how to keep yourself safe and kill it off is critical – follow the tips above and you should be fine!
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