- $99 for tile and grout steam cleaning for 200 square feet ($200 value)
Microbes: Squatters in Every Square Inch
Along with dust and dirt, cleaners help evict a less visible menace—microbes. Get an understanding of germs with Groupon's overview of these out-of-view houseguests.
Are there more microbes living in your trash can than in your bathtub? According to a telephone survey funded by Reckitt Benckiser, the makers of Lysol, 97% of Americans think so. To find out, this same group surveyed 35 homes in person, searching 32 common areas for lurking microbes—or microscopic living organisms, more commonly known as bacteria or, simply, germs. The results defied public opinion: bathtubs hosted 119,468 bacteria per square inch, whereas trash bins held only 411 per square inch. Beating out the tub was the kitchen sponge—home to a whopping 134,630 bacteria per square inch.
The implication of this study is clear: these invisible critters are crawling throughout your home, often hiding where you least expect. But before hiring a mountain lion to hunt down every single germ, consider this: microbes are actually so common that up to 200 trillion of them may be residing inside your body at any given time, according to an article in Discover magazine. Additionally, Dr. Rintala of Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare asserts that children exposed to microbes at a young age are less likely to develop allergies.
However, Dr. Rintala also notes that excessive exposure to some microbes such as mold can heighten the risk of developing asthma, and the fact remains that not all microbes are benign. For example, Harold McGee of the New York Times chronicled research on the “five-second rule,” the common belief that dropped food is okay to eat as long as it’s picked up within five seconds. He found evidence that both E. coli and salmonella could contaminate dropped food almost instantaneously. Although these harmful microbes are quite rare, the best way to avoid them—and reduce the chance of getting sick—is to clean high-risk surfaces regularly.