6 Surprising Places Where Germs are Hiding

By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com contributing editor

Is something in your house making your elderly parent sick? The places where bacteria, cold and flu viruses and allergens lurk in your home may surprise you…and they could be the culprit that is making your family sick.


They’re meant to help us clean the house, but in reality, sponges are among the dirtiest, most bacteria-ridden objects in the home. A sponge that’s wet with food and kitchen-counter germs is an ideal breeding-ground for bacteria that can cause food-borne illnesses. When you wipe down the kitchen countertop, those germs – E. coli and salmonella – spread all over the kitchen. Instead, use paper towels or dishcloths that can be frequently tossed into the washing machine every few days, and wipe down kitchen surfaces with a mix of bleach and water.


Vacuuming is touted as an effective way to reduce the levels of airborne allergens in the home. However, dust mites, pollen, pet dander and other allergens can get trapped in the vacuum’s filter. To avoid this, look for a vacuum that has HEPA filter. The medical community has used these type of filers, which can trap up to 99.9% of particles, for years.

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What’s resting on your pillow besides your head? Dust mites: the most common cause of non-seasonal allergies and asthma. Dust mites feed on flakes of human skin, which can be found deep within your pillows. To lessen their effect, use zippered, dust proof pillow covers and wash them frequently.

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6 Surprising Places Where Germs are Hiding originally appeared on AgingCare.com


Studies have shown that germs survive on doorknobs for hours. To minimize exposure, you can keep doors open or tape the latches open to reduce the need to touch doorknobs. And get in habit of washing hands frequently.

TV Remotes

Everyone in the house probably handles the remote to your TV. It’s been coughed and sneezed on, dropped on the floor and had food spilled on it. A weekly wiping with antibiotics clothes will make it bit more sanitary and clean. However, don’t put the remote in water to clean it, or internal electronic components will be damaged.

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Fragrance and Perfume

It’s not only bacteria that can cause an elder to sneeze and sniffle. It could also be allergens that are irritating to their body. One of the biggest culprits in the home: fragrances. Scents that are added to household products are a big cause of skin irritation. Look for products that are marked “fragrance-free” or “without perfume.” In addition, if you wear perfume regularly and your elderly parent suffers from skin or eye irritation, try going perfume-free for a few days and see if that helps.

Of course, it is impossible to keep the home completely free of allergens, bacteria and cold viruses. But making a few simple changes around the house can help!

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6 Surprising Places Where Germs are Hiding originally appeared on AgingCare.com


Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for the share!

Gina Caracci
Gina Caracci5 years ago

these articles are giving me the willies!

Carole R.
Carole R6 years ago

Thank you for this valueable information.

Darla G.
Darla G.6 years ago

all aware....

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Past Member 6 years ago

I learn something new on different blogs every day. It is always refreshing to read posts of other bloggers and learn something from them. Thanks for sharing.

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Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago


Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado6 years ago

Thanks. Sponges are disposed of frequently.

nancy r.
Nan R6 years ago

Thanks good advice for all ages, not just elderly altho I realize they are among the most vulnerable.

Treii W.
Treii H6 years ago