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The Five-Second Rule & Five Floor Cleaning Tips

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Jessica
03.21.12

You just buttered a delicious slice of whole-wheat toast. Somehow, it slips from your hands and falls on the floor. You quickly glance around the room. You pick it up, do a quick inspection for hairs, and take a bite. Mmmm, tastes like innocence.

It’s happened to all of us. A recently washed fork, a slice of apple, a piece of candy. You drop it on the floor and use the five-second rule to justify that it’s still clean enough to eat. Wrong.

The truth is that regardless of whether food has been dropped for five seconds or five minutes, it’s going to acquire germs. Bacteria are instantly transferred from surface to food, according to a formal “5-second rule study” by Clemson University. So, the five-second rule is clearly not a safe way to assess the cleanliness of food.

We know the chances of you sacrificing that tasty slice of toast are slim – especially if it’s the last one. And, we know your kids probably don’t understand that the floor is not an acceptable eating surface. So, here are some tips to keep your floor clean and bacteria-free for those in your household who insist on eating off of it.

Five Floor Cleaning Tips:

  • Place mats on both sides of all doorways for all floor types. The mat will capture dirt, sand and other substances that can be tracked into the house.
  • Heavy traffic areas in the home, such as entryways and living area, should be vacuumed every day with a dual-motor vacuum.
  • If a pet, child or adult is possibly going to eat off your laminate or ceramic floor, be sure they aren’t ingesting toxic chemicals, too. One easy non-toxic floor cleaning solution is ¼ of a cup of mild liquid dishwashing detergent added to a bucket of warm water. Don't try this with a wood floor, because the water could warp your wood planks.
  • Scuff marks on wood floors are essentially crevices where bacteria hide. To get rid of scuff marks without toxic chemicals, use a sprinkle of baking soda on a damp sponge and rub.
  • Never use a sponge mop to clean floors. It will pull the dirt right into the grout tracks and attract bacteria.
We've got you covered when it comes to cleaning your rugs, too. Check out these expert tricks and step-by-step instructions:

Would you put one of these floors in your home?

Photo: Camille Styles

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Photo: Barrie Briggs Spang

Photo: Camille Styles

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