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.
An average adult can touch as many as 30 objects within a minute, including germ-harboring, high-traffic surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, phone receivers, and remote controls. At home, you do all that you can to keep the germs at bay. But what happens when you step out the door to go to dinner, do some grocery shopping, or visit the doctor’s office? Know where germs are most likely to lurk, as you’ll find out here.
Have you ever seen anyone wash off a menu? Probably not. A recent study in the Journal of Medical Virology reported that cold and flu viruses can survive for 18 hours on hard surfaces. If it’s a popular restaurant, hundreds of people could be handling the menus–and passing their germs on to you. Never let a menu touch your plate or silverware, and wash your hands after you place your order.
According to a 2007 study in the Journal of Environmental Health, nearly 70% of the lemon wedges perched on the rims of restaurant glasses contain disease-causing microbes. When the researchers ordered drinks at 21 different restaurants, they found 25 different microorganisms lingering on the 76 lemons that they secured, including E. coli and other fecal bacteria. Tell your server that you’d prefer your beverage sans fruit. Why risk it?
It’s the rare eatery that regularly bleaches its condiment containers. And the reality is that many people don’t wash their hands before eating, says Kelly Reynolds, PhD. So while you may be diligent, the guy who poured the ketchup before you may not have been, which means his germs are now on your fries. Squirt hand sanitizer on the outside of the condiment bottle or use a disinfectant wipe before you grab it. Holding the bottle with a napkin won’t help; napkins are porous, so microorganisms can pass right through, Reynolds says.
from ABC News….
Although reusable grocery bags are good for our Earth, there is a hidden danger of germs building up in them and transferring to new purchases.
A good article in in boston.com, from the Boston Globe, discusses an incident where several people became infected with the norovirus and it was linked to a reusable grocery bag.
Here is some of what the article said:
“A 2010 norovirus outbreak that occurred in 17 teenage girls from Oregon and their four adult chaperones who attended an out-of-state soccer tournament was traced to a bag containing post-game snacks. It turns out the bag had been stored in a hotel bathroom that had been used by a player who suddenly became ill on the trip with diarrhea and vomiting; the girl, infected with norovirus, had no direct contact with her teammates after her symptoms began.
The rest of the team became sick several days later, and researchers at Oregon Health and Science University traced their infections to contaminated bags of chips, grapes, and cookies. “The virus aerosolized in the bathroom and landed on the grocery bag,” explained study co-author Kimberly Repp. “It was then transported into the team room where snacks were passed around and then got on the players’ hands when they touched the snack packages.”
Repp was able to isolate norovirus from the reusable grocery bag two weeks after the soccer match, though, she said she didn’t know whether the virus was alive and still capable of infecting someone.”
One out of every six cell phones is contaminated with germs from human feces, a recent British study found.
Read the whole story at colekcolek.com where it states:
Fecal bacteria can survive on hands for hours at a time, especially in warm temperature away from sunlight. Germs were easily transferred by touch on the doorknob, food, and even cell phones. Germs can then move on to someone else.
Every year, children under age five died by pneumonia and diarrheal diseases, which can actually be prevented by the simple act of washing hands with soap.
In developed countries, wash hands with soap helps people to prevent the spread of viral infections, such as norovirus, rotavirus, and influenza
I wish all supermarkets did this. It would be so much safer.
Thanks to “Teri” who left a comment about toothbrush care and a reference to the link below.
I don’t know Teri. He is from http://www.prepastedtoothbrushes.com which seems to offer a good product for germaphobes. I hope he doesn’t mind me using some of his pictures. Teri said “Never leave your toothbrush out in the open in bathrooms as fecal matter floats through the air every time the toilet is flushed and lands on everything in an 8 foot radius as proved on the tv program “Mythbusters”. Best to use Prepasted, disposble toothbrushes when traveling and keep your own toothbrush in your medicine chest. Also the ADA recommends using disposable toothbrushes as the wet bristles harbor germs and provide a perfect breeding ground.”
Click here to see the ADA (American Dental Association) statement on toothbrush care.
From the article “In recent years, scientists have studied whether toothbrushes may harbor microorganisms that could cause oral and/or systemic infection1, 2, 3, 4. We know that the oral cavity is home to hundreds of different types of microorganisms5, therefore, it is not surprising that some of these microorganisms are transferred to a toothbrush during use. It may also be possible for microorganisms that are present in the environment where the toothbrush is stored to establish themselves on the brush. Toothbrushes may even have bacteria on them right out of the box4 since they are not required to be sold in a sterile package.
The human body is constantly exposed to potentially harmful microbes. However, the body is normally able defend itself against infections through a combination of passive and active mechanisms. Intact skin and mucous membranes function as a passive barrier to bacteria and other organisms. When these barriers are challenged or breached, active mechanisms such as enzymes, digestive acids, tears, white blood cells and antibodies come into play to protect the body from disease.
Although studies have shown that various microorganisms can grow on toothbrushes after use, and other studies have examined various methods to reduce the level of these bacteria, there is insufficient clinical evidence to support that bacterial growth on toothbrushes will lead to specific adverse oral or systemic health effects.”
Being a germaphobe, I have to wash my hands before eating, especially in a restaurant where I had to touch the door handle to get inside. I am still amazed at how many restaurants, theaters, stores, etc. don’t understand bathroom germs.
Here’s my idea of the perfect public mens or ladies room. TOUCHLESS AFTER ENTERING. First, the door. It should always SWING OUT. This way, you touch the handle to open the door going in, but don’t have to touch the door to leave, after you’ve washed your hands. Just push the door open with your butt.
Toilets and urinals should all have motion sensors so you don’t have to touch a handle, or try to flush using your foot to move the handle. Sometimes using your foot isn’t that easy.
Sinks should be motion detected along with motion detected soap dispensers. I don’t trust air dryers – I’d rather use towelling although I know some people feel the opposite. Either way, the air dryer or the towelling dispenser should be motion detected.
With this, you’ve entered, done your thing, flushed, washed, dried and left without touching anything. Perfect.
Here’s a pet peeve. For restrooms that are already built with the door swinging in – where you have to touch the filthy door handle to leave, you want to use a piece of towelling (this is a problem when there are just air dryers). But so many stores don’t have a waste basked by the door where you can toss your “door opening towelling”. So I just wait till nobody is around, open the door and drop the towelling on the floor. I do this at a golf club that I play almost every week. For years, there is always several pieces of towelling inside the door but management just doesn’t catch on to what is happening. Still no basket.
Tell me your ideas on what the perfect restroom should be.
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.