One new study found that 62 percent of dishwashers harbor mold, and half of those had black funguslike yeast (exophiala) that can make you sick - triggering headaches, respiratory and neurological problems. In dishwashers, it's the rubber gasket around the door that's a breeding ground for harmful organisms. Over time, debris can collect in and on it - it's not washed out during a cycle. Make sure you wash under it once a week with a regular household cleaner. Also check spinning arms for debris blocking the water holes, and clean around the drain in the bottom of the machine. Use a standard dishwasher cleanser monthly.
And then there's your vacuum cleaner, which can spew molds and harmful bacteria. Even if yours has a HEPA filter (they don't always block potential allergens and bacteria), vacuuming kicks up debris, including bacteria, mold and dust mites detritus. This may be why Environmental Protection Agency studies show pollutant levels in the home are two to five times higher than outside. Your best bet to contain these potential troublemakers: Use microfiber or electrostatic - never feather - dusters; change your vacuum's HEPA filter regularly; get rid of old carpets; and wash area rugs and behind and under furniture weekly.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.