It can be hard to see the silver lining during a global pandemic. However, one of the advantages of living in such times is the heightened focus that must be placed on cleanliness. Most of us will learn valuable lessons during this quarantine, which will hopefully remain in our memory long after the viral threat has passed.
When it comes to cleaning, most of us think of our bathrooms, living rooms, and floors. After all, these are the areas that intuitively will attract the most pathogens. While this conclusion is valid, there are items that we often neglect to clean, and these items pose a greater health risk than even your toilet seat.
Phones and phone screens
Modern phones are portable mini-computers, and their front side is one giant screen. The ease of use and portability of phones makes them easy to use anywhere, as we carry them around wherever we go.
All of the germs, fungal spores, and dirt particles that we touch will inevitably end up on our phone screens. To make matters worse, human skin secrets an oily substance called sebum, which easily and visibly smears the screen’s surface. This makes it easier to dirt to cling to the surface and provides a nutritious substrate for bacteria.
Phones quickly become bacteria nurseries. This item will also be held up to our head, touching our face.
The issue was researched back in 2017 by analyzing 27 phones belonging to students. Without fail, each phone was brimming with harmful germs such as E. coli and Streptococcus.
Ideally, we should wash our hands very often and clean our phone screens twice a week. Thankfully, this is not a time-consuming endeavor. To clean your phone, you just need a couple of alcohol-based disinfectant wipes.
Wiping a phone screen takes only a few seconds, and it eliminates a significant threat to your health.
Kitchen cutting boards
Another household item that is neglected is the kitchen cutting board. We have a wooden board with thousands of tiny slashes carved into it. With each slash, we are pushing food particles inside these damp crevices. Of course, bacteria adore damp places with lots of food. An improperly cleaned cutting board can grow an impressive amount of harmful microorganisms in just a short time.
To clean it, simply wash it with warm, soapy water. Avoid putting in the dishwater, as food fibers can dislodge and accumulate inside the appliance’s drain.
Computers. All of them
The general rule of high-risk surfaces: If you place your hands on it often, it is much more likely to gather pathogens. Similar to phones, computers are pieces of technology that are used daily.
Computer peripherals such as keyboards and mice are the main culprits. Mice are easy to disinfect, as they can be swiftly wiped down due to their handy( pun intended) shape.
When it comes to keeping keyboards clean, it can be more difficult than simply wiping off a phone screen. Keyboards have dozens of buttons and, depending on the style, an exposed underside. If you are in the habit of eating while watching internet videos, some stray crumbs and food particles can easily find a new home in the spaces between the keys.
It is important to stay on top of the situation and clean the keyboard often. Once it gets out of hand, a messy keyboard is tough to clean and can require the removal and disasembly of each individual button.
Use a thin cue tip to get inside the space between the keys, and a disinfectant wipe for the overall surface.
Doorknobs and elevator buttons
These two represent some of the most high-touch surfaces in any building. It can be nearly impossible to control an elevator button’s cleanliness, given that you will not be the only one to use it.
Still, you could suggest to the building’s cleaning staff that they pay extra attention to that area.
Your home’s doorknobs are much easier to disinfect, given that dozens of strangers will not use them on a daily basis.
Depending on the material, it would be best to scrub them with an alcohol-based disinfectant solution at least 2-3 times a day during the pandemic. Pandemics aside, once per day is enough.
All of the high-touch areas mentioned are not difficult to clean, yet they can host some serious risks to your health if neglected. It is possible to clean all of them in under 5 minutes, and your family will be healthier and safer if you do so.