It's no secret that college kids love living in apartments in Blacksburg, VA, but some do have a tendency to be messy. After all, who has time to wash dishes or put away food or vacuum regularly when you're a college student between the ages of 18-25 and there are papers to write and parties to attend?
A 2016 study has revealed exactly what the germiest parts of college off-campus housing were — and what germs thrived in them — in order to limit exposure to them.
The homes of college-aged students were studied and the following pathogens were identified: E. coli, MRSA, yeast, coli forms, and mold.
The germiest areas? Shared household areas and items like the dish sponge, sink drain and faucet handles, the perfect environments for germs because of moisture and dark, rough surface areas.
These pathogens found are notorious for causing a variety of illnesses in students, including pneumonia, allergies, and other upper respiratory illnesses.
In addition, the health of students with underlying health issues like diabetes, asthma, and compromised immune systems were especially at risk of exacerbating their medical conditions.
The study found, as expected, that the smooth, dry surfaces — like countertops and cell phones — were not conducive to germs.
Other germy areas to keep diligently clean? Showers, bathtubs and coffee makers, where there are many moist, large surface areas of nooks and crannies, where they can hide and multiply.
The wetter an area stays, the more the germs will persist and multiply.
Students should improve their cleaning habits and start paying attention to wet, textured areas where germs love to thrive and multiply.
- Here are a few reminders on improving cleanliness in order to reduce germs in off campus housing:
- Dish Sponge: Microwave for two minute once a day and replace at least once a month.
- Kitchen sink: Apply disinfecting cleaner to the sink sides and bottom one or twice a week.
- Faucet handles: Clean daily with disinfecting cleaner or disinfecting wipes.
- Shower drain: Disinfect with a bathroom cleaner at least once a week.
- Coffee maker: Clean with soap and hot water after every use. Once a week, run the machine with equal parts water and white vinegar or cleaning solution.
- Toothbrush Holder: The third germiest place in homes, toothbrush holders are a a magnet for germs. Make sure you wash or otherwise sanitize your toothbrush at least once a week and hand wash with hot soapy water before and after every use.