I recently saw an article discussing a previous study about the dirtiest objects – these are the 10 most common everyday things filled with dirt and germs that people touch in their daily routine. This list will give you every reason to sterilize everything that comes your way. Sanitizer, anybody?
1. Money – Everybody loves money, but nobody loves the germs that comes along with it! Yuck. From the SM cashier to the business executive’s office to the homeless man on the street, there’s an enormous amount of bacteria on every buckaroo in your pocket. Dr. Darlington, the Health Commissioner of New York, found 135,000 bacteria from washing one bill and 126,000 from another. The way to tackle this problem is easy: wash your hands.
2. Light Switch – Somebody’s got to do it, and usually it’s the last person in the room. So pack up your things quick and get out of there because turning off the light switch in a public area is just about the nastiest task anyone can be assigned to do, besides counting rolls of money (refer to #1). All the itty bitty germs love swirling around on the plastic switch that’s touched by millions of dirty fingers over the years add up to about 217 bacteria/square inch. According to a local restroom sanitation glossary, that’s what you’d call a common contact point where germs are transmitted. Clorox wipe, anyone?
3. Keyboard – The computer’s your friend (except when it freezes on you in the most pivotal moments of life) but its accompanying keyboard is a nemesis thriving with germs. In a study from a British consumer group in 2009, 33 computer keyboards were randomly sampled and out of these tested four were considered a health hazard. One was even discovered to have more bacteria than your average toilet. The only way to clean (or delete) this pile of cooties is to spray the keyboard with a can of compressed air and wipe with a cloth dipped in mild detergent.
4. Cell Phone – Forget the dog. Cell phones are a modern (wo)man’s best friend. Heck, the average person probably touches, taps, or strokes their or her cell phone more times than they pet their neglected pooch at home. New research from the United Kingdom show that mobile phones are a technological petri dish for tens and thousands of germs, mainly due to the heat that they generate as well as the bacteria it shares with your hands and face. Next time, consider an anti-microbial coating for your phone or frequent anti-bacterial wipe-downs. Or sterile rubber gloves every time you touch or use your phone, always disposing of them in a furnace immediately afterward.
5. Toilet Seat – Though the toilet seat has been good to you on many a bad days, its porcelain white surface is party-host to all sorts of diseases and viruses. Statistics show that there are 295 bacteria for every square inch of the cold, smooth surface. Though that’s not as bad as the 3.2 million on the toilet bowl, it’s still not a place to rest your head on at night – or in the morning.
6. Shopping Cart – Sorry to be a killjoy, but surfing down the grocery aisle just got a lot less fun. Think of every possible bacteria-filled thing a person can touch – well, once they hit their local supermarket, those things can also be found on the handle of any shopping cart. In fact, there may even be things on there that you haven’t touched. A study from the University of Arizona found that shopping carts were loaded with more bacteria, saliva, and fecal matter than escalators, public telephones, and even public bathrooms. So next time you’re at a supermarket, you might as well pick yourself up some Purell. Shop and squirt, shop and squirt…
7. Remote Control – How many times has ice cream splattered onto your remote control and you’ve just ignored it? Or even worse, smeared it across the surface into an expansive-but-barely-there layer? Add to that the MRSA, VRE and SARS bacteria that is easily transferable by touching TV remotes, and you’ve got yourself one soiled artifact. Next channel, please.
8. Bath Tub – Sure, you’re all clean and spiffy, but what about your bathtub? The bathtub is home to many toxic bacteria that is often left unnoticed. That is, until someone in the family catches a staph infection, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, septicemia, or some form of a skin condition. Believe it or not, bacteria left lingering near the drain of a bathtub is worse than bacteria found in the toilet. By cleaning the bathtub with bathroom cleaner just once a week, you can minimize these unwanted germs (and illnesses) from you and your loved ones. Go on, give it a good rub-a-dub-dub.
9. Kitchen Sink – Contrary to popular opinion, the kitchen may actually be the dirtiest place in the house. Of course, that’s not including your dirty little brother Jimmy’s bedroom but that’s another story. Anyway, there’s typically 500,000 bacteria per square inch in the kitchen sink drain alone, so you can only imagine the total gunk with faucet handles and all. To solve the problem from the inside out, try pouring 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar down the drain. Finally, rinse with hot water, and you just might hear your sink burp a clean gurgle of delight.
10. Kitchen Sponge –
Now it just seems like I’m messing with your head. But I’m not. It’s true. The very sponge that takes the grit off of your dishes and bathroom sink, is really the dirtiest of them all. The yellow and green icon of the kitchen is really a cozy home for germs. Its moist, micro-crevices make it harder to disinfect, so instead of wiping surfaces clean with a sponge, users are really just transferring bacteria from one place to another. An easy remedy is to microwave the sponge for 60 seconds–it improves the odor too!