Clean Up Your Act

YOU’RE INVIT­ING BAC­TE­RIA INTO YOUR LIFE IF YOU’RE GUILTY OF ANY OF TH­ESE VI­O­LA­TIONS.

Men's Health (Singapore) - - HEALTH -

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.

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