Clean Up Your Act
YOU’RE INVITING BACTERIA INTO YOUR LIFE IF YOU’RE GUILTY OF ANY OF THESE VIOLATIONS.
YOU TEXT IN THE BATHROOM
Flushing creates an aerosol of microbes, like norovirus and E. coli, which can land on your phone, says Dr Michael Schmidt, vice-chairman of microbiology at the Medical University of South Carolina in the US. You’ll later hold that phone to your face. Gross.
Be Smart Pocket your device before flushing the toilet, and wipe it daily with a micro-fibre cloth. Its static charge can pull bacteria away, says Dr Schmidt.
YOU DON’T DISASSEMBLE THE BLENDER
If you don’t unscrew the blade housing, you haven’t cleaned it – and may be mixing microbes into your smoothie. Public health organisation NSF International found blenders to be among the germiest items in the kitchen.
Be Smart Unplug and unscrew the base. Then wash and dry each part before reassembling. Or use a hand blender – these are easier to clean.
YOU NEVER CLEAN YOUR COFFEE MAKER
That warm, damp reservoir is a bacteria mecca. An NSF International study found both yeast and mould were common, and 9 per cent of coffee makers turned up coliform, a group of faecal bacteria that includes E. coli.
Be Smart Every month or two, fill the reservoir with white vinegar, wait 30 minutes, and run a normal brew cycle. Run a few pots of water until the vinegar smell dissipates.
YOU’RE LAZY WITH YOUR LENS CARE
Sleeping in contacts and re-using solution – improper care can put you at risk of infection. And don’t forget your lens case. Scientists in Turkey found 94 per cent of cases were contaminated with at least one microorganism.
Be Smart Use a case with a smooth interior. To clean it, fill with lens solution, rub for 10 seconds and drain. Wipe with a tissue and air-dry face down. Replace seasonally.
YOU PROP YOUR FEET ON THE COFFEE TABLE
Germs on your feet can transfer to your table. “This is trouble when you touch the table and then touch food,” says Dr Schmidt. One small study found faecal bacteria on 70 per cent of coffee tables in bachelor pads.
Be Smart Use the table for food or feet – not both. Wipe it down weekly with a nontoxic cleaner.