While many of us strive to keep our homes and even workplaces as clean as possible, multitudes of germs can creep up on us in public spaces, and can easily make their way onto our skin, hair and clothes, to be brought into our safe, clean spaces.
With winter almost upon us and the annual bout of the common cold on its way, germs in public spaces – particularly those we pass through on our daily commute – are expected to increase, along with the likelihood of catching the cold and passing it on to friends, family and colleagues.
Here are some of the germ hot spots to be aware of on your commute to work, in order to reduce the chances of bringing them into work or your home and to effectively manage infection control.
Buses, Trains and Trams
If you tend to use public transport on your way to work, there are a number of spots to look out for, in which germs love to call their home and multiply. You can expect to find all kinds of bacteria on buses, trains, trams and other forms of public transport, brought on by other individuals who have already come into contact with the germs elsewhere.
Poles, handrails, seats, armrests, floors and windows are all susceptible to picking up germs from members of the public, and the warm environment provided will give them the ideal atmosphere to grow in numbers.
If You Drive
It might surprise you to know that your car’s dashboard is one of the top spots in your vehicle for bacteria to stick to and grow. This is due to the bacteria in the outside air being drawn into your car through vents. Not only that, but with sunlight coming into the car through the windscreen, the dashboard can get particularly warm, allowing germs living there to multiply. Try to wipe down your car’s interior frequently using our antibacterial surface care wipes, to minimise the amount of germs in your car as well as the likelihood of catching an illness.
Food spills are also a common reason for germs residing in your car, so in cases where you unfortunately drop or spill food in your car, try to clean up the mess as soon as possible and sanitise the area, too. That way you’ll not only be minimising the amount of bacteria in your car but it will be left smelling fresh and clean, too.
When you need to top up your fuel, be aware of the bacteria found on petrol and diesel pumps. Particularly at this time of year, when germs are spread through sneezing and blowing noses, germs are then passed onto everyday objects, with fuel pumps being a popular choice for germs setting up camp. Keep some antibacterial hand wipes or spray handy in your car, to thoroughly clean your hands after filling up the tank.
If you’re in need of a trip to the ladies or gents on your way to work, there are many germ hot spots to look out for. The soap dispenser, for one, is home to many types of germs and bacteria. However, making sure to thoroughly wash your hands with warm water and the soap for at least 15 seconds will remove any bacteria transferred from the dispenser onto your hands. Be sure to completely dry your hands afterwards, too, as germs enjoy growing on damp surfaces.
When possible, be sure to close the toilet lid before flushing, to reduce the chances of bacteria within the toilet from escaping into the room.
If you can, try to use a tissue or throwaway material to pull open the door when leaving. Studies have found that many people forget to wash their hands after using the toilet, and so bacteria is commonly left on the door handles from this.
These are just some of the common places in which germs can be found on your way to work. There are, however, plenty of other spots that you may regularly come into contact with on your way to work, so try to carry around antibacterial wipes as often as you can, as well as regularly cleaning your home with surface wipes to remove any germs brought in from the outside world.