Germs abound everywhere and as much as we’d like to ignore them, it would probably be better if we tried to be more responsible (if only for our own sakes!) Here are a few cleaning hacks to protect yourself.
If you’ve got a shared printer/copier in the office, just think of how many people touch that each day. These devices are always warm due to being used and therefore are the perfect breeding ground for germs. To kill the germs, invest in some cleaning wipes and don’t be afraid to use them every time you need the printer.
Steer clear of your colleagues’ partially eaten food that’s being stored in the fridge. If forgotten, it’s likely to get mouldy and cause bacteria to spread to other things in there. Be sure if you’re the forgotten-food-culprit you throw it out.
Do you warm up your lunch in the office microwave? Try taking a quick look inside and observe the leftovers within the corners of the microwave…or maybe not. Get a versatile vinegar-based cleaner to scrub the microwave thoroughly before you put your lunch in it.
It’s the first place many of us head to after turning on our computers. That caffeine kick is necessary to start the day, but according to a study, mold is detected in every other coffee machine and they’re likely to be contaminated with more microorganisms than door handles or even toilet seats. Hot water rinsing daily through the machine is not enough to keep it clean…Instant anyone?
Even though you use it everyday, your desk is likely to be dirtier than you think — in fact it has more than 10 millions of germs, and accommodates 400 times more germs than the toilet seats. If you have not yet cleaned your desk since you first joined the company, it is advised to wipe your desk with a vinegar-based solution or antibacterial wipe once a week.
Seventeen percent of employees refuse to use a toilet because it isn’t clean enough — but sometimes you just got to go. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after (at least 20-30 seconds) as that’s how long it takes for bacteria to be removed.
You might think you’re being nice by loaning your colleagues your headphones but bacteria can be spread through sweat and earwax (ew). After wearing headphones for one hour, the amount of germs in them can increase 700 times — so in this case, do everyone a favour and don’t share (also clean your headphones weekly with an alcohol soaked cotton swab).
Keyboards attract a huge amount of germs particularly since we tend to use them continuously for up to 8 hours a day. Also contributing to these germs are food leftovers, dried skin and sweat which inevitably make contact. A wet cloth might damage it so instead, tilt the keyboard upside down and shake it. If you have a can of compressed air, you can spray it in between the keys as well. And don’t forget about the mouse…
Are you one of those people who has to drink their coffee out of a specific mug? Don’t assume that means its clean. A study by the University of Arizona states that 20 percent of all coffee mugs still contain facial bacteria. Once again hot water is not enough.
A version of this article was first published on www.cleo.com.sg.