Rubber ducks: A health threat in disguise?

Rubber DucksThe bathroom is typically most people’s least favourite room of the house to clean. With stubborn limescale in the bath, a shower door that’s impossible to get streak-free, hair stuck in plug holes and shaving remnants in the sink, it’s a fairly grim task. And that’s without even mentioning the toilet. But we all know how important it is to keep the bathroom as clean and hygienic as possible; after all, we can’t exactly feel clean if we’re washing in a dirty room. If you despise this chore though, you can find yourself putting it of for weeks on end, fuelling the spread of germs.

Calling in a professional cleaning service like the one that we provide at FK Domestics can take this much-hated household task off your hands. We’ll leave your bath, shower, sink, loo and bathroom floor looking sparkling, but it’ll still be up to you to look after other bits in the room. Surely that’s everything though, right? Wrong – you need to remember the little things too, or you could be putting your and your family’s health at serious risk.

How clean is your rubber duck? 

Rubber ducks might look cute and simply seem like a bit of bathtime fun, but they could contain enough bacteria to make you seriously ill, according to a recent study. Research carried out by scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich and the University of Illinois has found that rubber ducks can contain enough harmful microbes to make a person very ill.

These toys can sit in a bathroom for months or years without ever being cleaned, picking up various germs along the way, meaning that when they are immersed in bathwater and then squeezed, they can expel water that’s horribly dirty and packed with potentially harmful bacteria. Speaking to the Guardian, lead author of the research Lisa Neu explained: “One of the reasons was the material because it releases carbon that can serve as food for the bacteria.” This is a pretty alarming finding, especially if you’ve never given the cleanliness of your children’s bath toys a second thought before now. Keeping rubber ducks clean or replacing them regularly can help to combat the problem though. 

Danger: Hidden bathroom bacteria

Domestic Cleaning TipsFollowing the publication of the rubber duck study, BBC News published an article looking at the other unexpected areas of a bathroom that can harbour large volumes of bacteria.Professor John Oxford, emeritus professor of virology at Queen Mary University in London, commented: “The bathroom is quite a tricky spot from a hygiene point of view. “People spend a lot of time on cleaning the toilet, but it would be good if everyone spent more attention on the bathroom and using disinfectant sprays to clean it.”

So which other spots do you need to make sure you remember when cleaning your bathroom? One is your bar of soap. While you might use it to keep yourself clean, it’s a little like your rubber duck in that it can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, meaning you might not be keeping yourself as clean as you think – especially if you share the bar with someone else. It’s a similar story with towels – never share one with another person, and consider putting a supply of paper towels instead of a hand towel for people to dry their hands on. Keeping towels next to a radiator for warmth can encourage bacteria to grow and spread, so it’s best avoided.

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