How can I Kill Bacteria?

It is important to wash for at least 15 seconds in order to kill bacteria on the skin.
Bacteria can be killed with hot water, bleach or vinegar.
Mouthwash is useful for killing oral bacteria.
Bacteria in a petri dish.
Bleach wipes can kill bacteria on household items like doorknobs and keyboards.
Raw food should be prepared on its own cutting board to prevent cross contamination of bacteria.
It's important to make sure used tissues are properly disposed of to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Sponges need to be disinfected for use in killing bacteria.
Pump bottles help prevent the spread of germs better than a bar soap.
Washing hands in hot water can help kill bacteria.
Sodium borate, or Borax, is another good disinfectant that eliminates bacteria in the home.
Article Details
  • Written By: K T Solis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Images By: Puhhha, Hsagencia, Matthew Cole, Ggw, Norman Chan, Kornienko, Roboriginal, Rck, Africa Studio, Xy, Carissa Rogers
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2014
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Bacteria are single-cell microorganisms that exist everywhere and reproduce quickly. Some kinds of bacteria are harmless, while other types cause disease and sickness. These types are called pathogens. If not controlled, harmful bacteria can take over the home, causing a family to be plagued with health problems. People can kill bacteria in the home through several methods including sterilization, pasteurization, cold temperatures, antiseptics, and disinfectants.

Sterilization uses intense heat to kill bacteria, and pasteurization uses mild heat to lessen the number of bacteria in foods. Cold temperatures combat bacteria as well. When food is refrigerated or frozen, it is preserved and protected from bacteria. Antiseptics are applied to human skin to eliminate bacteria that may collect on an open cut. Finally, a disinfectant can be used to clean toilets, sinks, and floors.

People can kill bacteria by washing their hands after using the bathroom, touching raw food, changing a baby's diaper, cleaning up after a pet, or taking out the trash. It's important to use soap and warm water, scrubbing the hands, washing under the fingernails, and including the wrists in the hand-washing process. Wash for at least 15 seconds in order to kill bacteria on the skin.

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In order to reduce bacteria in the kitchen, do not handle raw foods for a long amount of time. If foods are not going to be eaten immediately, they should be refrigerated or frozen right away. They should never be left to sit at room temperature, as this is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. When cooking in the kitchen, people should use disinfectant on cutting boards, knives, and utensils that touch any type of raw food. A designated cutting board should only be used specifically for raw food preparation in order to protect foods from cross-contamination.

When using sponges and dish towels, it's imperative that they are disinfected. Sponges should be placed in a dishwasher while dish cloths and towels should be bleached in the washing machine. An excellent way to eliminate bacteria contamination is to use paper towels to wipe off counter services. All counters should immediately be cleaned with a disinfectant.

Bacteria can be killed with hot water, bleach, vinegar, tea tree oil mixed with water, and various household cleaners that can be purchased at a discount store. Lemon is a food acid that also kills bacteria effectively. Sodium borate, or Borax, is another good disinfectant that eliminates bacteria in the home. Whether a homeowner chooses a natural product or a disinfectant available commercially, she should choose cleaners that will kill bacteria and provide her family with a safe environment in which to live.

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Discuss this Article

anon326336
Post 18

Hand sanitizers that are not "anti-bacterial" do not make super bugs. Only the anti-bacterial ones do. Use the plain alcohol ones.

anon323753
Post 17

Ultraviolet light doesn't kill bacteria. It cripples it by messing up its DNA bonding. Eventually, it causes bacteria death. Hand sanitizer products make super bugs. Washing hands is the best thing to prevent unwanted bugs on you. To reduce making super bugs, clean your house with regular baking soda, vinegar, tea tree oil, and use coffee for toilet a cleaner. Take fewer medications. This allows your body's organs to stay healthy to maintain a good immune system.

anon307362
Post 10

I'm doing a science fair project on killing bacteria with different types of cleaners and bleach or dishwashing liquid seemed to work the best. If you have any more information, please post soon. It would help with my background report.

anon162083
Post 5

does letting a towel dry kill the bacteria on it?

Charlie89
Post 4

I had heard that hand sanitizer actually doesn't kill bacteria, it just makes it harder for them to stick to your hands or skin.

That seems to go against all the advertising surrounding the hand sanitizer craze, I know, but everything that I read said that soap and water was still the best way to go.

Do you know, does hand sanitizer actually kill bacteria, or is it better to stick with the tried and true methods?

googlefanz
Post 3

I had heard that there were a lot of common household items that kill bacteria. For instance, somebody told me that honey kills bacteria just as well as sanitizer does. I heard wasabi kills bacteria too, which I could totally believe just because of how strong it is.

So does anybody know, does honey or wasabi kill bacteria? I'm not really planning on washing my counters down with wasabi, but still, I'd like to know if I'm ever in a pinch.

StreamFinder
Post 2

Does an ultraviolet (UV) light kill bacteria? I had heard about some gimmicky looking thing that uses a UV light to apparently rid your house of bacteria, but it looked kind of sketchy to me.

Is there actually any science behind this, or is it just a gimmick?

anon67716
Post 1

Uhh, cold doesn't kill bacteria. It actually sends them into hibernation and they wake right back up and start reproducing when you thaw.

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