100% of homes tested positive for cold-causing rhinovirus….where? Salt and pepper shaker! We have discussed how reusable grocery bags , remote control, the kitchen sponge and the bottom of shoes are the home of bacteria and germs, but had you thought about your own shakers? A recent University of Virginia study, has me wiping down the shakers, and many of other of my top used spices immediately. The study showed that 100% of those polled, who had signs of a cold, had all touched the salt & pepper shakers over the last 18 hours, leaving the virus on each shaker.
Think about it. You’re sick with a cold. You make yourself a warm bowl of soup. You grab the salt and pepper shaker. Done…germs have now transferred to the shakers. Salt and pepper shakers are used frequently in a home, but they are not naturally thought to be cleaned. Since we don’t put the shakers directly into our mouth – like silverware or a glass – we may not think of cleaning them with the same frequency or vigor.
Those shakers are used at the dinner table. They are passed around, and the virus(es) now transfer from hand to hand. Yuck.
This doesn’t end in the confines of our home. Restaurants typically provide shakers on their tabletops for their customers. Just like we may not think to wipe them down after each meal at home, please don’t count on the restaurant staff to do so either. Grab a napkin and use it to hold the shakers at your table.
Is the salt & pepper shaker on your cleaning list now? Please be sure to include it! The most important step to a clean home is clean hands. If our hands are kept clean – especially after sneezes, coughs and anytime we touch the inside of our mouth – the germs won’t adorn our hands as much!
Go clean the shakers and your hands!