Invisible Invaders Around Your Workspace
When it comes to maintaining proper hygiene like washing your hands regularly with soap and water, you might be thinking you’re pretty clean. After all, you don’t see any dirt.
Unfortunately for you, most microorganisms are just that. Micro.
Scientists are able to clearly observe bacteria and viruses in the lab using a microscope.
However, trying to identify the same organism in the human body is incredibly difficult until it reproduces in large quantities.
That is why you often hear medical professionals warning about the incubation period of a virus. They’re referring to the time it takes for the microbe to multiply enough to produce symptoms in its host – you.
So, even if your office desk looks immaculate it could still be a festering petri dish of infection until you disinfect it.
Cleaning vs. Disinfecting
The major difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting a surface is what you’re doing at a microscopic level.
For example, wiping up a spill with a rag physically removes germs from the floor, but they’re potentially still alive until you wash that rag with soap and hot water.
For surfaces that might come in contact with your mouth, it’s best to ensure that any lingering germs are dead.
To sanitize or disinfect a surface is to kill the germs on it either with an alcohol (at least 70%) or bleach solution. Sanitizers will eliminate most germs. While disinfectants will destroy virtually everything when used as instructed.
Hence, if a co-worker has a cold or flu-like symptoms it’s best to disinfect the common areas.
Please also note that scientists are concerned with bacteria becoming resistant, so you shouldn’t be using disinfectants for everyday spills.
Prior to disinfecting a surface, you should always clean it beforehand so potential viruses can’t hide behind larger particles of dirt too. Now, let’s talk about some spots you should definitely add to your daily routine.
Here are 7 Surfaces to Disinfect
Just going for a glass of water, so what’s the harm? Well, sink faucets are repeatedly listed as the dirtiest place in the office and home. The combination of wet environment and food particles are a breeding ground for many types of bacteria.
This one is more targeted to those of us with the habit of eating our lunch over our computers. Crumbs and other small matters can easily slip between the keys. In fact, according to Forbes, keyboards were listed as having three times more bacteria than a public toilet seat.
Coffee and tea drinkers alike rejoice over the commonality of drinking yeast and mold! Unfortunately, the hot water in the kettle provides a moist environment for bacteria and the handle comes in contact with many hands rushing for the machine first thing in the morning.
Communal mugs? Left to ‘soak’ overnight? You might want to rethink not bringing in your personal cup to work, and if you’ve got a dishwasher at home we recommend running your mugs through the sanitize cycle.
Considering how often people touch doorknobs, they are rarely cleaned with the same frequency. If you’re at work with no Clorox insight you can use a paper towel to open the door and then discard it afterwards.
You might have read that putting sponges and scrub brushes in the microwave is a more effective sanitizer than running them through the dishwasher. However, food splatter can often lead to nasty odours if not aired regularly.
In your pockets, hands, and on your face. Smartphones carry our precious data and millions of less treasured fecal particles. It’s time to remove the case and gently wipe down your phone.
Do your best to upkeep good hygiene practices like regularly washing your hands. As you can see from this list, all the surfaces are ones that regularly come in contact with our grimy hands. Keep sanitizer on your desk to use after every meeting, and do try and disinfect your workspace once a day. If you want to read more about the benefits of doing a deep clean check out our previous article!