Dr Lisa Ackerley says make sure you’re not making your home dirtier when cleaning up!
Make sure your kitchen cloth is not used for the floor
Recently my PA told me about how she got into a bit of a strop with her boyfriend when she caught him using the dishcloth on the floor. As she rightly pointed out, as she had just walked in with her outdoor shoes on, effectively if he had used the same cloth for cleaning the dishes, it was like having the bottom of her trainers being rubbed all over the teaspoons, and of course, we all know that trainers could have been walked though anything!
How dirty is your cloth?
In our home hygiene studies we have found that the cloth is often the dirtiest item in the home. We have found billions of bacteria on cloths, including those which could cause illness, and those that indicate faecal contamination. Faecal contamination means that either bacteria have been picked up directly from faeces (poo) or from raw meat or vegetables that have been in contact with faeces. Either way, it’s not good. In effect, using a contaminated cloth could mean that instead of cleaning you are effectively “dirtying.” What a waste of time, and what a potential danger to your family!
Top Tips for Cloths
- Make sure that you always use separate cloths for high risk cleaning areas such as the floor, or the toilet – use different types and colours so it is obvious
- For floor spillages, use paper towels or wipes that you throw away
- If you have been preparing raw meat or poultry, treat the area as very dirty, and use anti-bacterial sprays and paper towels or anti-bacterial wipes
- Wash cloths on a hot wash – over 60°C, preferably on a boil wash to get them free of dangerous bacteria
It might seem like an extra chore, but it could make all the difference to your family’s health.