We all know the bathroom is home to some of the most dangerous of germs and harmful bacteria. Bacteria and germs like Streptococcus, hepatitis A, E. coli, and even some STDs love to make the most of the damp atmosphere in your bathroom, and it’s gross. Most of us are led to believe that the toilet seat, then, is the most contaminated thing on the planet – you are wrong. Toilet seats are dirty, but there are far more contaminated objects lying around you that don’t even think are dirty – and that’s scary.
There are many such objects that are right there in one’s bathroom itself, which are more contagious than your morning throne, but your house has tons of other items and tools too that have way more and harmful germs than your bathroom or toilet seat. Right from faucet handles and kitchen sponges to elevator buttons and ATM, you would find harmful germs ready to attack your health right in your very office, home and the most common places you frequent every single day!
In this article, we have compiled the list of dirtiest objects that we come across every day. While you may already know or suspect about a few of those objects to be dirty, rest will shock you for sure. Before any further ado, let’s check it out!
The menu at restaurants – 185,000 bacteria per square centimeter
It’s common sense that the restaurant menus are never washed, and yet when we visit a restaurant, that is never on our minds. Just imagine the number of people touching the same menu every day, week, year. According to recent research, a restaurant menu on an average has more than 185,000 bacteria per square centimeter! It is, therefore extremely unsafe for people who have weaker immune system, and also for children, as they are more prone to fall ill because of the germs.
The germ magnet – toothbrush
It’s a well-known fact that when we flush a toilet, germs and harmful bacteria are pushed up to 6 feet high in the air, which remains for over three hours! And now, make a quick guess what else do you keep in the bathroom. Yes, that’s right – toothbrushes! Toothbrushes are quite close when it comes to the germs and bacteria, which attach themselves on the brushes and make their way to your body!
Bathtub – doesn’t just have water, but 19,500 bacteria per square centimeter
While you may believe that your bathtub is actually a place that cleans your body, it has over 19,500 bacteria per square centimeter! The reason why bacteria thrives in the bathtub is that it is perfect for its survival – warm and moist. So, when the bacteria is washed off your body, it finds its place in your bathtub and the toys lying in and around the tub. So, the bathtub isn’t exactly as clean as you thought it to be.
While your kitchen sponge may be good for use for a week or so, using it more than that increases the number of bacteria and germs that find their place on the sponge. After repeated cleaning, all the germs stick to your kitchen sponge and in fact, out of every 3 sponges, one contains the harmful Staphylococcus bacteria! On an average, a kitchen sponge contains around 10 million bacteria per square centimeter, which is like 250,000 time more dirty than your average toilet seat!
Pillows – breeding grounds for MRSA
Are you someone who uses the same pillow for years? If so, you’re in for some shock. Pillows not only contain bodily secretions and skin cells, but also dust mites, dead bugs, and some of the most harmful bacteria like flu bugs, MRSA or even leprosy! If you want to avoid all of that, we strongly recommend you to change the pillows every five to six months.
Showerheads and biofilms – the connection?
When bacteria sticks itself to the showerhead, it forms a layer over the entire apparatus over time and is known as biofilm. So, when you take a shower, the showerhead not only gives water, but also the bacteria stuck in the biofilm. In fact, a study was conducted and it was found out that the water exiting the showerhead has at least 100 times more germs than the water that enters the showerhead. If you want to avoid such a scenario, go for metal shower heads and keep cleaning on a regular basis to avoid biofilm formation.
Ice has more germs than toilet water
Most of us love ice, but do you know the fact that an average ice cube contains far more germs than even the toilet water? According to the experts, germs and bacteria stick to the ice maker over time and continue growing in population. Therefore, crushed or cube, any kind of ice that comes from a freezer isn’t really the cleanest of items!
Elevator buttons can give you the flu!
Elevators are an indispensable part of our lives. However, what most of us don’t notice is that since it is touched by everyone all the time, it is a germ haven! And studies showed exactly that. According to a recent study, more than 97% of the elevator buttons are infested with germs and harmful bacteria. So, the next time you are using an elevator, try hitting the button with your elbow!
Mattresses are a breeding ground for the bacteria
It is a good idea to get your mattress cleaned often. According to the experts, a mattress nearly doubles in weight over a period of ten years, mainly because of the weight of dust mites. Apart from the mites, a mattress is a thriving place for bacteria such as campylobacter, staphylococcus, and norovirus that can lead to a number of skin and health issues, and sometimes even death.
Refrigerators – breeding grounds for E. Coli, Listeria, and Salmonella
Irrespective of how often you disinfect your refrigerator, it has bacteria such as E. coli, listeria, and salmonella. These bacteria alone account for over 48 million illnesses every year, and end up taking well over three thousand lives! The most thriving parts for germs and bacteria are the vegetable and meat containers, which often get infected because the meat or vegetables are kept raw and are full of live bacteria.
Carpet – 4,000 times dirty than a toilet!
Do you wash your carpet or just vacuum it? If you’re like most people who just vacuum it, you’re in for a shock! An average carpet has over 200,000 bacteria per square inches, which is close to 4000 times more than a typical toilet seat! The reason behind this is that an average human sheds around one and a half million dead skin cells per hour. Now, combine that with all the dirt that came along with our shoes, and we have a thriving home for bacteria and germs.
Cellphones – 10 times more dirty than a toilet
A recently concluded study found out that an average cellsphone contains at least ten times more harmful germs and bacteria than a toilet seat! In fact, close to sixteen percent of all cellphones actually have some sort of fecal matter on them, and eight out of 10 having disease carrying germs. So, the next time you put that cellphone near the ear, think twice.
Oh, another fact that we missed – 20% of people have dropped their phones in the toilet at least once!
Gasoline pumps have more than 70% germs than a toilet seat
We all visit a gasoline pump every week or so to put gas into our cars. Well, guess what? They have over 70% more germs and harmful bacteria than an average toilet seat! The reason behind this is the fact that so many people touch the same pump all day long for years, without any sort of cleaning. I believe a full serve definitely sounds like a much better deal, doesn’t it?
Faucet handles – 44 times more germs than a toilet seat
A recent study found out that a typical bathroom faucet handle is the living place for germs that is over 21 times of what you’d find on a toilet seat. On the other hand, a kitchen faucet handle has even more – 44 times the number of bacteria on the toilet seat! This is because people usually touch the kitchen faucet with dirty hands, thus increasing the number of harmful bacteria quite significantly.
Clean Laundry – at least 100 million E. Coli bacteria per load!
When you clean your laundry in the washing machine, it doesn’t really get rid of the harmful bacteria and germs, especially the undergarments. This is so because the undergarments usually have some sort of fecal matter. So, an average load can easily transfer somewhere around 100 million e. coli bacteria in the wash water, which later gets passed on to the next load and so on! By the way, if you really want to get rid of these harmful germs, use bleach, as detergent cannot get rid of them.
Soap dispensers – one out of every four can make you fall sick
We often rely on soap dispensers to clean our hands. But what most of us don’t know is the fact that out of every four soap dispensers you come across in any public bathroom, one will be filled with harmful germs that has a high chance of causing sickness. And while a typical air dryer will get rid of around half the germs from your hands, it still leaves plenty to be done. This is precisely why the hands-free soap dispensers are a hit, as they reduce the chances of coming in contact with any germs significantly.
Chopping boards – 200 times more harmful than a toilet seat
Most chopping boards (unless you are a complete vegetarian), will have some sort of raw meat on them almost on a daily basis. And as well all know, raw meat is a thriving place for harmful bacteria, as well as fecal bacteria, which passes itself on to the chopping board. Thus, there are well over 200 times more bacteria than what you would find on a toilet seat!
Keyboards – 200 times more harmful than a toilet seat
Most people do not believe in cleaning their keyboards. And if you just think for a second, you would realize how many things your hands touch throughout the day and the same germs and harmful bacteria pass on to your keyboard when you type using the same hands. In fact, there was a case of sickness in Washington, D.C. in 2007, where many students fell sick at once, and when it was traced, the culprit was found to be none other than the keyboard!
Money – 200,000 bacteria per square inch of the currency note
If you were of the opinion that only ATMs were dirty, you are in for a shock. On a typical dollar bill that you come across, there are well over 200,000 bacteria per square inch! And if you just think about it, it does make sense considering the fact that bills change hands quite often and are never washed (obviously!). Also, once a bill comes in contact with any flu virus, it can stay there for more than seventeen days! I guess that is definitely a good reason why people should use credit cards more!
ATMs – 12,000 bacteria per square inch
ATMs are used by thousands of people every day, and according to a recent study, every button of an ATM has over twelve thousand bacteria per inch! So, you never know what kind of harmful germs were passed on by the previous guy who used the machine. In any case, you can be quite sure that it is definitely harmful for you, so try using your knuckles instead when you’re using the ATMs!