Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's Flu Season! Time for a Search and Destroy Mission!

Have you ever watched Monk? Well, when my family watches the opening credits in every scene no matter what he is doing, somebody says, "There is nothing wrong with that." If he is sorting the kitchen cabinets, Super says, "There is nothing wrong with that." When he is vacuuming the top of his curtains, Phil says, "Well, yeah, you've got to do that." For me, I relate to the part when Monk pours boiling water over his toothbrush. Hey, come on! It kills germs. But fortunately, my BFF Lauren bought me a special toothbrush cleaner for Christmas. It works much better than boiling water!

During flu season, cleaning your house becomes even more important than usual. When I get sick, or feel it coming on, I start looking for germ hide outs. Want to do a fun science experiment? Swab your house for germs and look at them under the microscope, that will really make your kids start cleaning. But unfortunately, it will probably give you mysophobia.

So what can you do to fight against germs? Get a good defensive game plan. Sack germs before they can pass themselves on to your kids! Here are the offensive plays for germs and the defensive plays that you can use against them!

  • Kitchen sponges - Do NOT even get me started. But I am not the one who said this, honey. It's been proven by scientists. A kitchen sponge can carry up to 134,ooo bacteria per square inch! Why does this happen? People use sponges for more than one purpose. Using the same sponge to wash dishes and wipe counters? Not a good idea! Cross-contamination is common. You might not even realize that you wiped up raw meat with it. Nasty! Another problem? Keeping a sponge too long. Moist environments like sponges breed germs. Get in the Game: Change sponges every week. If it is not time to change sponges but you think it has been contaminated, then run it through the dishwasher.
  • Kitchen sink - Many people believe just rinsing the sink out at the end of the evening is sufficient. But sorry guys! Germs are living in your kitchen drain. It's a place that you pour the juice from raw meat, dirty water, and all kinds of other things that I don't want to think about! BOYS! Get in the Game: The FDA suggests a recipe of 1 tsp bleach to 1 quart of water allowed to sit in the sink for 10 minutes.
  • Faucet handles -Surprisingly, kitchen faucet handles have more germs per square inch (13,000) than bathroom (6,000). Either way, it's germ heaven. Get in the game: spray a disinfectant on your faucet handles. On the bathroom faucets, twice a week. On the kitchen faucet, every day.
  • Door handles -Your hands and your children's hands touch these constantly. They touch things like the dog and then they touch the door handle. It's been proven that most illnesses are passed by hand to hand contact. Your door handles are a place where this is happening indirectly. Get in the game: When my kids were preschoolers and not as good about washing their hands, and not as good about not putting their hands where they didn't belong, I used to cover my doorknobs with fabric squares and tie it around with a pretty ribbon. Then at the end of the week, I could take them all off and throw them in the washer. The best part was I could play this off like it was a seasonal decoration. I had different fabric for Christmas, Valentine's, St. Patrick's...you get the idea. The other less fun thing, but easier thing, you can do, is spray your door knobs with a disinfectant at least twice a week.
  • Toilet bowl - Ummm....duh? But here's the facts. 3.2 million (can you hear Mike Myers saying "million" here?) germs per square inch. Get in the game: Here is the thing that people forget about...clean the outside of the bowl as well as the inside. It takes longer but it's not just about the inside. Clean the lid! Clean the handle. That's what your hands are touching! Clean the floor around the toilet. Nasty! Enough said? And if you have boys, make them clean this. It will make them aim better!
  • Bathtub - Again, it's all about the drain. The drain of the bathtub has 120,000 germs per square inch. So it's not just about getting rid of the bathtub ring. Get in the game: Like the kitchen drain use the bleach recipe and let it stand for 10 minutes. Do this after you have cleaned the tub normally?
When Phil and I got married, we used to argue about (oh, I mean discuss) which room needed to be cleaner -- the kitchen or the bathroom. I said the bathroom, because you are naked in there and I have a thing about toothbrushes! He said the kitchen, because you prepare food there. Well, I know most people think I am more stubborn than he is and that may be true, but he is smarter. (Shh! Don't tell him I said that. He has a big enough head!) When you are right you are right, as my mother would say. The kitchen is a germ magnet, and you have to keep it clean! Besides, now I have kids and if you use them right, they can keep both places clean. ;)

I hope this blog article was helpful to you! Good luck!

1 comment:

Homeschool Dawn said...

Good advice! We've been sick for weeks around here. I have been a Lysol spray maniac. Guess I need to start bleaching the drains.