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U.S. Homes Losing Battle of the Germs

Study Shows Housecleaning Habits of Americans Leave Something to Be Desired

Housecleaning Has a Long Way to Go continued...

It's human nature for people to rationalize why they don't clean, he says, using excuses such as a lack of time, being too tired, or saying it will get done later.

"It's like teeth brushing, flossing; how many people don't do that, though they know they should," Dunlop says. "And exercising. And proper sleep hygiene. We are bombarded with things we are not doing right that we should be doing for our health. We have to make choices."

Jane Allen, 60, of the Atlanta area, tells WebMD her kitchen floor "is probably the dirtiest place in our house because I'm a messy cook, and I hate to mop." But she takes other steps to kill germs.

"We spray the counters with Lysol before we do any prep work there," Allen says.

That's good, but people should do more, says Tierno, "to avoid getting sick."

Recommendations for Better Home Hygiene

What else can people do to keep the germs they don't see at bay? Here are some tips from the experts:

  • Remember, if a cloth is dirty, it won't do any good to use it for cleaning.
  • Faucets should be cleaned more often and only with disposable cloths.
  • If cloths are washed by machine, make sure water temperature is high.
  • Use separate cloths to wash up with and  to wipe kitchen surfaces.
  • Use separate cloths for bathroom and kitchen.
  • Use paper towels and anti-bacterial sprays.
  • After preparing raw chicken and meat, thoroughly clean chopping boards, work surfaces, kitchen taps, sinks, and door handles.
  • Wipe up spills on floors.
  • Wash hands thoroughly and often.
  • Practice cough and sneeze etiquette. Cough into your elbow, not your hands, and sneeze into a tissue to minimize hand contact with germs.



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