Healthy Home

Learn the best way to get rid of germs when cleaning your home.

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-Hi, you're watching Parents TV. I'm Johanna Buchholtz, editor-in-chief of Siempre Mujer, 12 Meses, and Espera. Does it ever seem like the fight against germs in your house never ends? Joining us today is Dr. Kelly Reynolds to tell us about the truth about cleaning. Thanks for joining us. -Thank you. -Now, let's talk about some common myths about cleaning your house. Some people think that if it looks clean, then the germs were killed. Is that the case? -That's not always the case and I'll tell you why. Many people think when they clean, they're disinfecting which means killing germs. And in fact, many of us are using the wrong products to clean. You need to make sure your product says disinfects. -Germs tend to lurk where you least expect them. Let's talk about the kids' toys, for instance. Do they need to be disinfected? How do we clean them? -Well, I'm a mother of three, so I understand about children and germs, but kids tend to be very germy, and in fact, they sort of use bodily fluids all the time, the mucus and the saliva, and may chew on their toys. -Uh-huh. -That's how germs get transmitted. So you really want to make sure that you're disinfecting your children's toys routinely so they can keep the germ count down. -Certainly. And how would you go about doing that? -The best way to disinfect children's toys, I recommend using a simple bleach and water solution. -Uh-huh. -So, something as simple as a tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water can really sanitize those toys and kill germs. -Okay. Now, a lot of people think that the bathrooms are the dirtiest place in the house. It's where we get cleaned. But are they really that clean? -Bathrooms are pretty clean surprisingly and that's because we know how to use disinfecting products in the bathrooms. People expect to find germs there, so we're disinfecting our toilets. We're bleaching the countertops and the floors in our bathrooms. What I would like to teach people today is to take what you're doing in the bathroom into your kitchen. The kitchen is one of those areas where we're bringing in raw meats, we're bringing in produce. And believe it or not, produce carries much E. coli as raw meats. And E. coli and Salmonella, things that we find on fruits, vegetables, and raw meats can make you sick. So, in the kitchen, you need to make sure you're not cross contaminating from your cutting board to other services in the kitchen. Disinfect your cutting boards. Wipe down your countertops in the kitchen. Use something like a disinfecting wipe. -Uh-huh. -And again, look at the label. Make sure it says disinfects. If it doesn't say disinfecting, you're not killing germs, and in fact, you're maybe spreading more germs-- -Oh, oh. -around your kitchen. -Okay. Now, we've put you through an interesting test. You did a little bit of work for us here in the Parents' offices and you tested-- germ tested some of the areas. -Well, this may surprise you and the people that work here at studio, but it didn't surprise me. In fact, the bathrooms tested the cleanest of any environment we looked at your studio. The kitchen was quite dirty. We had a sponge that was considered in the red zone. The kitchen sink was one of the most contaminated sites of the entire studio. -Oh. -It was far more contaminated than the toilet seat in the bathroom. -Very interesting. -And one of the worst sites too was one of the employees' keyboard and the mouse at her computer. It was almost as high as the kitchen sink, in fact. -Wow. One of those areas that we would never think of disinfecting, in fact. Now, there is the common belief among parents that sometimes that if you expose children to germs that you can help build their immunity system. Is that really the case or not? -Well, some people think, are we too clean, can we expose our children to germs and building immunity and that will be healthier for them. In fact, that's just not true. We want to try and prevent exposure to germs as much as we can. So, it's targeting the hot spots, making sure your children wash their hands effectively. Clean your countertops with disinfectants in your kitchen in your home where you have some control and really try to prevent exposure to germs because preventing exposure is much easier than trying to treat an illness after you've been exposed. -Great. Very, very interesting. Dr. Kelly Reynolds, thank you so much for joining us. And thank you for watching Parents TV, your source for the best information for you growing family. -Thank you for watching Parents TV. Our families. Our lives.