Before we begin, let's understand what is germs. Germs are microorganisms that can cause all kinds of diseases. There are 4 major types of germs: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. All three bacteria, fungi, and protozoa can prosper by taking nutrients and moisture from their environments. Virus is the only exception that will need a living cell to grow and reproduce. Without a host, virus will not survive for very long. Regardless of the types, all germs can invade biological species body cells including plants, animals, and people.
How Can Germs Spread?
Most germs are spread through the air by sneezing, coughing, kissing or even breathing in. The germs droplets can travel as far as 6 feet and even stay suspends in the air until it drops or someone breathes in. Another common way is by direct or indirect contact with objects contaminated with germs. Doorknob, pen, cellphone, remote control or even shaking someone hands that just had a cold. The person will be exposed to the viruses when he or she rubs her eyes, nose or mouth with her contaminated hands. Other less common ways of germs spreading are through sweat, saliva, sexual contact, blood, water or food ingestion.
Can Germs Make You Sick?
Germs can make you sick between 24 to 72 hours from the time you are exposed or inhaled to it. However, if our body immune system is able to resist the viruses, we will not fall ill or experience any unhealthy signs. If our immune system fails to fight off the viruses, we might experience symptoms such as sinus, cough, chronic headaches, or tiredness. Specific bacteria are known to cause ear infections, sore throats (tonsillitis or strep throat), cavities, and pneumonia. Viruses can cause chickenpox, measles, flu, and protozoa can cause intestinal infections. Prolong exposure to germs can aggravate many types of respiratory illnesses including asthma.
Get An Air Purifier With UV Light
There are 2 types of air purifier in the market you should look out for. First is a classic mechanical HEPA air purifier that will trap germs inside its filter. It is effective with 99.97% of capturing rate on microbes as small as 0.3 microns. Second is a UV air purifier with UV-light filtration. UV-C or ultraviolet light disinfects microorganisms by destroying their nucleic acids and DNA. Without the vital cellular, bacteria and viruses will be completely eliminated from the air.
Our take, why not both? There are air purifiers with the combination filtration of HEPA filter and UV-light. These air purifiers will trap germs on their filter and the UV-light will kill off the trapped bacteria and viruses. That way no germs will be able to once they are pulled in into the air purifier.
Sunshine Helps Kill Indoor Germs
Yup, sunlight will kill germs as Researchers at the University of Oregon concluded after 90 days. A room exposed to daylight regularly will have fewer germs compared with a room pitch black. Perhaps more surprisingly, when compared with a room sterilized with UV light, the result is not too far off. So if you want to reduce your risk of exposing to bacteria, let there be light.
Bacteria Killing Essential Oils
Yes, the essential oils drop candle or stick can actually kill bacteria and viruses! Most of us know essential oil as a natural scent product used in aromatherapy for body wellness. Besides helping you to relax and sleep better, essential oil is actually a very good antibacterial agent. The natural ingredient of essential oils will neutralize close by airborne bacteria and viruses. As not all essential oils are created equal, below are the top picks that will actually help in removing airborne germs.
Top 10 Antibacterial Essential Oils
- Tea Tree Essential Oil — Melaleuca alternifolia
- Peppermint Essential Oil — Mentha piperita
- Lemongrass Essential Oil — Cymbopogon citrullus
- Lavender Essential Oil — Lavandula angustifolia
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil – Eucalyptus globulus Orange Essential Oil — Citrus sinensis
- Geranium Essential Oil — Pelargonium graveolens
- Citronella Essential Oil — Cymbopogon nardus
- Oregano Essential Oil — Origanum heracleoticum
- Palma Rosa Essential Oil — Cymbopogon martini
Consider Having An Air Purifying Houseplants
While this is not our most recommended route, air-filtering houseplants do help reduce germs and allergens but in a less effective way. Through the process of photosynthesis energy, the plants will take in nearby airborne contaminants. This includes carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and harmful VOCs gases. Indoor houseplants can also create a positive ambiance in a home that helps ease tension and stress. Perhaps for that particular reason itself is worth more than any other germs removal factor.
Clean And Disinfect Household Items
Clean or disinfect everyday objects to reduce the risk of getting bacterial and virus infection. Germs are tougher than most think and will harbor on objects we are frequent in contact with. This includes grabbing handles, cellphone, doorknob, staircase rail, faucet, refrigerator handle, and more. When we touched our face, nose, and even mouth with our infested hand, we are indirectly exposing ourself to the germs.
For household objects that you are less frequent in contact with, you can clean or disinfect once a week or even a month accordingly. This includes countertops, kitchen floor, shelf, stairs, sofa, and table. For smaller items like towel, soft toys, cups, plates, you can toss it in a washing machine or dishwasher.
Take Out The Trash
Trash contains food waste, leftover spills, spoil eggs, dirty diaper, and other stuff that is full of germs. Take out the garbage at least once a day and spray the bin with a sanitizer to prevent bacteria growth. Use a plastic can liner to prevent trash spills and leakage that encourage the growth of germs. Always separate wet and dry trash (paper, box, plastic) to better manage your trash loads.
Take off Your Shoes
No one should wear their shoes indoors. What’s underneath your food wear is usually dust, dirt and even feces that is filled with bacterial germs. A study from the University of Arizona shows there are more than 400,000 types of bacteria outside of the home. So why do you want to transfer the outdoor contaminants into your home?
For those that insist on wearing shoes indoor, use doormat and try to scrub off as much dirt as you can. Remember to clean the doormat regularly as it can be very dirty on frequent use. You do not want the doormat contributing to more germs to your shoes.
Keep, Pet, Pest Out
Dogs and cats mucus, saliva, urine, feces, and dead skin cells all contain germs. This applies even for a hypoallergenic breed that is supposedly allergen-free. So to keep germs at a contained level, try not to have pets inside the house. If you must, limit their activity space and always vacuum and mop the floor every day is possible. Also, groom them every day and bath them with good conditioner shampoo to reduce shedding.
Home pest problems like rats, cockroaches, and gecko are also a germs carrier. They carry diseases like Hantavirus, leptospirosis, encephalitis, and E.coli that can be transmitted to human. Use bait or traps to catch them out or hire professional pest control.
Clean Or Replace Dirty Filter
Filters can get clogged from dust, hair, mold, and germs over time. When the filter is completely covered with particles, no air will be able to pass through. A dirty filter can do the opposite by spreading more pollutants and cause airborne germs to stay linger in a room. To prevent this from happening, make sure all ventilation filters are clean or replace properly. While you’re at it, make sure all HVAC or air conditioner are maintained according to schedule. Check for any condensation, water infiltration, leakage or mold infestation.