UV light disinfection may not come to your mind when thinking of cleaning your home. Yet, we invite you to reconsider that for the health and safety of yourself and your loved ones. No matter how well you clean your house, germs, dirt, and grime still find new ways and places to sneak in. If you think that the toilet seat is the germiest place in a home, think again!
You’ll be surprised to learn that, in fact, it’s not the toilet. Other places and items that you interact with often are much dirtier. The five main household germs that can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses are Staphylococcus aureus, yeast, mold, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, or E. coli, and fecal matter.
Why Use UV Light Disinfection?
Traditional disinfection methods have been used for years, but are they effective enough? Unfortunately, even rigorous cleaning with bleach and other chemical products can miss some of these harmful bacteria and germs.
Therefore, we find UV light disinfection to be a much more effective alternative.
Unlike harsh chemicals, UV light disinfection is non-toxic. The UV-C spectrum of UV light deactivates the DNA or RNA or viruses, bacteria, as well as other pathogens, destroying their ability to reproduce and cause illness. Since it’s a physical process rather than a chemical one, UV light doesn’t add any additional chemicals. Therefore, it’s also environmentally friendly.
Moreover, UV light effectively eliminates up to 99.99% of all bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
If you’re wondering which spots in your house deserve special attention during your next cleaning spree, check out the top 5 germiest spots.
The Germiest Places in Your Home to Use UV Light Disinfection
1. The Kitchen
Areas where you prepare or store food have more contamination than any other place at home. Yes, even more than the bathroom!
- Kitchen sinks: Including tap handles and the faucet, kitchen sinks are the perfect place for the bacteria that breed in warm and damp areas. It’s the spot where you rinse your dishes and leave behind food particles, which aids the formation of bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter that cause food poisoning.
- Kitchen sponge: A kitchen sponge is considered to be the germiest item in the entire house. It stays moist and wet with food particles for bacteria to eat on. It is believed that one square inch can contain an average of 54 billion bacteria cells! This is almost the same amount of germs that feces contain.
- Kitchen countertops and chopping boards: While kitchen countertops get cleaned more often, think of everything that goes on top of your kitchen counter. To name a few, we place raw food, shopping bags, mobile phones, and keys. So, it’s bound to be one of the germiest places in your home. Cross-contamination is a severe problem with cutting boards. You cut vegetables, meat, and fish, and germs can easily fester.
Other kitchen items and appliances that need to be cleaned frequently are coffee makers, refrigerators, and kitchen towels.
UV light disinfection can be an excellent alternative for places and items that may be hard to reach or clean, as well as for places you may not want to touch. UV light can also be fitted in kitchen exhausts to reduce odor, smoke, and grease. This solution is perfect for both domestic and commercial kitchen environments.
2. Handles, Knobs, and Switches
Handles, knobs, and switches are often overlooked because when cleaning, you’re focusing on bigger surfaces such as floors or countertops. But, just think about how frequently people touch them. No wonder they are some of the germiest places!
Handles, knobs, and switches are dry and innocuous, but they can support live bacteria for up to one day! Some viruses can survive even longer. For instance, the novel coronavirus can stay on plastic and metal surfaces for three days or according to some of the latest studies even as long as for 28 days.
In addition to those, don’t forget to also clean stove knobs, microwave and refrigerator handles, as well as bathroom switches regularly!
While the bathroom is the place where we get clean, the bathroom itself is a pretty dirty place. These are the germiest places in your bathroom:
- Toothbrushes and toothbrush holders: Due to the moisture and steam from hot showers, the bathroom is ideal for germ growth. You may be surprised to learn that toothbrushes and toothbrush holders have more germs than the actual toilet seat! If you place it close to the toilet, it can also accumulate the tiny particles of feces during a flush as well as attract mold and yeast, coliform, and staph! So before you stick your toothbrush in your mouth thrice a day, keep this in mind. Furthermore, be sure to replace it after you’ve been sick!
- Toilet bowls: This shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone. Human feces can carry a range of transmissible bacteria and viruses. It’s stated that there are about 3.2 million bacteria per square feet! When you flush with the lid up, particles of these waterborne feces can rise as high as 15 feet in the air!
Other spots in the bathroom that need special attention are the shower tubs, drains, taps, bath towels, and shower curtains. Have you ever noticed the bottom of your shower curtain go brown? That’s mold!
Washing machines have a similar effect. It’s hot and wet. SO, it’s a perfect place for bacteria to breed. Remove your washed clothes from the machine as soon as the load is over.
4. Living Room, Bedroom, and Gaming Room
If your living room has a carpet, it’s bound to be a hot ground for germs.
Did you know that germs such a norovirus which cause stomach flu can survive on carpet fibers for at least a month? Not only that, but carpets also collect dust mites, food, dead skin, pet dander, and pollen. There are as many as 200,000 bacterias per square inch! Just like carpets, beds, pillows, and mattresses can attract bacteria and cause skin irritation, fungal infections, and allergies.
Similarly, there are hidden germs in objects frequently touched by human hands daily. So, TV remote controls, video game controllers, mobile phones, keyboards, and headphones tend to be some of the germiest places, too.
5. Pet Bowls and Toys
If you have pets at home, you may be disgusted to hear that the slimy surface on the food bowl is a germy coating called biofilm that can harbor dangerous organisms such as listeria, salmonella, and legionella.
Therefore, use stainless steel or ceramic instead of plastic bowls. Plastic is porous, so bacterias can thrive in it. Similarly, pet toys also have bacteria on them, especially if your pets are playing with them outside.
Other Items for UV Light Disinfection
Other items you should consider cleaning with UV light are keys, purses, wallets, shoes, makeup, and gym bags. These are frequently used items that go with you almost everywhere. You may be surprised to see the number of bacteria found on them.
Now that you’ve learned new germy spots around the house – don’t panic! You don’t need to clean more. Instead, you need to clean smarter. Reconsider what cleaning tool you’re using. For a variety of reasons, correctly used UV light disinfection is a much safer and effective option to keep the germs, infections, and illnesses at bay.