Our COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Plan is in Effect
In-Home Care

How clean are your mom’s hand-washed dishes? They may not be as clean as she thinks.

One recent Norwegian and Portuguese study found that people don’t realize how much bacteria is found in the sponges or dish brushes they use while hand washing. In that study, three types of bacteria were found in 100% of the brushes tested:

  • Comamonas terrigena
  • Enhydrobacter
  • Roseomonas mucosa

Two bacteria were found in 100% of the sponges:

  • Brevundimonas vesicularis
  • Enhydrobacter

How dangerous are these bacteria? Generally, they’re not too dangerous, but they can increase the risk of infections in people with compromised immune systems. Enhydrobacter can cause eye inflammation.

It does lead to the question of how well people are washing their dishes. In homes where there is a dishwasher, a full wash cycle with heat dry will keep bacteria and sanitize dishes well. But, not everyone has a dishwasher. What should your mom be doing?

Soak First

A presoak of dishes helps break up any stuck-on food particles. That makes dishes easier to wash. Fill a rectangular container with hot soapy water and soak the dishes in it. While that’s happening, your mom could clean her counters and stove top.

Scrub, Rinse, and Dip

Using a fresh sponge, your mom should scrub her dishes and rinse them thoroughly. Dipping them in a mixture of bleach and water kills any remaining bacteria. Two gallons of water to one tablespoon and one teaspoon of bleach is the proper solution for sanitizing solution.

Dry and Put Away

Dry dishes with a clean towel and put them away. Once your mom is done drying all of her dishes, she wants to put that dish towel in the wash and get a fresh one for the next meal and round of dishes. Reusing the same towel for a full week spreads germs and isn’t helpful.

Dry the Counters

Before leaving, she wants to clean up any water that splashes on the counters. Then, she wants to wash out her sponge, dip it in the sanitizing solution, and microwave it for 30 seconds to help it dry faster. She should set it in a dry area, preferably elevated off the surface to help with airflow.

This Might Be Too Much for Her

This could be too difficult for your mom to handle. If she has a hard time standing in place or seeing specks of food on her plates, it’s time to hire in-home care aides to wash dishes for her. Caregivers can also clean the counters, stove, and floors. 

With in-home care, your mom has a clean, organized home. She’ll have fresh sheets on her bed, fresh towels, and not have to bother with the laundry again. Caregivers can dust, vacuum, wipe down remotes and door knobs, and make the bed. Talk to a home care specialist to learn more.

If you or someone you know needs in-home care in Buffalo, MN, contact Adara Home Health. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.