While even the most avid germaphobes can’t control every germ from reaching their family, you can take extra precautions to keep a healthy home this year. Follow these expert tips to get rid of germs — once and for all.

Clean kitchens

According to the National Sanitation Foundation, more than 20 percent of foodborne illnesses come from mistakes in the kitchen. The bacteria that could be in the raw chicken you’re cutting up for tonight’s casserole can spread. So here’s how to stay vigilant:


• Stop sponges from spreading bacteria that you just cleaned up. Replace sponges regularly and wash them thoroughly with soap after using. You can also kill harmful bacteria by tossing a damp sponge in the dishwasher or by zapping it in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds.

• Wipe down surfaces, including light switches and the telephones, regularly with soapy water or disinfectant wipes.


Bacteria-free bathroom

Hot and humid areas like bathrooms are breeding grounds for bacteria. Even the bathroom faucet handle can be home to 6,267 bacteria per square inch, according to WebMD. Keep the bathroom cleaner by taking the following steps:


• Before mold takes hold, clean shower surfaces with an all-natural cleanser, not bleach, which can eat away at grout. For extra cleaning power, heat diluted vinegar in a bowl and pour into a spray bottle. To prevent mildew and mold build-up in the shower, leave the shower doors open when not in use.

• Did you know, on an unprotected surface, bacteria can double in number every 20 minutes? Keep surfaces clean and disinfected to reduce the spread of stain- and odor-causing bacteria.

This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.