The 4 Most Germ-Infested Things You Come In Contact With Almost Daily
These days there are dispensers of hand sanitizer pretty much everywhere you turn. Germs lurk on surfaces you normally wouldn’t think twice about, including the four most germ-infested places outlined below.
We do need to come into contact with moderate amounts of germs and bacteria in order to build antibodies for our immune system, and the more we are exposed to the stronger our immune system becomes.
1. Your Desk
It may sound crazy to hear your toilet bowl is more sanitary than your workspace, but it’s true! While restrooms are cleaned frequently, people tend not to clean their desks on a regular basis. Even though most of the germs you encounter aren’t particularly harmful, you should make a point of cleaning your workstation at least once a week during cold and flu season and try not to eat lunch at your desk.
2. Your Kitchen Sponge
There’s a good reason sponges are banned from use in food service—a kitchen sponge is likely the dirtiest item in your entire home. A single sponge can harbor billions of harmful bacteria, such as staphylococcus and salmonella. Your best bet is to use paper towel or a rag that you wash each day. But if you’re fond of sponges, be sure to ring it out and let it dry well after each use. If you can, run it in the dishwasher every other day, zap it in the microwave for a minute or two to kill even more germs, and be sure to replace it at least every three weeks.
3. Your Cell Phone
Much like your desk, you cell phone is used frequently but rarely disinfected. Additionally, it’s often carried in the hand or stuck in a pocket, where it stays nice and warm—just what bacteria needs to flourish. A recent set of tests by Dr. Charles Gerba, professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, showed cell phones frequently carry staph bacteria, which can cause everything from skin infections to meningitis! Give your cell a good wipe with a disinfecting cloth or get your hands on a nifty cell sanitizer.
4. Kitchen Towel
In an examination of 20 Canadian homes, a study by the Hygiene Council states that the kitchen towel is the dirtiest if you live in Canada.
The council's researchers found four contained kitchen towels that were highly contaminated with E. coli. The report recommends towels be washed in water hotter than 60 C or using boiling water in a pot to kill the bacteria, which can cause severe cramping and bloody diarrhea.