Can You Spin Germs Off A Towel?
I would have never thought of this but here is the question and answer that I found at answers.yahoo.com
Q. If I swung a towel that might be dirty in circles as fast as I could, would the germs be pushed away by the centrifugal force and make it "cleaner"?
A. Theoretically, yes. But even with all your force, you will be able to spin the towel with a maximum speed. That speed won't be sufficient to detach the germs from the towel.
What happens is the germs have a maximum force capability by which they are stuck on the towel. The centrifugal force that you create isn't enough. It works on water though. Try swinging a wet towel and you will understand what I am saying.
However, what you can do is to give the towel a jerk. That jerk gives a large acceleration to the towel which is larger than the germ's holding capacity and it will remove some (not all) the germs.
I found this great article written by Angela Epstein in Mail Online on Dec 7, 2010
The experts’ rules for beating household bugs that can trigger heart disease, allergies and strokes Most of us never give a second thought to how long we’ve had that old chopping board – or those pillows, even that hairbrush.
But while they may all look clean and serviceable enough, these seemingly innocent household items can actually harbour potentially harmful bacteria if used too long, regardless of how often they’re cleaned.
Here, with the help of scientific experts, we examine how often you should spring clean those everyday household items – and when it’s time to simply throw them in the bin . . .
Wood is more porous than plastic or metal, making it more susceptible to carrying germs and bacteria, explains John Oxford, Professor of Virology at Barts and the London Hospital. The bacteria particularly prevalent in the kitchen is E. coli, usually from raw meat or children with poor hygiene habits. This can lead to severe food poisoning.
Beware: Seemingly innocent household items can harbour harmful bacteria
Don’t put wooden spoons in the dishwasher, especially not on a regular basis, as they may crack and therefore provide a haven for bacteria. Instead, soak in disinfectant for about half an hour and then wash with boiling soapy water.
REPLACE: After five years, but earlier if the wood cracks, or if any part becomes soft or dark, as this could mean the wood is rotting and retaining bacteria.
Avoiding Germs At Home
Kitchen Sink. In the Kitchen, wash anything that comes in contact with food. The biggest culprit in the kitchen is the sponge. Sanitize it once in a while. The toilet bowl – well, you might expect this, but you should buy toilet seat wipes for the restrooms you share with guests
The garbage can – especially if you don’t use trash bags in them
The refrigerator – think about the old moldy foods that sit inside forever in an area that is rarely cleaned
When washing dishes in the dishwasher, make sure the water temperature is at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit to properly disinfect.
Instead of putting the sponge in the dishwasher to sanitize it,put the sponge in the microwave for at least two minutes. It kills more bacteria than a dishwasher. Or just use paper toweling and throw it away when done.
Use separate cutting boards for raw meat and other food items, as the cracks and crevices on cutting boards provide space for bacteria to grow. Make sure to thoroughly clean the cutting board in between uses.
Get into the habit of washing your hands frequently. Not only after using the bathroom, but after you finish eating, when you come home from work or school, after playing with pets, and especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
Bacteria can grow and divide every 20 minutes, allowing one single cell of bacteria to multiply more than 10 million times in 24 hours. The key is to locate the germ hot spots and tackle the germs as easily and quickly as possible.
Toilet.The bathroom doorknob – stats say that most people don’t wash their hands after, and this is the first thing they all touch
The flush handle on the toilet bowl – I take that back, this is the first place people touch after going to bathroom, even before they have a chance to wash their hands
The toilet should be a priority when cleaning each week. Start by throwing away the ordinary and germ-ridden toilet brush. A better alternative is the Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Brush. Its curved handle and interchangeable disposable cleaning pads work for both tough stains and easy touch-ups, making cleaning easier, quicker and less disgusting.
Close the lid on the toilet seat every time you flush. The spray from the toilet flushing can spread germs. Unseen by the naked eye, this fine spray contains a range of viruses and bacteria, some of which can survive for hours or days on surfaces including exposed toothbrushes.
Shake the shower curtain after each use and spread it open so moisture can evaporate. Clean shower curtains with a suitable disinfectant or launder them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Rinse baths, sinks and showers after each use and clean them regularly to remove the lime scale and soap scum that can harbor germs.
HOME AND OFFICE
Phone receivers – if someone in your home is sick, this is the easiest place to catch those contagious germs
Desktops – people never seem to wipe down desktops, though you spend 8 hours everyday touching it
Keyboards – keyboards can be infested with boogers and germs over years of fingering
Shoes carry in a lot of dirt, dust and grime. They are a big source for tracking in germs all over your floors. These germs can settle down into carpet fibers
Clean the Vacuum
It is great that you vacuum. However, you need to remember to clean the vacuum. After each round of vacuuming, spray the entire vacuum with a disinfectant spray. This includes the inside of the canister, filters, bottom of the vacuum and handles.
Germs love hard surfaces. If your vacuum is bagless, wash the canister between rounds of cleaning. Otherwise you’re spreading germs back into your home that are living on the hard, plastic surface of the canister.
Too often faucets are allowed to collect grime. The warm and moist bathroom air harbor germs. Faucets should be thoroughly cleaned weekly. Frequently spray faucets with a disinfectant spray.
Put Bathroom Items Under the Sink
Do you realize how many germs spray from a toilet that is flushed? If your sink and toilet are close to each other, you’re spraying germs on those toothbrushes that are in the holder. Put bathroom items that are near toilets under the sink.
Disinfect Door Handles and Light Switch Plates
Door handles and light switch plates are a harvest ground for germs. These areas should be sprayed with a disinfectant spray dai
Avoiding Germs Outside Your Home
The restaurant menu, doctor’s office magazines, and other public reading material. You think these are ever cleaned? Since cold and flu viruses can survive up to 18 hours on a surface, there’s a good chance those germs can get passed on to you. Don’t let the menu touch your plate or silverware, and wash your hands thoroughly before your food comes. Remember that the bathroom door handle isn’t the cleanest thing in the world, so when leaving the bathroom, open it while holding a clean paper towel.
The grocery cart and basket. Think of all the hands that grip those handles. Eww. A 2007 University of Arizona study discovered that two-thirds were contaminated with fecal bacteria. Definitely pack disinfectant wipes with you and wipe the handles down before touching.
Gym Equipment. If you belong to a gym, you might want to know that a 2006 study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found rhinoviruses (what cause colds) on 63 percent of the gym equipment at the fitness centers they tested. To avoid the germs, try not to touch your face, nose, or eyes while working out, and as soon as you’re finished, wash your hands and face thoroughly to prevent getting sick.
Don’t touch the first floor elevator button. In an elevator, the first-floor button harbors the most germs.
Watch escalator handrails – they are filled with germs
Use the FIRST toilet – most people use the middle stall in public
The office coffee pot drips with germs
Hang on to your own coffee mug
Your desk may be dirtier than the toilet. The typical office desk area has 400 times the amount of bacteria than the average toilet seat. Start your cleaning with your phone.
Avoid hand shaking and kissing – well, at least make sure you wash your hands and practice good oral hygiene.
1. Pack your own sheets. If you have any concerns about your hotel’s cleaning practices, pack a queen-size sheet to throw over the bedspread so you’re not exposed to dust mites, germs, or allergens lurking in the cover.
2. Pack a long-sleeved sleep shirt and long sleep pants. Again, if you are concerned about the hygiene of the bedding, reduce contact by wearing body-covering pajamas and light socks to bed.
3. Use your bed for sleeping only. Don’t do work on it, eat on it, and don’t watch movies or TV on it. Not only is that more hygienic, but you’ll likely find it easier to fall asleep that way.
4. Ask for an allergy-free room. Some hotels are now offering rooms that are built and furnished to minimize the amounts of dust mites and other allergens. Even if you don’t have allergies, this might be a good choice for people prone to colds and flus. Other hotels provide allergy packs, including face masks, special pillows, and mattress covers. But you have to ask for them.
5. Choose modern over old. Yes, Victorian bed-and-breakfasts are far superior in terms of charm and personal touches. But they also lead in the amount of allergens and dust you are likely to encounter in the rooms and public sitting areas. So if health is a real concern while traveling, go for good-quality modern hotels.
In no particular order, here are some of the germiest items in a hotel room:
Don’t feel like you can’t use any of these items, just use caution and common sense. Clean the remote control, phone, clock radio, door handles, and light switches. Don’t walk around barefoot: throw on a pair of slippers. And don’t use the bedspread if you can help it.
Do We Need Germs For Immunity?
Source: article from By Ruby Hawk on July 8th, 2010 published at http://bit.ly/b743AS
Germ consciousness has been hammered so deeply in the American psyche that much money has been made from this perception. In 1908, a Swiss chemist invented a flexible cellulose film that was acquired by the Du Pont Company. They named it cellophane. To the public this meant germ protection. Cellophane ads warned of the dangers of, flies, fingers, and germy food. These ads soon appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, and Good Housekeeping. The Cellophane Radio Show featuring the etiquette expert Emily Post, aired in the morning just before housewives went shopping, and guess who filled their carts with cellophane.
In the 1920s Listerine made it’s appearance, named after John Lister who introduced antisepsis into surgery. Their ad featured a young woman whose hopes for a happy marriage was ruined because of halitosis, which the ad represented as a terrible condition caused by bacteria in the mouth. Listerine could help one avoid being, “always the bridesmaid and never a bride” Listerine was also recommended as a handwash to kill 17 germs carried by the hands. One ad warned mothers that they would hesitate to bathe or feed their babies if they could see the germs on their hands under a microscope. The company, of course advised washing the hands in Listerine. Sales went from $100,000 in 1920 to $4 million just seven years later.
Germ consciousness also paved the way for all the paper products made today. In 1935, paper cup manufactures warned of the dangers of unsterile drinking glasses and china which could be avoided by using paper cups and plates.
Today a growing number of researchers are saying that our increasing separation from dirt and microbes carries a serious price to pay, and may be killing us. They call it the hygiene hypothesis. The idea is that too much cleanliness is bad, and we need germs. Throughout human life we have lived with dirt and microbes since the moment we were born. Our immune system evolved pathways to protect us. If these pathways are removed (as they are being removed today with all this cleanliness) our whole immune system will backfire.
Scientists give as an example, if a child grows up without love and affection, it’s brain cells fail to make the right connections and the infant grows up mentally impaired. In the same way, our immune system will fail to develop properly, if it isn’t given the challenges it requires from birth. Scientists have noticed that in large families children have a lower rate of illness. They think it could be because older siblings bring more germs into the household and because of that fact, children develop a better immune system. It used to be that if one child had measles, neighbors children were brought in and exposed to it. When one child had a contagious disease they could be sure of plenty of company. Now we keep our children away from contagious disease. A reversal of what out parents did.
How Effective Are Hand Sanitizers?
Any time I go to a store, a restaurant, shake someone’s hand, touch a door handle or use any bathroom, I wash my hands (and, of course, use toweling to touch the door handle), but ALWAYS soak my hands in hand sanitizer. I’m sure that many of you are the same way. I found this 2009 article in the Wall Street Journal online about what “99.9% effective in killing germs” means. Interesting. Find this article at http://bit.ly/4spNI1 It was written by “numbers guy”
A decade of pesky germs, from SARS to avian flu to H1N1, has given rise to dozens of products bragging about their microbe-killing properties. Everything from hand-sanitizing liquids to products like computer keyboards, shopping carts and tissues tout that they kill 99.9%, or 99.99%, of common bacteria and fungi.
But some of these numbers look like the test scores in a class with a very generous grading curve. They often don’t include all pesky germs, and are based on laboratory tests that don’t represent the imperfections of real-world use. Human subjects, or countertops, in labs are cleaned first, then covered on the surface with a target bug. That is a far cry from a typical kitchen or a pair of grimy hands.
Ten Germ Hotspots
Found this enlightening article in Prevention Magazine online written by Alyssa Shaffer. It adds a few more places that I have to worry about germs.
1. Kitchen Faucet
That metal aeration screen at the end of the faucet is a total germ magnet.
Running water keeps the screen moist, an ideal condition for bacteria growth. Because tap water is far from sterile, if you accidentally touch the screen with dirty fingers or food, bacteria can grow on the faucet, explains microbiologist Kelly Reynolds, PhD, an associate professor of community environment and policy at the University of Arizona College of Public Health. Over time, bacteria build up and form a wall of pathogens called biofilm that sticks to the screen. “Eventually, that biofilm may even be big enough to break off and get onto your food or dishes,” she notes.
Keep It Clean: Once a week, remove the screen and soak it in a diluted bleach solution–follow the directions on the label. Replace the screen, and let the water run a few minutes before using.
Sanitize with Vinegar.
Copied from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vinegar-kills-bacteria-mold-germs.html# Posted by Annie Bond on May 5, 1999.
Vinegar is a mainstay of the old folk recipes for cleaning, and with good reason. The vim of the vinegar is that it kills bacteria, mold and germs.
Heinz company spokesperson Michael Mullen references numerous studies to show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar—the kind you can buy in the supermarket—kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses). He noted that Heinz can’t claim on their packaging that vinegar is a disinfectant since the company has not registered it as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency. However, it seems to be common knowledge in the industry that vinegar is powerfully antibacterial. Even the CBS news show “48 Hours” had a special years ago with Heloise reporting on tests from The Good Housekeeping Institute that showed this.
Just like antibiotics, common disinfectants found in sponges and household sprays may contribute to drug resistant bacteria, according to researchers of drug resistance at Tufts New England Medical Center. Furthermore, research at the Government Accounting Office shows that many commercial disinfectants are ineffective to begin with, just like antibiotics.
Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board, and in your bathroom, and use them for cleaning. I often spray the vinegar on our cutting board before going to bed at night, and don’t even rinse, but let it set overnight. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.
Ever notice that there are more commercials advertising antibacterial gels and related products? Every time I step into a grocery store there are antibacterial wipes for my shopping cart readily available. Or how about when you are waiting in line at the checkout stand? Chances are there’s a bin full of antibacterial products nearby. At the place where I work, there’s a Purel dispenser at every door entrance.
Is it excessive? No. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a germaphobe. And if something as simple as a modified strain of flu can take several lives, that’s enough proof to me that we need to have these products available to us at all times.
Here are some key locations to keep antibacterial products handy.
In your pocket! Think about all the things you touch and share with other people during the week. At work you come into contact with a number of co-workers and customers. You probably share the majority of office supplies and equipment, including computers, photocopiers, staplers, pens, with the entire company. On your days off you’re probably out doing chores. You’re touching door handles, shopping cart handles, toilet handles sink faucets in public restrooms, ATMs, meat at grocery stores. If you want to prevent yourself from contracting an infectious microbe, one rule of thumb to follow is that you sanitize after you leave each place you visit. You can do this by carrying around a small bottle of antibacterial gel that you can fit in your pocket or purse.
At your kitchen sink. If you do a lot of cooking at home, you want to disinfect your hands before you touch the food which you are about to serve yourself and others. That’s health 101. But here’s something else to think about. Imagine all the dirty dishes that you put into your sink. So, you have germs from both people’s mouths and from food particles that become exposed and start to rot over time. Now, think about the sponge that you touch every time you wash the dishes. Chances are you don’t swap out your sponges everyday. Microbes can live for days on moist surfaces, which your sponge most definitely is the majority of times. Make it a habit to rub your hands with some antibacterial gel after you wash your dishes, and you will greatly reduce your exposure to infectious germs.
At or near your dining room table. Our mouth being our largest orifice, it is the easiest path for dangerous microbes to take to get into our bodies. There is a reason why our parents pestered us about washing our hands before we ate, they didn’t want you to swallow down these microbes with your food! And if you’re a parent, you probably pester your own kids about washing their hands before they eat. But as you know, kids will seldom oblige to this request the first time. You probably have to tell them multiple times, or physically force them before they do it. Or they’ll simply lie about it. Sometimes you may even forget to tell your kids. Moreover, you as an adult, will sometimes fail to wash your hands before you eat. By having an antibacterial gel dispenser at your table, you will ensure that you and your family will have clean hands right before you serve the food, in case someone forgets or you suspect is lying about it.
To avoid the common cold and flu, you must keep your hands, forearms, elbows and anything else away from your face. This takes some discipline as we all tend to bring our hands to our nose, mouth and eyes to make sure we look good and/or to scratch an itch. If you bring anything or any part of your body to your face and any germs are transferred to your nose or eyes, those germs can get to the nasal mucous membranes and to the nasopharynx (where the mouth and nose meet). Once they get there you have a good chance of getting sick. Germs need a carrier to get to your nose, eyes or mouth and that carrier is usually your hands. Keep the hands away from your face and the chance of being infected with those germs is diminished.
It’s been said that if you drink from an infected person’s glass, you have less chance of getting sick than if you touch that glass and then rub your eyes or nose.
Bottom line – DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE unless it’s with a sterile cloth or tissue. Try to just let any itch that you have on your face go away. It eventually will without your rubing it. The next time you feel your hands going to your face – STOP. You’ll be happy you stopped.
Not Medical Advice
Everything in this blog is for entertainment and information only. It is NOT medical advice. Do not consider anything as medical advice and check with your physician before you take any action from any of our posts.
I'm not in medicine. I'm just a mild germaphobe sharing information that I find.