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Germs Found Around the House

Although not all bacteria are bad, some are harmful to humans and can cause nasty infections. Germs can spread to humans from surfaces, pets and most commonly by skin to skin contact. To get rid of germs we need to properly clean and disinfect our homes regularly. Read our guide to germs found around the house and how to get rid of them with a thorough deep clean!

Common household germs

MRSA

Germs found around the house: MRSA Bacteria under a microscope

MRSA Bacteria under a microscope

Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is a common strain of staphylococcus bacteria. MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics making it difficult to treat when an infection occurs.

How to kill it

The most effective way to kill MRSA is bleach diluted in water. A 10% solution of 1 part bleach and 9 part water is best for disinfection. Be aware that bleach becomes less effective the longer it remains open. Purchase a new bottle after a month.

MRSA spreads through contact, therefore it’s important to disinfect communal areas and shared objects such as door handles, light switches and remote controls. Clean these areas once a week with disinfectant.

Be aware of your furry friends because they can also pass on staph bacteria! Disinfect pet toys frequently and make sure you wear gloves.

Wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning.

MRSA symptoms include: swollen red bumps with pus, fever, aches and pains, tenderness in the affected area. 

E.coli

The second most common of the germs found around the house is E.coli. E.Coli is a bacteria that lives in your intestines. Most types of E. coli are harmless, however certain strains can make you sick. E.coli 0157 can cause bloody diarrhoea and sometimes even kidney failure. This type of bacteria can be found in contaminated food such as undercooked beef and raw milk. However, it can also be found in the faeces of infected people.

Germs Found Around the House

E.coli Bacetriium

Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before preparing meals and to avoid undercooking meat. Clean all kitchen surfaces with disinfectant. Heat damp sponges in the microwave for a minute to kill bacteria or soak them warm water with a teaspoon of bleach. Wear gloves when cleaning the toilet and make sure you use bleach inside and outside.

Avoid cross-contamination by using different utensils and chopping boards for raw meats and vegetables. Make sure you clean your fridge regularly focusing on areas where you keep uncooked meat.

E.coli symptoms include: abdominal cramping, severe diarrhoea that can turn bloody, fatigue.

Norovirus

Of all the germs found around the house, Norovirus is the most common causes of stomach bugs in England. It is also known as the “winter vomiting bug”.

How do you get Norovirus?

You can get it from eating contaminated food, touching contaminated surfaces, drinking contaminated water and through interaction with an infected person.

Using bleach to disinfect surfaces will help kill norovirus bacteria and other germs found around the house. The Centre for Disease Control recommends a solution that contains around 5 to 25 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water.

Top tips:

  • Always use rubber or disposable gloves to protect yourself from infection and bleach.
  • Air out the room after you finish cleaning to get rid of chemical smells.
  • Clean everything you come into contact with including telephones and all counters.

Norovirus can also survive in your carpets for up to 28 days. Schedule in a professional carpet clean every 6-12 months to ensure that your carpets remain norovirus free. (Read more about carpet cleaning)

Norovirus symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, muscle pain