Header image courtesy of @unitednations (via Unsplash)
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the world is a filthy place full of life-threatening germs. Wearing masks, ruining our hands with alcoholic hand sanitisers, and wiping down everything we buy may all be second-nature by now, but there are plenty of other things we come into regular contact with that are actually germ-ridden and dirtier than we think! The folks at Zero Impact know all about cleanliness, so we have asked them about the five germiest things you touch every day, as well as how to properly clean them.
Have you ever broken out in spots randomly just on one side of your face (and then assumed it was a dirty pillowcase)? We are here to tell you that the culprit is most likely your phone. Not to be gross, but one in six mobile phones are actually contaminated by fecal matter—yes, that’s poop, to put it in layman terms. E. coli, the bacteria that causes stomach cramps, diarrhea, and UTIs, can live for hours on warm surfaces like your phone. Our favourite electronic devices that rarely leave our hands have been proven to sometimes even be dirtier than your toilet seat! If you have not already, please get into the habit of disinfecting your phone every day.
This kitchen essential is infamous for harbouring bacteria. Experts have found cutting and chopping surfaces to contain 50 to 200 times as much bacteria as an average toilet—think about that the next time you’re laying out your food on it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using plastic or wood varieties—the fact is that every time you drag a cutting implement across its surface, your chopping board gains a little groove that raw food particles and germs will get into, and that is not easy to clean out.
Let’s face it, almost everyone who sits with a keyboard all day spends their time trailing smudgy fingers across it, eating lunch and snacks over it, sneezing over it, and occasionally even spilling drinks on it. If you’re working from home, your cat will likely have hopped on for a snooze after coming out of their litter box. Apart from a half-hearted brush when a couple of the keys start sticking, most keyboards don’t get cleaned either. Clean your keyboard starting from this week; simply give it a good shake upside down to get any crumbly bits out, then wipe down each key, as well as the gaps in between.
Ladies and germs, we have a winner! Continually hailed as the dirtiest item in the entire house, kitchen sponges can contain as many as 10 million bacteria per square inch—that’s about 200,000 times more than an average toilet seat! And no wonder; it’s wet and consistently has food particles trapped within its fibres. Isn’t it ironic that the very thing you use to clean stuff with actually needs more cleaning itself? A whopping 75 percent of kitchen sponges have been found to be absolutely crawling with coliform bacteria, a family which includes salmonella and E. coli, amongst other nasty bugs.
This one is particularly prescient during the coronavirus pandemic. We all know that the first thing to do when we get home is to wash our hands immediately, but have you stopped to consider that you’ll have first switched on the lights before you even got round to washing up? Now, every time you turn that light on or off, you’re making contact with potential bacteria brought in from outside, rendering your hand-washing kind of pointless. Even pre-COVID, light switches are routinely an overlooked part of the house when cleaning. Put this on your cleaning list, stat.
We can already imagine the germaphobes and hypochondriacs among you cringing through this list! As opposed to scaremongering, we just wanted to highlight the potential pitfalls in your cleanliness regime so you can have better peace of mind, and the line of natural cleaning products from Zero Impact are just the ones suited to tackle the job.
Focusing on safety for both the user and the environment, Zero Impact was developed after a group of restaurateurs had trouble finding an effective cleaning agent that wouldn’t be damaging to their skin. Produced in Italy, their products are made only using vegetal ingredients and are kind to the skin, as well as safe for everyone to use, from children and the elderly to people with chemical allergies. Providing a healthy, green alternative to other cleaning detergents which are chock-full of strong chemicals, their pragmatic range of products target specific areas of dirt and deliver top-notch effectiveness.
Pet owners will also be glad to know that Zero Impact’s cleaning products are great for maintaining the health of their furry friends! Because of their self-grooming, pets are more sensitive to chemicals in our living environments and accidentally ingesting them can prove harmful in the long run, but Zero Impact’s non-traditional, 100 percent natural formulas make your squeaky-clean home safe for pets, too.
Aside from chemicals that won’t harm you, Zero Impact also cares for the earth by not perpetuating the dumping of chemicals into our natural environment. All their products are biodegradable and packaged with recycled plastic—in fact, they encourage all customers to recycle their empty bottles through the New Life Plastics venture (just look for the recycling bins with the large green NLP sticker on). Through the programme, their packaging will be turned into plastic chips to make new bottles, creating a circular economy that bypasses the landfill entirely.
Try Zero Impact’s range of multi-purpose cleaning products and sanitisers, and see for yourself the positive effect it makes on your home’s cleanliness, your body, and your pet’s health!