When it gets unhealthy: when rags and toothbrushes urgently need to go

When it gets unhealthy: when rags and toothbrushes urgently need to go


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The countdown is on: When rags, toothbrushes and the like have to be put in the bin
It is clear to most people that it is better to stay away from other people who have just caught a cold, in order not to get any pathogens. But dangers from germs lurk in your own home too. Despite regular cleaning, it is often overlooked that rags, toothbrushes, etc. have to be replaced at certain intervals.

Pathogens lurk in your own home
Almost invisible leftovers lurk in the toothbrush, bacteria in the face cream and various pathogens in the dishwashing sponge: All of this is not only disgusting but potentially hazardous to health. For example, about half of the up to 350,000 gastrointestinal infections per year in Germany can be attributed to contaminated food. Health experts therefore advise, among other things, to use other boards and knives to cut raw meat or poultry than to prepare the salad or cooked foods. In general, you should pay more attention to kitchen hygiene to prevent health risks. It is also important to know how often you should replace or at least wash kitchen utensils or other products in the household. An overview of this is given in a communication from the dpa news agency.

Pay particular attention to kitchen hygiene
Sponges and cleaning rags that are used for too long turn into a real breeding ground for pathogens. The TÜV Süd therefore advises washing sponges and the like every 60 minutes at one or two days. The rags used for this should be washed after every weekly cleaning. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has also pointed out in the past that the more often raw food is processed in the kitchen, the more frequently it is necessary to clean or replace cloths, sponges and brushes. And cutting boards and knives should be rinsed as hot as possible.

Throw away toothbrush immediately after a cold
Pathogens can also lurk in toothbrushes. The Landeszahnärztekammer Brandburg recommends replacing it with a new one every three months. People who have just had a cold should throw the brush away immediately, otherwise they run the risk of directly becoming infected again. Towels should be replaced and washed at least once or twice a week. As Silke Schwartau from the Hamburg Consumer Center explained, towels are put in the 60-degree wash, preferably with a heavy-duty detergent containing bleach.

Cleaning the beds is particularly important for allergy sufferers
Hygiene in the bedroom is particularly important for people who suffer from allergies. In general, not only should bed linen be washed regularly, but also blankets and pillows from time to time. "Especially with allergy sufferers, bed cleaning is recommended every six months or at least once a year," said Siegfried Lange of the German Textile Cleaning Association. However, the Mattress Industry Association advises against regular basic cleaning of the mattress, as too much water will get into the material, the core may be damaged and the warranty will expire.

Cleaning agents are usually stable for years
Cleaning agents do not usually have to go into the bin as quickly: Although some have an expiry date, the agents do not lose their effectiveness even after years if they have been stored properly. If a liquid cleaning agent has been around for years, it is best to check whether the content has changed before using it again. "Visible product changes occur when the cleaning agent is no longer a homogeneous mixture, for example, when the oil separates from the water or when it smells unpleasant," explained Bernd Glassl from the Industrial Association for Personal Care and Detergents.

"For example, if the heavy-duty detergent is in a pool of water, the detergent substances will still work, but the bleach will no longer work." For cosmetics, a symbol on the label shows when they have to be put in the trash. There is a number in an image of an opened crucible that indicates the shelf life after opening, for example “4M” for four months. "Only a lot of people forget when they opened the cream," said Schwartau. "That's why you should write the date on it straight away." Since sensitive creams can collect in jars when you reach in with your fingers, Schwartau recommends using a spatula. (Ad)

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