Opening doors, eating at the desk followed by writing an email: This is the daily office life of most of us. Especially during the season of colds and flu, the office is a perfect place for germ multiplication. The cleaning platform Helpling, listed down 9 bad office habits and explains how you can protect yourself against the dirtiest areas using just one cleaning hack:
1. Coffee Machine
After a stressful meeting, a hot cuppa coffee is what you need to calm your body and soul? Maybe not anymore! According to a study, mold is detected in every second coffee machine. Furthermore, the machines are more contaminated with microorganisms than door handles or even toilet seats. Hot water rinsing daily through the machine is not enough to keep it clean. More effective: vinegar-based cleaner! It cleans, disinfects and descales the coffee machine properly. For mold-free coffee – do this cleaning every two weeks.
Not often are office toilets the perfect place to develop terrific ideas: 17 percent of all employees refuse to use a toilet because they are not clean enough. Wash your hands thoroughly to avoid any contamination! Bacteria can be removed after 20 to 30 seconds of hand washing, so invest this time and you won’t have to go back to your working place with germy hands.
3. Coffee Mug
Are you one of those people who drink their coffee only out of their favorite cup? The special cup that is only allowed to use by you and therefore cannot be contaminated? Unfortunately this isn’t true! The University of Arizona has proven that 20 percent of all inspected coffee mugs are contaminated with facial bacteria – although cleaned with hot water. So wash your mug on a daily basis with detergent or put it directly into the dishwasher.
4. Printer & Copy Machine
The printer and copier are used by most people in the office – that’s how often they get touched by several hands each day. The interface or touchpad, especially, is an ideal germ distributor. These devices are warm due to permanently being used and therefore are the perfect breeding ground for germs. To kill the germs, wipe over these surfaces with PC-wipes every time you wish to touch the printer! You can easily find these cleaning wipes in every supermarket.
Do you also warm up your lunch in the office microwave? Try taking a quick look inside and observe the leftovers within the corners of the microwave. Not forgetting the knobs and handle that is home to an unappetizing mass of germs! Make use of the versatile vinegar-based cleaner to scrub the microwave thoroughly before you put your lunch in it.
Printer and copier are used by most people in the office – that’s how often they get touched by several hands each day. The interface or touchpad, especially, is an ideal germ distributor. These devices are warm due to permanently being used and therefore are the perfect breeding ground for germs. To kill the germs, wipe over these surfaces with PC-wipes every time you wish to touch the printer! You can easily find these cleaning wipes in every supermarket.
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Despite the myth that the toilet is the dirtiest place – the desk is in fact much dirtier. With more than 10 millions of germs, it accommodates 400 times more germs than the toilet seats. If you have not yet cleaned your desk since you first joined the company, it is advised to wipe your desk with a vinegar-based solution or antibacterial wipe once a week.
Keyboards attract a big amount of germs! Particularly, because we use them continuously for up to 8 hours a day. Also contributing to these germs are food leftovers, dried skin and sweat. Avoid wiping your keyboard with a wet cloth as the moisture could damage it. Instead, tilt the keyboard upside down and shake it to remove any loose debris. If you have a can of compressed air, you can spray it in between the keys as well. Additionally, pay some attention to the mouse right next to the keyboard!
You don’t hesitate with borrowing colleagues your personal headset? This is not a good idea: bacteria can be spread perfectly via collected sweat and earwax. Already after one hour of wearing the amount of germs in the earplugs can increase 700 times. Renounce the sharing and clean the headphones weekly with an alcohol soaked cotton swab.
10. Your Co-Workers
Researchers at San Diego University study found much of the bacteria in your office is derived from nasal, oral, and intestinal cavities. Furthermore, your co-workers — men in particular — may be responsible for much of the office bacteria. In fact, men were found to have 10 to 20 percent more bacteria in their work areas than women. The researchers proposed this may be partly due to the fact that men are generally larger and have more surface area to grow and shed bacteria.
(This article first appeared on Helping – the leading online marketplace for home services outside the US. On the website or via app, customers can book a vetted and insured cleaner and gain back free time within a couple of clicks. For cleaners, the innovative online service makes it easier than ever to access new clients and to manage when and where they want to work. Helpling offers its services in 9 countries, throughout 3 continents.)