We can’t see them, but they’re everywhere. Inside your house, in your food, even in your pocket. We could not survive without them. Bacteria are generally considered bad guys, but they are the binder that keeps our world together. Of course, that is in normal amounts and as long as they don’t wind up in all the wrong places. Bacteria and viruses can survive up to 18 hours on an object, and the adult person can touch up to 30 different objects in a minute, thus allowing bacteria and germs to crawl onto the skin and towards the orifices.
Every single day we come in contact with items that could jeopardize our health. People are not even aware of the danger they are faced with each time they go to work or do house chores. No matter how paranoid we may be about hygiene, going through all those frequent hand washing rituals, the truth of the matter is most of us don’t have the slightest clue where we picked up all those germs from. Quite surprisingly, it is not the toilet that is the dirtiest item we touch everyday. Sure, some things may be no surprise, but there are others that are utterly dirty, shockingly hazardous to our health, and we never even knew it.
15. The Doctor’s Office
It can be really boring waiting for your turn at the doctor’s office, and you might be tempted to go over some of the colorful magazines sitting there on the coffee table. Better not. Just think of all those sick people before you who did the same. Better not let your kid play with all those toys either. They’ve been touched by dozens, if not hundreds of dirty hands, and you’ve no idea what kind of sickness they might be carrying.
14. Lemon Slices in Cocktails
Whenever you order a drink and the bartender serves it with a twist, the slices of lemon or orange on the rim of the glass can be filled with bacteria, including E-coli. This is all because of the way they are being handled, rarely washed, while bartenders’ hands touch numerous glasses, both clean and dirty. There can be up to 26 living microorganisms on that slice of lemon, so you’d better stay away from it.
13. Restaurant Menus
Menus are filled with bacteria. This is mainly because most people who order in restaurants don’t wash their hands before eating. If it’s a frequented diner, you can be sure hundreds, if not even thousands of persons touched the pages of the menu before you. So go wash your hands after you’ve ordered, not before.
Public toilets are some of the dirtiest places we can possibly visit. No matter how clean they may look, germs are luring where you’d least expect it, like in liquid soap. That’s right, the same soap you thought you used to remove germs. Approximately one fourth of all liquid soaps in public restrooms are contaminated because they are stored in containers that are not cleaned on a frequent basis, even though dirty hands touch them all the time. After applying the soap, make sure you rub carefully for 15 to 20 seconds, and do not touch the container again.
11. Shopping Carts and Baskets
Hundreds of hands and pounds of food come into contact with those shopping carts and baskets each day. We pick them up in turn, carry them with our own hands around the aisles, and place our food on their bottoms. Sure, they get cleaned once every week, but it’s not nearly enough. So, would you let your apples roll over on the bottom of one? Wipe the handle with an antibacterial tissue before touching it, and wash your hands with soap as soon as you get home.
10. Food Vending Machines
Sandwich, coffee, soda, or other food vending machines are very dangerous and should be avoided as much as possible, especially those in public places. According to studies, contamination rates are around 35%. That’s right, you could be swallowing more than just your favorite food. The buttons are filthy, and finger food, such as snacks, is the one that will cause most problems, as it is a direct path for bacteria to reach your mouth.
We all have to use a doorknob at one time during the day. Just think of all the hands that touched it before. They could be ours, they could be others. Imagine the bacteria that gets transferred around. Plus, doorknobs rarely get washed. It’s a fact! Many people do not wash their hands after using the toilet, thus leaving all sorts of germs behind. To avoid them in toilets or other public places, use a paper towel to open the door then throw it away.
8. ATM Machines
Those wonderful inventions that throw money out the hole are more dangerous than you might think. With so many dirty hands touching them, their buttons show high levels of bacillus and pseudomonads contamination, two types of bacteria that are responsible for diarrhea and sickness, the same microorganisms that infest public toilets. So next time you use the ATM, consider this: typing in your PIN is the equivalent of rubbing your hands against the rim of the toilet in the diner across the street.
7. Crosswalk Buttons
Crosswalk buttons are considered a safe invention. You push the button, wait for the walk signal, look to the right and to the left to be sure, and cross the street. Sounds pretty safe, right? Wrong! Studies show crosswalk buttons have high levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that signals bacteria, yeast, and mold cells infections. Around 41% of all crosswalk buttons are contaminated.
6. Remote Control
We all love eating in bed while watching our favorite TV show or movie. But ask yourself, how many times have you eaten popcorn and used those dirty greasy little fingers to turn the volume up? Or how many times you spilled ice cream or gravy on those buttons? The remote control is a paradise for those nasty germs.
5. Toilet Seat
Of course, our list would not be complete without the toilet seat. While the lid may not be as dirty, housing an average 50 bacteria per square centimeters, it is the upper white china surface that is more concerning, where there can be up to 250 different species of bacteria per square centimeter. Have you ever wondered how it would be to drink water from the toilet? No? Good, because the inside of the toilet contains approximately 3.2 million bacteria.
Okay, we all suspected the keyboard we use at home or at work is dirty, but we had no idea how filthy it can actually be. By comparison, the average toilet seat has 50 bacteria per square centimeter, while the keyboard you use everyday has around 2,000. Why is this? Because toilets are cleaned on a frequent basis, while keyboards do not often undergo such a treatment. All dirty things we touch everyday wind up on the keyboard, day after day and week after week. Yes, that goes for the mouse in your hand, too.
3. Cell Phones
Another item we use everyday that will make any toilet look like child’s play is the cell phone. After all, we do press it against two orifices of our heads and slide our hands against it. Yes, a conversation over the phone can prove dangerous. I’m talking about 13,000 bacteria per square centimeter dangerous. That’s nothing compared to the toilet seat, and much more than the keyboard. So, who else do you want to call now?
2. Kitchen Items
Quite shockingly, kitchens are a lot dirtier than toilets. There are more than half a million bacteria per square centimeter inside the kitchen. Dirtiest objects are the dish-washing sponge, with almost 10 million bacteria per square centimeter, followed by the kitchen cloth, with approximately 1 million bacteria per square centimeter, and of course the kitchen sink which is just crawling with germs. Did you know there are 200 times more bacteria on a cutting board than on the toilet seat?
What do your wallet and a coke factory have in common? Certainly much more than you’d think. Studies show that coke residues can be found on money throughout the Globe, the American dollar occupying the first spot. Don’t start sniffing money just yet. It takes around one million bills to obtain the necessary amount. Plus, they have probably been stuffed somewhere between the breasts of a stripper, or in a homeless guy’s left pocket. We can only imagine the hands they’ve exchanged. There can be up to 135,000 bacteria on a single bill.