That sounds almost impossible, doesn’t it? While images of toilet bowls appear in your mind, it seems like trash cans would be the only things worse. Well, we hate to bring you the bad news but germs are everywhere! Your house is actually a germ hotel, as well as other personal items. You may as well hang a “vacancy” sign on your cell phone and other things you are constantly touching.
We’re not trying to turn you into a bunch of germaphobes, but to be aware is to avoid some of the nastier results, like colds, flus and enhanced allergy symptoms. This list will get you thinking, but we’ve included solutions for each germ haven. Make these changes and you should feel less susceptible to the onslaught of bacteria.
A study conducted in 2012 alerted people to the fact that each person in a room adds 37 million bacteria to the air every hour, with most of it coming from the ground as we walk. But, hey, let’s not go crazy with worry. After all, many of these live organisms hang out in our defenseless belly buttons that are cleaned every time we shower.
Check out this list of 13 things you may not have thought about that have more germs than your toilet bowl.
13. Purse Bottoms
The irony is while you are avoiding sitting on the toilet seat in the bathroom of your favorite restaurant, your purse is often sitting on the floor. Women also set their purses on the floors of clubs, hotel rooms and even pet owner friend’s homes. If you’re smart, you’ll buy one of those purse hanger gadgets that can hang anywhere that has a counter, like in this photo.
12. Restaurant Menus
We almost hate to tell you, for fear it may change your love of dining out. However, scientists have found that the average restaurant menu carries 185,000 bacteria. According to microbiologist Dr. Chuck Gerba, “you probably have about 100 times more bacteria on that menu than you do on a typical toilet seat in the restroom.” You were worried about the speck on the fork? We think it might be best to have the waiter recite the specials and go from there.
This is not a big surprise, sponges hold bacteria and actually transfer it from one object or surface to another. It’s all the holes in the sponge that makes the bacteria feel so at home. If you’re not someone to change your sponges weekly, try more healthful approaches to keeping them bacteria-free. 1. Put it in the microwave for two minutes. Presto. Germs gone. 2. Let cleanser sit on the moist sponge for an hour and then scrub it.
10. Kitchen Buttons and Handles
Faucet handles, cupboard knobs, door handles, handles and knobs in the kitchen especially, are a huge source of germ collecting. It doesn’t matter if you live alone, disinfecting those knobs will kill germs on contact. Some experts suggest doing this several times a day, but there’s no reason to get neurotic about it. We’re just trying to help you minimize bacterial health risks.
Did you know microbes have been hiding in your pillows? How do you feel about knowing that while you are sleeping, your pillow bacteria is prancing all over you. Pillows are a source of microorganisms from the air and your skin. If you happen to perspire during the night, then you get extra mold, dust mites and bacteria. Under a microscope, it’s not a pretty sight. Frequently changing pillow cases will be the best defense as well as bleaching them during laundering.
8. Dish Drainer
Since the dish drainer is frequently moist or wet, it is always a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Think of the irony. You are “cleaning” your dishes only to place them on a bacteria-infested drainer. Just giving that drainer a good scrubbing one to two times a week will help cut down on all the germ collecting. Use a toothbrush and soap or vinegar. If it’s stainless steel, pop it in the dishwasher – but make sure to periodically scrub the joints where germs can hide.
7. Makeup Brushes
How often does it occur to you to clean your makeup brushes? Probably not often enough. Makeup brushes that are not clean end up putting germs and bacteria on your face, lips and eyes; the areas that are openings into our delicate system. You can purchase a cleanser specifically for your brushes or simply use a mild soap and hot water. Depending on how often you use them, clean them after every ten or so uses.
Have you ever wondered if the damp toothbrush that takes a couple hours to dry isn’t a hotbed for germs? Well if you had, you would be right. The whole teeth-brushing thing happens in the bacteria-infested bathroom, then the toothbrush is stored to collect the neighboring germs. Some think that soaking it in an antibacterial mouthwash or sanitizer will help, but the best method is to wash it with warm water after use and store it standing up so it will dry faster. Of course, our mouths contain more bacteria than we’d care to admit.
We think that since we’re the only one touching our keys they are safe from traveling bacteria. That would make sense since they are not damp and the material doesn’t absorb fungi or moisture. Well, here’s a touch of reality for you; you put your keys in your dirty pocket or purse. At times you even drop them on the filthy ground in restaurant bathrooms, a sink or on the carpet. How often do you wash them? Enough said.
Not everyone shares their earbuds, but even if you don’t where do you wear them? At the gym? While running? In the hot tub? Humidity and moisture are hotbeds for germs, so if you’re perspiring then you’ve got the potential to give yourself an ear infection via the buds. When bacteria gets into the ear canal it leads to these infections. To avoid earbud germs, clean your ears and the buds. Many earbuds come with protective foam covers and you can buy replacements, you should also avoid sharing.
The whole family shares household remotes, so it makes sense they would make it to this list. Anything that everyone touches is going to be a source of germs and harmful bacteria. Does the remote ever get washed and cleaned? It’s not likely, and as time goes on the remote’s appearance looks more and more grungy. Take a cotton swab and clean the remote with bleach or an alcohol wipe works well too.
2. Kitchen Sink
The kitchen sink is the germ catch-all in the room. We dump and pour everything but the kitchen sink into it and expect dish soap and cleanser to do the job. Bleach or disinfectant is the best way to take care of business after you have done all the rest of the clean up; it’s the second step to ditching germs so they don’t start congregating.
1. Home Carpet
So you thought your nice, clean carpet was the best place to lay down with man’s best friend? It does feel really good to roll around without concern. But surprise, carpets actually collect spores of mold and allergens. Unless you taught your pets to wipe their feet, they have most likely walked in their urine and other interesting substances while out on their walk. You may also have friends who don’t consider asking if they should remove their shoes while tracking in every location they have visited during the last few weeks. Here’s an eye-opener; your carpet contains about 200,000 bacteria per square inch! You might seriously consider having your carpets cleaned regularly, especially if you are a pet owner.