Maintaining a clean, safe haven inside your home is easier said than done. Despite your best efforts – disinfecting your doorknobs, using hand sanitizer on the go, making sure your kids wash their hands before eating – your family is still very susceptible to bacteria and viruses. In the trenches of flu season, you might wonder, “How do germs travel?”
How Do Germs Travel?
Any time you directly touch another person, germs may travel between you. So when you’re shaking hands with a colleague, hugging your friends, kissing your grandma, or holding your nephew’s hand, you could catch their germs or they may catch yours. Germs also spread through indirect human contact. So if you touch something someone else has touched (a doorknob, a light switch, a cup, a pen, etc.), you may pick up germs from that object. And if you then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, you’re inviting the germs into your body.
This is why it’s so important to wash your hands frequently (and thoroughly) and use hand sanitizer when hand washing isn’t possible.
Through the Air
Every time someone coughs or sneezes, tiny germ-laden droplets of moisture fly through the air. They can travel up to six feet and often land on other people or surfaces that people may touch. Sometimes, rarely, the remnants of these droplets linger in the air for hours, and people may breathe them in.
So every time you cough or sneeze, politely cover your mouth with a tissue, a handkerchief, or even your elbow. This will prevent your germs from spreading to the people around you. And when possible, stay home until you’ve recovered.
On Your Shoes
Shoes help you travel, but they also help germs travel. In fact, in Northern Europe, Austria, and many Asian countries, it is actually a sign of disrespect to wear shoes in a home (source). People in these countries know a thing or two about all of the germs that your shoes can carry. Just think about all the places you’ve walked today. Did you step inside a public restroom? Or did you walk down a dirty city sidewalk? Did you take a stroll in the mall? It’s safe to say that you don’t want to transport those germs into your kitchen or your bedroom.
Of course, you can’t wear disposable shoes or walk around with plastic bags covering your feet. In order to prevent germs from traveling from your shoes to the floors in your home, ask your family and guests to remove their shoes before entering your home. You can even keep a set of cozy footies or slippers handy for your guests to wear. Rather than storing your shoes in your closet with your clothes, set a designated space in your entryway or hallway closet, and make sure to treat this area of your home regularly with a germ fogger. Another spot to regularly clean is your car’s floor mats, which you can quickly spray with an auto germ eliminator. Keep in mind that the floorboards of your cars are near your heater intake vents, so your car heater could be blowing thousands of germs into your face if you aren’t keeping your floorboards clean.
On Your Purse or Backpack
According to a study by Initial Wash Room Hygiene, women’s handbags generally contain more bacteria than a toilet seat. Many women carry purses daily, which means they touch them daily and set them down on surfaces (or even the floor) frequently. In order to prevent your purse from spreading germs, watch where you set it down. Never place it on the floor. Instead, try hanging it on the back of your chair or on a hook in the bathroom (many public restrooms have hooks on their doors, just look). When you arrive home with your purse, never place it on top of the dining room table or counter (and if you do, immediately disinfect the surface with a reliable product). Get in the habit of wiping down your purse with a disinfectant each day (make sure to test it on a small section of the fabric first).
Although women’s purses may get a bad rep when it comes to accessories that spread germs, all the same rules apply to briefcases and backpacks. Never underestimate how dirty these travel companions can become in just one day!
So how do germs travel? They catch a ride on sneezes, they wait on doorknobs and handrails, and they latch on to items like shoes and purses. Germs also travel through food and on animals (so you may want to reconsider letting your dog give you kisses on the cheek). Needless to say, germs don’t have too much trouble getting around. To disrupt their travel plans, turn to SafeSpace.
The SafeSpace Company is a family-owned small business proudly selling American-made germ foggers, auto germ and odor eliminators, and alcohol-free hand sanitizers to keep your family safe and healthy. To avoid germs year-round, stock up on disinfectant essentials with the SafeSpace Germ Fighter Kit. You’ll get everything you need to stay healthy this season: hand sanitizers, disinfecting and deodorizing mists, and disinfectant foggers. For more information about SafeSpace, contact us online or call us toll-free at 1-800-735-2506.