When you think of places that are filthy, the toilet would probably top your list because of all the poo and wee-related germs and bacteria you imagine are lurking there.
It might surprise you to learn that the toilet isn’t actually the worst place for germs that you regularly come into contact with. You’re probably unwittingly exposing yourself to lots of nasty bacteria every day without knowing it.
These are some of THE WORST:
1. Your mobile phone
Every time you touch your phone, you’re putting germs on it from whatever else you’ve touched. What you are creating is a nice bacterial soup that you also put up to your face and speak into. Researchers have found that the average phone has 25,000 germs per square inch! You should clean it once a week with an alcohol wipe.
2. Your handbag
We take our handbags just about everywhere and often plonk them down wherever. If you don’t think twice about putting it on the floor, under the table in a restaurant or in a public toilet (I can’t cope with this, personally) or anywhere else you go, you have absolutely no idea what gross stuff it is probably coming into contact with. It’s not uncommon for the common handbag to have germs like staphylococcus bacteria and faecal matter attached to it. So gross.
3. Your desk
Do you eat lunch at your desk in the office? Do you actually ever clean your desk? It might alarm you to learn that the average office desk has 400 times more germs than the dunny does. You should use disinfectant wipes to clean your work surface at least once a week.
4. Restaurant menus
Next time you’re browsing a menu in a restaurant, have a think about how many hands might have touched it and how often it might have been cleaned. It’s most likely the answer is lots of hands, and it’s rarely cleaned, if at all. Now, you’ve touched that filthy thing, are you going to eat a meal? This is why hand sanitisers are invented in convenient travel sizes.
5. Elevator and ATM buttons
Again, these are things you are touching that have been touched by many, many, many other people who could have, Lord only knows what’s on their hands. They’ve been found to have 40 times more bacteria than a public toilet seat! Another job for hand sanitiser.
6. Shopping trolleys
You know where I’m going with this… like the menus and elevator buttons, trolleys are provided by shops for the use of multiple people, so all those hands have been on the handle. They have the added happy bonus of being located right next to the seat where toddlers and other small kids are put. Toddlers and other small kids who might have drooled or gotten snot and stuff on the handle. In a 2011 test, researchers found that around three-quarters of shopping trolleys had faecal matter on them and half showed traces of the potentially lethal bug E. coli.
7. Your carpets
You traipse all sorts of things into your house after you’ve been out in the big wide world doing who knows what. So it should come as a surprise that your carpets have around 4,000 more bacterial content than your loo.
That thing you use to wipe your counters down with is actually quite possibly the most germ-filled thing in your house just as well. You’re using it in an attempt to make your kitchen a safer place for food preparation, but because kitchen sponges are porous and moist, they’re a perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Sponges usually have about 10 million bacteria per square inch, making them around 200,000 times more dirty than your toilet.
11. Library Books
To be fair, they’ve been around for a couple of years and used by a lot of people…