There are many things we might not even consider when we think of cleaning that we touch almost every day!
You may be frightened to find how the most common items you touch—from the kitchen to your couch and other upholstery—are actually crawling with dangerous germs.
Top 11 Dangerously Dirty Household Items
The list of surprisingly dirty items in your home could go on and on. But for now, here are the top 10.
TOOTHBRUSH & TOOTHBRUSH HOLDER
Think about it—when you’re done brushing your teeth, your brush probably sits there wet overnight. This frequent moisture creates a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause illnesses like meningitis.
While you may think your toothbrush and its holder are far enough from the toilet to be exposed to fecal germs, the fact is, everything within a 6 foot radius can be contaminated when a toilet is flushed with the seat up.
It’s estimated that the average dollar bill touches about 14,000 sets of hands in its lifetime. It’s no surprise that cash can carry pathogens, bacteria, and even traces of drugs.
This might make us think twice before using “dirty money”—or at least not sanitizing our hands after a cash transaction.
KITCHEN SPONGES & TOWELS
Think about the contact kitchen sponges and towels have with bacteria from your hands and the food you prepare.
A recent study found that kitchen sponges contain about 10 million bacteria per square inch—which equates to 200,000 more than the average toilet seat!
Dish towels are scary, too. Another study found that towels were actually the filthiest (meaning E Coli and Salmonella infested) than any other surface tested. Yikes. Regularly switch out your towels and wash them in a rotation.
Similar to most of these items, we remember to wash our hands but there are tons of things we touch that we forget about. Our wallet goes with us everywhere we go and it will pick up those germs. Next time you are cleaning your phone another one of the items on this list, give it a quick run over.
Because shopping carts are in contact with so many people’s hands and are pushed around different foods all day, almost all of them are contaminated. It’s safer to assume that they are dirty and take a few extra seconds to sanitize your hands or use the cleaning wipes provided near most entrances.
It may seem small, but it is these extra steps that can make a big difference.
Our families and pets lounge on our couches every day. Yet surprisingly, the couch is one of the least cleaned items in our homes.
Upholstery can help filter the air in our home, but that means all that dust, dirt, and grime build up in the fibers. The average sofa is filled with harmful allergens and bacteria that only professional cleaning methods can reach.
The crevices in a keyboard are the perfect hiding places for germs. In fact, most computer keyboards contain bacteria, yeast, and mold.
You may consider sanitizing your computer keys and the fingers that use them a little more often.
Did you know that the device glued to your hand probably contains 10 times more germs than the toilet seat in a public restroom?
Most people hardly put their phones down—even to use the bathroom. As a result, our cell phones are infested with a variety of bacteria that can cause pneumonia, infections, food poisoning, and more!
The kitchen sink, including the faucet and handles, is where we often go to get a glass of water. It’s also a spot crawling with bacteria that make us sick.
In fact, the kitchen is actually worse than the bathroom. This makes sense when considering how much raw food and other gunk is rinsed down the drain.
A recent study concluded that almost half of kitchen sinks contain coliform bacteria (a family of bacteria that includes Salmonella and E Coli).
While you may think you washed your hands well enough after touching that raw piece of chicken, chances are, traces of bacteria were left behind.
We often reach in and out of the refrigerator during cooking—transferring dangerous germs and bacteria. Plus, unless you wash your hands several times a day, contaminants are transferred to your fridge handle any time you reach for a snack. This can be one of the most dangerous because of raw cooking.
The next time you reach for the remote to binge on Netflix, consider the fact that it’s probably covered in bacteria and mold.
While remote controls in our homes are bad enough, the ones in hotel rooms are even worse—with more than 13 times the maximum acceptable level of bacteria per cubic center allowed in hospitals. Most of these items can be cleaned really fast with cleaning wipes.
Solutions To Eliminate Bacteria And Allergens
The best way to attack these germ-infested areas in our homes is simply to clean them more frequently. Hand washing is also one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs.
Get into the habit of carrying hand sanitizer with you and have disinfecting wipes or spray handy. Some items (like sponges and toothbrushes) need to be disposed of and replaced often.
For areas like your couch and other upholstery, vacuuming and spot cleaning on your own can help. However, in order to eliminate allergens and bacteria and create a healthy home, upholstery should be professionally cleaned at least once a year. If there are children or pets in the home, you should have your furniture professionally cleaned at least every 6 months.
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