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Germ and Bacteria Hot-Spots: 12 Things You Should Know

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Laundry Mildew

Claim: Letting wet clothes sit in the washer allows mildew to form.

True. But they'd usually have to sit for 24 hours, says Larson. Apart from smelly clothing, this could trigger an allergy or asthma attack. If your clothes have a funky odor, you'll have to run the washing machine again. If they still smell, you may have mildew spores, which can multiply into fungus (mildew) growth in your machine. To clean it out, run an empty cycle with hot water and diluted bleach once a month, and always leave the lid open between loads to let the tub dry out completely. You can also end with a bleach load to clean the machine. Laundry is a significant source of organisms, says Gerba, who swabbed 100 washing machines and found that 44 percent of them contained fecal bacteria. Drying will kill e. coli, but salmonella and viruses can remain. The risk of getting sick is small if you're healthy, but if someone in your home is ill, you may want to wash their clothes separately and then do a bleach cycle. You could transfer a virus by touching the clothes and then rubbing your eyes or nose. It's also a good idea to wash your hands after handling dirty laundry.

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dolmontero wrote:

Don't forget the buffet restaurants where everybody touches the serving utensils before you do and then you get your stuff, go back to your table and start eating. Maybe you cleaned your hands before you got your stuff but don't assume everyone else did!!!!!!!!!!

11/20/2012 10:56:46 PM Report Abuse
germania1 wrote:

on the topic of dirty door handles, i again disagree! Someone with damp hands touching a door handle has 500% more probability of cross contamination! However, I have seen in the British press recently that there is a new hygienic door handle from a company called Pure Hold that actually cleans your hands - if these get rolled out in hospitals we will all be better of! Have a look for yourself

12/31/2011 03:44:01 PM Report Abuse
germania1 wrote:

totally disagree with this - inanimate objects such as door handles, phones, money have been proven to transfer germs and viruses - there is a wealth of research on the web that proves this!

12/31/2011 03:35:22 PM Report Abuse
copayextra wrote:

is phone funk on the mouthpiece of a phone mean there is bacteria on it? same for the sweaty musty smell that comes from my washing machine?

4/13/2011 03:46:24 PM Report Abuse
copayextra wrote:

i am throwing out my cleaning sponges pronto. i have used these for several months. i just assumed the cleaning stuff i use was keeping them from harvesting bacteria.

4/13/2011 03:43:45 PM Report Abuse

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