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Is Being Too Clean Weakening Our Immune Systems?

During this time, many people have been staying inside their homes, trying to keep safe from germs. There's also been speculation that all of this cleanliness and quarantining breaks down our immune system. So, is being too clean weakening our immune system?

The Immune System

The answer is "no." Being too clean is not going to weaken your immune system. This is because by the time you're an adult, your body has spent years being exposed to a million different viruses and bacteria. Your immune system knows how to respond to these microbes. When one of these markers shows themselves in your body, it starts killing them with antibodies. The COVID-19 virus is new so this raises concern for many people. Your body hasn't built immunity against it yet. The good news is that your body will still build up an immune response when you are infected by it. This is just how the body and immune system work together. When this virus enters your body as well as when any germ enters your body, an immune response instantly occurs. It doesn't make your immune system any stronger. This means that no matter how many germs come into contact with your body, they will not effect the immune response.

The Hygiene Hypothesis

The hygiene hypothesis is what many people is behind the idea that too much cleaning and sanitizing weakens the immune system. This hypothesis basically states that children exposed to more germs earlier in life build stronger immune systems. Some developing countries where children are exposed to more pathogens have lower rates of diseases like allergies and asthma. The science is that there are actually many other factors besides cleanliness that affect your immune health.

Arm Yourself

The CDC recommends cleaning and sanitizing to reduce the spread of all infectious diseases. You should always wash your hands with soap and water. If this is not available, you can use a hand sanitizer made with at least 60% alcohol. A technology called UV-C light helps clean your surfaces like your screens and other handheld objects. This is a short-wavelength, ultraviolet light. It breaks apart a germ's DNA. This means the germ cannot or reproduce. It can even neutralize bugs that are resistant to antibiotics.

Disinfect Your Surfaces

Dirty things are everywhere. You cannot sit in your house or go outside of your house without touching some germs. From money and door handles to your steering wheel and computer keyboard, you can't escape germs. It's easy to remember to wash your hands. One thing many people forget to disinfect is their phone. Think about how many things you touch before touching your phone. It's important to remember to clean the small things we carry with us at all times.

The Good And Bad Bacteria

Some people wonder if we're cleaning away all of the good bacteria along with the bad bacteria. Scientists think germs on our hands and personal belongings are easily passed to other people. This is why washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is the best way to disinfect so you don't easily pass germs. Of course, it's hard to wash all of your body every time you come into the home. Overall obsessive washing of your body actually increases allergies and other issues. This is because it's an overdose of sterility. This is in excessive amounts. The usual cleaning should be done on a daily basis.

Timely Cleaning

The best thing to do so you don't excessively clean is to "timely clean." This means you do deep cleaning around your home a few days a week. Things like your hands, your touch screens and your keyboards can be cleaned on a more frequent basis. There are things to take into account like a chopping board in your kitchen. If you cut raw meat on the board, you need to take instant action to avoid infection. If you cut vegetables or fruit on the board, you can wait until later to clean it. Timely cleaning is important when it comes to fighting germs.

Moisture

The places that hold moisture are the biggest culprits when it comes to germs and viruses. When you get out of the shower and dry off then throw that towel on the ground, it can become a big problem. When you share hand towels or a toothbrush with other members of your family, you could be passing many germs to the other person. If you're in humid environments, you should wash your linens and towels on a more frequent basis. Moisture loves germs.

Why Sanitize?

We've explained there's no fear with being too clean. You can clean as much as you want without worry that you will weaken immune system. There is a difference between cleaning and sanitizing. When you clean with soap, water and/or detergents, you're physically removing soil and food. You're cleaning away germs, but you aren't killing all of them. Sanitizing takes cleaning to another level. It reduces the number of bacteria and other microorganisms. This goes another step to preventing the transmission of diseases, contamination and/or spoilage. It's important to do a mix of cleaning and sanitizing to keep germs away as best as possible.

Get Outside

Sanitizing and disinfecting as much as possible doesn't mean you'll get sick as soon as you walk out the door. It does mean you will come into contact with more germs. You can do your best to sanitize personal items, wear your mask and use social distancing measures to stay healthy. The rules of health have not changed. You will not weaken immune system just because you clean as much as possible. You might get sick due to being in contact with more germs, but you won't get sick because you haven't been out in the world.

Arm yourself with one of our UV-C Light Phone Sanitizers. Our Sanitizers utilize UV-C light to eliminate germs and bacteria, and we'll work together to keep you healthy and happy while at home and out in the world.
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