By Allison Ford, DivineCaroline
I am a cleaning nut. If thereís a surface to be shined, Iíll shine it. If thereís streaky glass, Iíll polish it. Iíll clean, wash, scrub, and disinfect just about everything in my house I can get my hands on, and Iíve even been known to not sleep well when I know dust bunnies are gathering under the bed. (My fiancť still hasnít decided whether my proclivity for cleaning makes him the luckiest or most tortured man in the world.)
Regardless of whether your cleaning routine is a simple toilet-floor-dishes progression or one that borders on mania (like, umm, sanitizing your baseboards), there are likely some items in your house that are riddled with germs and need to be sanitized. Even those of us on high dirt alert can occasionally forget about these stealthy bacteria bombs.
Reusable Grocery Bags
Many of us have gotten into the habit of taking our own bags when we do our shopping, but how many of us clean them after each trip? According to a study conducted by the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University, 97 percent of consumers never wash their bags. About 50 percent of the bags tested contained coliform (fecal) bacteria, and 12 percent contained E. coli. Especially since many people choose reusable bags to bring their lunch to work, to transport books or clothes, and for many other household uses, washing them after each use is the key to stopping contamination from vegetables or raw meat. Cloth bags can go directly into the washer and dryer, and recycled plastic bags can be wiped down with hot soapy water or treated with a disinfectant spray. Researchers also advise using each bag for only a single purposeócarrying raw meat, carrying vegetables, transporting laundry, or as a miscellaneous shopping tote.