Microbes, those germy things that can make us sick, like fungi, bacteria, and viruses, are all over. You even have them in your body. So, would it surprise you to know that they’re even in the appliances you rely on to clean your dishes? Well, a new study has revealed that dishwashers can be crawling with germs.
Your Parent’s Dishwasher – Clean or Dirty?
For older adults who may not be able to clean the house as thoroughly as they once did, this new study might be particularly disturbing. The study was conducted in Europe. Researchers took samples from the rubber dishwasher seals of 24 appliances used in regular households. They discovered that the most common microbes found in dishwashers are kinds that are “opportunistic.” This means that they usually don’t cause any problems, but if a person has a compromised immune system, they could.
Experts say that the fungus found in dishwasher probably gets there through tap water. It could also come from other sources, like food and pets. The entry point of bacteria is a little less clear, but scientists suspect it comes mainly from food that has been contaminated.
Keeping Microbes Out of the Home
First, let us say that your senior parent’s dishwasher doesn’t pose a huge health risk. In fact, one doctor said that the chance of getting sick from a dishwasher is about the same as a person’s chance of being attacked by a shark. However, it doesn’t hurt to take a few precautions.
- To keep microbes in the dishwasher and out of the air, it’s best not to open the door until the dishwasher has cooled down. When the cycle has finished, take a dry cloth and wipe down the rubber seal to prevent microbes from collecting.
- Another step you can take is to periodically clean the dishwasher. To clean a dishwasher:
- Clean out any food or other particles that have collected in the dishwasher drain.
- Place a container with one cup of vinegar in it on the top rack of the empty dishwasher.
- Run the washer through a cycle to clean out dirt, grease, and musty odors.
- Sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher.
- Run a short cycle to leave the dishwasher sparkling clean.
Cleaning a dishwasher may not be something your senior parent is up to doing, but an elder care provider can take on the task for them. In fact, an elder care provider can help your parent keep the rest of their home clean, too. In addition, an elder care provider can assist your parent with lots of other tasks, like cooking and grocery shopping. An elder care provider can also help with more personal care, such as assisting with bathing, grooming, or dressing.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Philadelphia, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care. Call today: 484-200-7347