Updated 21 November 2013

Clean up your mess!

Are you in your teens? Give new meaning to SpongeBob and call on Mr Muscle – it’s time to tackle the chaos in your room.

Are you in your teens? Give new meaning to SpongeBob and call on Mr Muscle – it’s time to tackle the chaos in your room.

Your cellphone
Addicted to WhatsApp and Facebook? Keep your number, address and pin number secret. Criminals often disguise their true identities and pretend to be someone else.

Sound equipment
Limit the use of your iPod or MP3 player to an hour a day and at 60% of the maximum volume or you may damage your hearing. The smaller the headphones, the more serious the damage. Many people listen to music at volumes louder than that of a power drill.

Your water bottle
The bit of spittle in the backwash every time you take a sip of water contains bacteria from your mouth. These bacteria thrive in water that has been standing in a bottle for a long time.

Stinky shoes
Your sweaty, humid trainers and socks create the perfect breeding place for germs and fungi – especially in summer. Beat fungal infections by soaking your running shoes in water and a capful of disinfectant before you wash them. Wear 100% cotton socks and switch between closed shoes and sandals every now and again.

Smelly sportsgear?
Fungi love cricket gloves. And to think you share them with teammates! Unpack gloves so they can dry out properly. Do you have athlete’s foot? The fungi can be transferred to your underwear when you get dressed and lead to a fungal groin infection. Damp clothes make it worse.

Dirty, damp towels
Did you know towels become extremely flammable when they’re not washed regularly? That’s because the natural oils from your skin start to form a layer on them. Rather wash those towels regularly.

Exposed electric wires
An overloaded circuit can cause a short circuit and a fire. Check the plugpoints – plugs that feel warm are a sign of danger. And keep wires away from pets; they like to chew on things.

Exposed food such as pizza can breed dangerous levels of bacteria within three hours. Be especially careful with tinned sardines – the bacteria in the gut of this fish multiply quickly. Within minutes food left out in the open attracts flies and cockroaches that carry all kinds of germs. Bluebottles in particular are quick to lay their eggs on exposed food.

Turns out your best friend may not always be good for you. Worms and parasites love your pooch just as much as you do and Staphylococci bacteria, which often breed in the muzzles of dogs, can cause boils. De?ea your pets regularly and find out from the vet when they should be dewormed.

Your mattress is alive
Your bed is crawling with life: 10,000 dust mites call it home. They live off the half litre of moisture you sweat out every night as well as bits of shed skin. Mites cause allergies. Use clean bed linen as a barrier between you and the dust mites and wash bedding every week at 60°C. Regularly air your mattress in the sun.

Piles of books, magazines, DVDs and papers
Minimise the mess that collects dust and pollens. Life will feel much simpler once you sort out all the clutter.

(Health24, October 2013)

(Picture: Messy room from Shutterstock)

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Healthy gut »

IBS – 4 symptoms that extend beyond your stomach

When you think of IBS, symptoms that come to mind include diarrhoea, constipation and gas. However, there are other symptoms that extend beyond your stomach.

Sex health »

Do you feel sad after sex? This is why and what you can do about it

A new study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy has revealed that 41% of the men surveyed had felt sad after sex in the previous four weeks.