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Updated 20 February 2013

Cupboards - problems & solutions

Dust, which contains germs, fungi and house mites, tends to gather in and on cupboards. Germs commonly found in dust include the bacteria that may cause colds and flu.

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Cupboards - a germ problem

You use cupboards to store many different things. And if it is 20 years since you last moved, chances are your cupboards host a collection of things that would make many a garage sale proud. But that's not all there is in there, unfortunately. 

Dust, which contains germs, fungi and house mites, tends to gather in and on cupboards. Germs commonly found in dust include the bacteria that may cause colds and flu. Cockroaches can also congregate in cupboards.

Even if surfaces look clean, many infectious germs may be lurking around. Given the right conditions some of these germs will live in the cupboards for hours and even for days. When you touch these surfaces and then eat with your hands or touch your face, you can contract diseases.

House mites are also important causative agents of allergies, asthma and eczema and can contribute to emphysema and bronchitis.

How to keep cupboards clean

Keep this job for a day when you have lots of energy and feel like throwing things out.

Wipe your cupboard surfaces frequently – at least once a month. In most cases, cleaning with soap and water is adequate. It removes dirt and most of the germs. However, using a disinfectant will provide an extra margin of safety.

Open cupboard doors to allow air to circulate on a daily basis. You can also use a 60-watt light bulb to dry and heat cupboards every now and again, especially if you have problems with moisture.

If you find mould or mildew in your cupboard, try to find and eliminate sources of moisture, such as plumbing leaks. You can clean mould and mildew growth from cupboard walls with three parts of water mixed with one part of chlorine bleach. Certain commercial products can also remove mildew and mould effectively. Read product instructions carefully, since some of these chemicals may be toxic.

If insects find their way into the cupboard, they may be attracted by the heat or by any foodstuffs that may be kept there. An odourless insecticide should be used in here, as a strong-smelling one could cause an unpleasant odour to linger on the contents of the cupboard.

Handy hint:
If there is a musty smell in the cupboard, you can either spray some air freshener, or you can take a handful of cloves and orange peels (that have been baked in the oven at 350 degrees for fifteen minutes) and place them in an open container in the cupboard.

Curtains

 
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