Top 10 Places That Germs Lurk in Your Home

Seeing that people recuperating from a total knee replacement have a compromised immune system, I thought it was appropriate to recirculate this informative article titled ‘Top Ten Places That Germs Lurk in Your Home.’ It is also cold and flu season for everyone. This information has been on, Weather Channel, and other sites.

Got misophobia? You’re not alone. Fear of germs is common and can increase as busy schedules make cleaning time scarce, putting the most fastidious housekeeper on edge. To quell that fear of germs, it helps to know where the germs in your home hide — and the most important places to clean.

While researchers who track germs don’t agree 100%, here are 10 top places where germs lurk in your home- some probably surprising even to Martha Stewart. Let’s also learn how to send the bugs packing.

1. Germs Lurk in Your Home in your Kitchen Sponges
A kitchen sponge can carry more than 134,000 bacteria per square inch, according to a 2007 survey funded by Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Lysol, and performed by the Hygiene Council. Researchers swabbed 35 U.S. homes for bacteria in 32 different sites.

What makes a sponge so buggy? Using sponges for more than one purpose is common, and people tend to keep their sponges too long, allowing bacteria to multiply, says Kelly Bright, PhD, assistant research scientist at the University of Arizona. “It’s a moist environment, and a sponge is a nice breeding ground.”

Cross-contamination of sponges is common, Bright tells WebMD. You cut raw meat, wipe it up, then prepare another dish and wipe with the same sponge. On a typical sponge you’re likely to find Salmonella (which can cause food-borne illness) and Campylobacter, which can cause diarrhea and abdominal pain, Bright says.

Replace your sponge once a week or so, Bright suggests. Or put it in the dishwasher regularly or soak it in bleach for about 15 minutes. “The dirtier the sponge, the longer you have to soak it to be effective.”

2. Kitchen Sink
Whether empty or full of dishes, the kitchen sink is a germ hot spot, says Bright. “People do a lot of food preparation there,” and that food can lead to contamination, with kitchen drains having more than 500,000 bacteria per square inch, according to the Hygiene Council survey.

Remedy: If you think the last bit of soap suds from washing dishes will take care of things, think again, says Philip Tierno, Jr., PhD, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at Tisch Hospital, New York University Medical Center, and associate professor of microbiology and pathology at NYU School of Medicine.

“Soap doesn’t kill bacteria,” says Tierno, the U.S. representative for the Hygiene Council. His favorite cleaning solution: bleach and water. The FDA suggests kitchen sanitizers or a homemade solution of one teaspoon chlorine bleach in a quart of water, then letting it sit on the surface you’re cleaning for 10 minutes.

3. Germs Lurk in Your Home Here: Faucet Handles
Both bathroom and kitchen faucet handles are germ-catchers. In the Hygiene Council survey, kitchen faucet handles carried more than 13,000 bacteria per square inch and bathroom faucet handles had more than 6,000 bugs per square inch.

Remedy: “Use a disinfectant cleaner spray every time you clean up,” suggests Charles Gerba, PhD, professor of soil, water and environmental science at the University of Arizona, who has researched microbes extensively. In the kitchen, that should be once a day, he says. In the bathroom, at least once a week.

4. Germs Also Lurk in Your Home Here: Home Offices
Surprise: your home office is germier than the typical work office, says Gerba. In a recent study, he compared the average number of bacteria in work and home office to find the numbers of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can cause serious skin infections.

In his sampling of 60 home offices and 91 work offices, five sites were tested in each. MRSA was isolated in 15 home offices but no work offices. And overall, more bacteria were found in home offices than work offices. Germiest spots in the home office were the keyboard, mouse, phone, and desktop.

“Probably people eat more in the home office,” Gerba says, partially explaining the larger bug population. “You turn your desk into a bacteria cafeteria.”

Remedy: “Use disinfectant at least once a week” on home office surfaces, suggests Gerba.

5. Toilet Bowl
Not surprisingly, the top germ winner in the Hygiene Council survey was the toilet bowl (but not the seat) with 3.2 million bacteria per square inch. Still, Gerba insists, kitchens are dirtier overall. “There are about 200 times more fecal bacteria on a cutting board,” he says, “than on a toilet seat.”

Remedy: Toilet bowl germs form a biofilm, that slimy layer that develops when bacteria attach to a support such as the bowl, says Tierno. Tackle that film with your chlorine bleach and water solution.

6. Germs Lurk in Your Home Here: Bathtub
Never mind that you think the bubble bath left you and your tub squeaky clean. Lurking near the drain of the bathtub is nearly 120,000 bacteria per square inch, according to calculations made in the Hygiene Council Survey.

Remedy: Give your bathtub a buff with bath cleaner or a chlorine-water cleaning solution mixed up at home.

7. Germs in Your Home: Shower Curtain
The crud or soap scum that collects on your shower curtain probably Sphingomonas and Methylobacterium bacteria,says Norman Pace, PhD, professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, University of Colorado, who collected biofilm from four vinyl shower curtains that had been in place more than six months in Boulder-area homes.

They found an abundance of Sphingomonas and Methylobacterium bacteria, and both could pose a problem for people who are immune-compromised, such as those who are HIV positive, or who have other diseases that make them prone to infections.

Remedy: Regular cleaning or replacement of the curtains is advised.

8. Germs in Your Home: Wet Laundry
What are germs doing in your washing machine? Probably contaminating other clothes. A load of just-washed clothes may look sparkling clean, but guess again.

Researchers at the University of Arizona found that intestinal viruses like hepatitis A are readily transferred from contaminated clothes to uncontaminated clothing during the washing.

Remedy: Bleach and drying time. The use of bleach reduced the number of infectious viruses on swatches after washing and drying by nearly 100%, the researchers found. Putting clothes through the drying cycle helped reduce viruses, too, according to Bright, and a hot water wash is good. “If you use the dryer, put it on hot,” she says, to kill remaining germs. And “separate adult clothes from kids’ clothes.”

9. Germs in Your Home: Vacuum Cleaner
It’s supposed to clean, but your vacuum cleaner is also a source of contamination, Gerba tells WebMD. “We looked at 30 vacuum brushes. € Fifty percent contained coliform fecal bacteria and 13% E. coli,” says Gerba. E. coli can cause diarrhea and other health problems. Coliform bacteria don’t typically cause illness, but are often found in the presence of other disease-causing organisms. “Vacuums become meals on wheels” for the bugs, Gerba says.

Remedy: “There’s not much you can do about the brush,” he says. “Vacuum the cleanest areas first and the dirtiest last,” he suggests. That way, you’ll be less likely to spread around as much bacteria. And if you use a bagless vacuum cleaner, wash your hands afterward, since bacteria can remain in the receptacle.

10. Finally, Germs Lurk in Your Home Here: Beds
Mattresses and pillows provide food for dust mites, Tierno tells WebMD, and bedding can also be a reservoir for molds and spores. “In the mattress core there are all sorts of human secretions and excretions,” he says. “Fecal matter as well as sweat and semen.” What’s the problem? “Bedroom debris is probably one of the biggest causes of allergic rhinitis,” Tierno says. “Allergy from dust mites is also a problem.”

Remedy: Place an “impervious” outer cover over the mattresses and pillows, Tierno says, to keep the debris contained. Then wash bedding regularly in water hot enough to kill the bugs.

Hope this information helps you learn more about protecting your health by knowing places where germs lurk in your home.

Find interesting? Kindly share…

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone and Happy Holidays! I’m taking a short moment to extend greetings to everyone visiting my site and participating in it. This site would not be as successful without everyone’s comments and insight. Thank you.

It’s that time of year when festivities abound for a variety of religious and/or spiritual beliefs. So…to satisfy everyone..

.Happy Holidays!!

Enjoy responsibly. Hoping the New Year brings everything you desire and want. Remember that your health is your greatest asset. Keep improving! 🙂

Find Interesting? Kindly share..

Rated One of the Best Total Knee Replacement Blogs of 2017

Hi everyone. I am proud to announce that this blog has been rated one of the Best Total Knee Replacement Blogs of 2017 by I am humbled and honored. This accomplishment would not be possible without the support of you, my readers. Thank you!

Some of you voted for my site. Others willingly leave comments to share experiences, show support, and/or join the community in other ways. However you got involved, you played a part. 🙂

For more information about this accomplishment and others who received this recognition, kindly click on this link:

Best TKR Blogs of 2017

Do you find this interesting? Kindly share with others…

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

7 Ways To Speed Up Your Total Knee Replacement Recuperation

Hi everyone. I have been receiving inquiries from many of you for ways to speed up a total knee replacement recuperation. Here is an updated article I wrote when going through the initial tkr rehab. The information still holds true today.

Having your tkr surgery is only part of the process. How you deal with the total knee replacement recuperation that allows you to effectively utilize use your new bionic knee is another segment. It, actually, is the hardest part. Only you can determine the extent of your success.

Below are some ways I have noticed an improvement in my own total knee replacement recuperation. My knee is getting better every day because of them. They may work for you.

Drum roll, please….

1. Become mobile as quick as possible. Every hour on the hour, get up and walk around. Your level of total knee replacement recuperation (and physical therapist) will determine whether you use a walking aide.

2. Do as much as you can for yourself. Do not rely on others when you can easily (or not that easily) do it yourself. You will only be hurting yourself.

3. Know that it will be painful. You cannot get around having pain after a major surgery. That’s common sense, but I was completely unprepared for the immense pain afterwards.

4. Take a pain med prior to your exercise. I find that 30-minutes beforehand works best for me. Taking the med takes the edge off of the discomfort you will feel during movements. Of course, your pain meds will decrease as time goes on and your level of recuperation increases.  The sooner the better, I say.

5. Set a goal for your knee flexibility. Increase in small increments. Find a ‘hash mark’ on the floor that you want to stretch your foot to. Lift your leg farther than an earlier attempt.  Your physical therapist can help with this.

6. Keep icing. After every total knee replacement recuperation exercise routine, I use a variety of icing methods. The best is a simple ice pack. You can buy them prepared or make your own. Simply put some ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag. Cover your knee with a towel before applying. I have also found that frozen peas & carrots work well.

7. Elevate. Keep your leg elevated when not exercising. This helps the healing process.

Total knee replacement recuperation takes effort, determination, and perseverance. There were many times when, if looks could kill, my physical therapist wouldn’t be there.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Good luck and keep at it!

Find interesting? Kindly share….

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Guest Post: Holistic, Natural Ways of Keeping Healthy

total knee replacement and holistic, natural living tips

Hi everyone. As you probably know, I am always on the lookout for quality information from outside sources to share with you – my valued readers. It seems I have found one in Jon Reyes, a freelance writer who enjoys sharing his passion about living a healthy, holistic life. The article is as follows:
Holistic, Natural Ways of Keeping Healthy

When we talk about holistic methods to being healthy, we mean taking a ‘whole body’ approach. Instead of focusing on just the physical side of things, for instance, all aspects are considered, such as mental and social health. Ideally, this will best help improve and maintain your quality of life.

First and foremost, it goes without saying you need to exercise, exercise, exercise! Health authorities recommend everyone participate in some kind of exercise, preferably a few times a week at varying intensities. Physical activity significantly benefits the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, muscular strength and flexibility. It also benefits your skeletal strength and movement. At its most basic, exercise keeps your heart beating, your lungs breathing, your muscles working, and your joints moving.

If this few times a week exercise commitment is not realistic, then lessen your sedentary time. Get off the couch. Stand behind the chair and do some leg lifts. Stand on your toes. Do some isometrics. Even if it’s just extended standing, or moving from room to room – do it. Start moving.

Recently, experts have bne toutingh the many benefits offered by yoga. Some of the noted benefits include: improved sleep, metabolic functioning, and immune system enhancement. This just names a few. Importantly, yoga significantly reduces levels of stress. It lowers your body’s level of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ response. In addition to all of the above, yoga will noticeably iumprove your flexibility and range of motion.

Studies have shown that doing yoga as part of your total knee replacement recuperation significantly alleviates pain and stiffness in joints. Results start showing up in just a few weeks. Yoga can also speed up our recovery rate, providing you do not overdo the maneuvers. There is also plenty of evidence supporting the fact that pre-op (exercise before your operation) can help to reduce pain symptoms and reduce your length of stay in the hospital.

Saunas are fairly widespread, being commonly found in health & fitness centers. This seems to be rather contrary, considering you don’t really hear much about what they do, and why you should, or shouldn’t, use them. There are a few instances in which you shouldn’t be using a sauna; these are upon experiencing chest pains, or after suffering a recent cardiac event (like a heart attack).

Start using a sauna to help rid the body of toxins that may be present. Beneficial in itself as it eases the strain on organs like the kidneys and the liver. Also as a result of the detoxifying nature of saunas, those suffering from chemical addictions may experience relief of those symptoms.

Other sauna benefits include lowering blood pressure (of those with hypertension), easier breathing for asthma and bronchitis sufferers – as well as alleviation of tiredness and pain in people struggling with chronic fatigue and pain.

In terms of your mental wellbeing, there is a branch of psychology that has recently grown in popularity. It is known as mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of mental awareness of the present moment. Mindfulness is achieved by concentrating on feelings, thoughts, and messages from the body that help keep you focused.

Studies show that mindfulness exercises can improve cognition, reduce levels of stress, relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression, while also enhancing your sleep quality. Let us not forget that this cognitive training will help you deal with everyday problems/concerns, as well as more difficult issues.

We’re sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that we have talked about sleep more than once. A lack of sleep, or a poor quality of sleep, has been heavily linked to poor mood, deterioration of memory, lapses in cognition, and a lowered metabolic rate. The lower your metabolic rate, the easier it is to gain weight.

These are just a few of the adverse health conditions that result from not getting the right amount, or right kind, of sleep. Fortunately, there are ways to easily remedy this. You can exercise (again), avoid too much caffeine or alcohol, and/or do some mindfulness exercises.

Finally, this is the point at which we move on to talking about the importance of diet and nutrition in keeping healthy. Even the most enjoyable of foods tend to negatively affect health if consumed too often. As with anything, moderation is key! Eating the right amount of the right kind of foods is important, since poor diets are linked to a wide variety of adverse health effects.

Poor diets are associated with increased rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, immune system deficiency – among others. You can employ some simple changeds to rectify any dietary deficiencies you may have. The first is making use of conscientious portion control. Second, slow your eating pace. And, finally, replace unhealthy snacks with more healthy counterparts.

With so many holistic, natural ways of keeping healthy – what are you waiting for? Get started today. The sooner you start, the better you will feel.

AUTHOR INFO: Thank you to Jon Reyes who wrote this article. Jon is a guest author from Clearwells and is a respected, expert voice in a plethora of health related subjects. He has over 10 years of writing experience under his belt.

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Eight Year Post-TKR Update

Hi everyone. Has it already been eight years since my total knee replacement, otherwise known as a tkr? You bet it has. February 2008 was when I had this surgery. is time for an update.

KNEE FLEXIBILITY. My knee flexibility is still around 90-93. It is due to previous scar tissue dating back 30 years. The degree is about what it was prior to my tkr. I have written about this in numerous posts throughout my site. It is of no concern to me.

LIMITED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Due to the hindered flexibility, I am unable to ride a typical bicycle. Or, let me say that I can do it, but not at the speed to keep the bike and me upright. My body tilts to the right since my left tkr knee does not bend fully. Am I painting a proper picture? I hope so. I can use a stationary bike, but it certainly is not a pretty picture. 😕

TKR CLICKING. Just within the past two months have I noticed a regular clicking of my tkr. Before this, there was sporadic clicking during my initial stages of recuperation. Now, it happens daily. It is a curious event. There is no pain. Sometimes there is a sound, other times not. I guess ‘bizarre’ would be the best word to describe it.

TKR SWELLING. Only after being on my feet or sitting for an extended period of time do I notice any type of swelling. I simply elevate the leg, rest, and maybe apply ice.
By ‘extended time’, I mean about three to four hours. It does vary.

TKR PAIN. Pain occurs on such a minimal level, that I feel embarrassed to mention it. Again, when overdoing it, my tkr may be painful. I take an aspirin, elevate, and ice.

OPPOSITE HIP PAIN. I have noticed an increase in pain involving my opposite side hip recently. It may be due to my shoe lift being the incorrect size. It increases when doing stairs.

STAIRS. Speaking of stairs, if a slug and I were taking the stairs at the same time, the slug would finish first. I take my time while holding the rail. Going up is more painful than going down. Going down, however, is more difficult.

That is about it for now. If I think of anything else, I will be sure to update this eight-year post-tkr update.

Hope this helps those of you going through the same thing. If you find this post interesting, kindly share it with others. Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

Sharing The Appreciation Philosophy

Hi everyone! Here are some interesting facts to ponder during those days when it seems everything is going wrong. We all have those days. I found this post while going through my older files. It is overdue for sharing with everyone again… I received the original copy from one of my friends and believe it is appropriate for everyone. The author is unknown.. The piece is titled the ‘Appreciation Philosophy’.  Enjoy….

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness …..
you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation …
you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death… you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof
overhead, and a place to sleep… you are richer than 75 percent of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a
dish someplace…. you are among the top 8 percent of the world’s wealthy.

If your parents are still alive and still married…….
you are very rare, even in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly
thankful…… you are blessed, because the majority can, but most do not.

If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them, or even touch them on the shoulder….. you are blessed, because you can offer healing touch.

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in
that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than more than two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

Donating Orthopaedic Shoes? Yes You Can

Hi everyone! Donating orthopeadic shoes? Yes you can. Now’s the time of year when we see all types of donation bins around town. One was placed at my local YWCA. It was for shoe donations.

Seeing that I’ve been wearing an external 1.5″ shoe lift for over 35 years, I didn’t think donating orthopaedic shoes applied. But, I inquired anyways.

It turns out that there are people with leg length discrepancies in need of shoes with lifts. This never occurred to me, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because I very rarely see anyone wear a lift of this size. Here’s the story…

I was in the locker room last week. The lady next to me complimented me on my shoe lift (how often does that happen?? NOT MUCH!). She stated that her daughter has MS and needs a shoe lift, but cannot afford it. The mom had never seen a  “real life” shoe lift.

She was fascinated. She started asking me all types of questions. She seemed relieved to see a possible solution to your daughter’s dilemma. It turns out that her daughter walks around in great pain and discomfort wearing  “ordinary” shoes. The lady then went on to explain that there are many adults and kids looking for orthopedic footwear they otherwise cannot afford.

That got me to thinking. I went to the front desk and inquired as to whether the involved shoe donation site would be interested in shoes with lifts on them. I have been accumulating them for years. She excitedly stated, “I’m sure they would! There are many people living with a leg length discrepancy.”

There are a number of shoe donation sites available online. Most seem to focus on sending shoes to underprivileged nations. I’m all for supporting each other as much as possible. However, why not donate shoes to your local community? There are many who can use the help.

And…if you take your shoe donation to the site yourself, you’ll know your shoes are actually going to where you want them to go. (There’s something fishy about some online donation sites that just doesn’t settle well with me.)

Anyways, instead of discarding or storing your unused orthopedic shoes…consider donating them to a worthy cause. You’ll be helping someone in need, while freeing up landfills or closet space.

Hope my tkr blogging  insight helps others going through the same thing.

Find interesting? Kindly share my tkr blog..Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing. </FONT>


Another Advice Update

Hi my favorite readers! This site has been around for over five years and with that comes having to repeat myself. Only this time, the periods between discussions seem to be diminishing. The topic of discussion…once again….affects medical advice.

There is a Waiver of Liability clause on the left sidebar of this site. PLEASE READ IT. There is a reason I put it there.
Read it and become aware of the fact I am NOT a medical professional who dispenses advice.
I DO NOT know what you need to do.
I DO NOT know what is best for you.
I DO NOT know what your best alternative is.
In short…..kindly stop asking me for advice. Or, perhaps kindness is not the best way to get my point across. OK…stop asking for advice.
Stop asking me whether you can kneel, move a certain way, take a certain prescription, apply a certain lotion, etc. etc….I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU. Only you and your medical care provider know what is best.

Once again…..I only present my point of view and experiences throughout this site. As stated so many times throughout these pages, I know what works best for me. The tkr recuperation process has many similarities, but EVERYONE recuperates at his or her own level. Everyone is different.

PLEASE do not ask me what you ought to be doing. DO NOT ask me whether you should be using your bike for 5 or 15 minutes. DO NOT ask me whether you need a manipulation or not. Etc…Etc….I DO NOT KNOW.

I am not responsible for your health. You are. Or, at least you ought to be. If you are not responsible for your own health, shame on you.

If you want to give the responsibility for your health to someone else, give it to your medical care provider. Not me.

You can take a look around this site and find that a number of topics are discussed in details. You can learn how others have dealt with certain situations. Take what you read and apply it to your own situation. Only, do not lay the responsibility on me regarding whether it works or not.


Thanks for listening and good luck!
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Guest Blogger Update

Hi my favorite readers! Something’s been happening that is noteworthy of mentioning here. It concerns the topic of guest bloggers.

As may know, I have been requesting guest bloggers to contact me in hopes of sharing information while increasing exposure to their sites. Well, I have received responses. However, here’s the point….

Even though I have received some fantastic posts (which have been published on this site), some others have had absolutely nothing to do with my health-related subject area. The posts have obviously been spinned to bring attention to the blogger’s site. Isn’t it common sense that when you submit a guest post to a site that it relates to the general theme of the site? I keep forgetting not everyone has common sense.

So, please don’t send me your guest posts that have nothing to do with this site’s theme of health. Have more respect for me, my readers and yourself. Keep your political nonsense, miracle cures, celebrity gossip, erectile dysfunction drug stupidity and/or other similar-related blog posts for another site.

Find interesting? Kindly share…