Keep clean! Britons at risk of hidden germs in the home


Regardless of how often you clean or how meticulous you are about cleaning, there are always places in your home where germs hide. Most people may think that the bathroom is the main area for hidden germs, but kitchens top the list. Another area is the carpets in your home.

A global independent public health and environmental organisation, NSF International, found that appliances, such as blenders, can openers and the refrigerator, often have unsafe bacteria levels, including salmonella, yeast, mould and E.coli.

Before you grab your sponge and head to the kitchen to start cleaning again, you should know that it was classified as the ‘germiest’ item in the kitchen. Sponges are able to collect bacteria during the cleaning process, but they are not regularly or properly sanitised before being used again.

Microfibre pads can be placed in the dishwasher for sanitisation. Other sponges can be placed in the microwave for two minutes to kill off some of the hidden bacteria.


Scientists found high bacteria levels from the E.coli and pneumonia groups after they swabbed the shoes of people across the UK. They also found toxins and traces of faecal and gut bacteria from both humans and animals.

According to the study done by Rug Doctor, most people were unaware of the dust mites, urine, tar and manure that can be found embedded in carpets. The survey found that about 40% of Brits wear footwear inside their homes and less than 20% clean the soles of their shoes.

In excess of 28% of the population in the UK have experienced a pet vomiting on their floor and 24% have had a pet leaving a mess on their floors. About 30% have had someone vomit on their carpet and 22% admitted to having had sex on their floors. A total of 91% allowed their children to play on the carpet.

Dr Pixie McKenna said that bugs such as E.coli and pneumonia is carried into our homes on the soles of shoes and are then embedded into the carpets. However, 41% of people still have no intention of removing their footwear at the door.

Regular vacuuming can get rid of some of the terrible things in your carpet, but a deep clean at least twice a year should be done.

Kitchen Sink

Although the kitchen sink comes into contact with soap and water regularly, salmonella and E.coli could be found in it. Its surface should be scrubbed with hot water and soap at least once each week.


Everything comes into contact with your kitchen countertops and it all leaves behind some form of bacteria. The counter should be cleaned and dried after every instance of food preparation. It is recommended that you have separate cutting boards for raw poultry and meat. However, if this is not possible, it should be washed in hot, soapy water and dried. It is recommended that microfiber products and water be used instead of chemical based cleaners.


The knobs and dials on your stove are often contaminated because you touch them when your hands have been contaminated with food. It may be possible to wash the dials in your dishwasher, but you should check the manual first. You should wash them in warm, soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly before replacing.

Fridge Water Dispenser

A solution of water and vinegar can be run through the dispenser to clean it thoroughly at least once each year.

Toothbrush Holder

This is the second highest germ breeder in a home, behind your kitchen sponge. These holders are normally placed close to the toilet, particularly in smaller bathrooms and flushing allows the bacteria to land on items placed close to the toilet.

Toothbrush holders should be cleaned on a regular basis by place them in a dishwasher or using soapy, boiling water.

Pet Bowl

Pet bowls should be placed in a dishwasher or washed by hand with hot, soapy water and rinsed. This should be done on a daily basis.

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Health News UK provides the latest health and medical industry news for the United Kingdom

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