By Dr. Janet Brill
Germs—we’re surrounded by them. If you’re a clean freak, you likely wash and disinfect your hands multiple times a day and avoid touching publicly shared things, but the biggest culprits of germs are often those found in our everyday lives. Read on and find out the bacteria sources you might have never considered.
What’s the one thing you touch most all day? For most of us, the answer is our cell phone. We hold it, throw it on tables, take it with us to the bathroom, and then put it up against our face to talk to our loved ones. Yup, there’s plenty of room for contamination. Studies have been done to determine just how dirty our smartphones can get, and the results might shock and repulse you. One report done back in England in 2011 found that 1 out of every six mobile phones was contaminated with fecal matter. Of the phones studied, 92 percent had significant traces of bacteria on them. If that doesn’t make you want to drop your phone right now, I don’t know what will. So how can you avoid these nasty habits? Try to avoid taking your phone into the restroom, don’t lay it down on table surfaces, and wipe it occasionally with an anti-bacterial cost. One easy tip: change cases every once in a while. If anything, this is a plus, as you can get a cool Touch of Modern iPhone 6 case and say it’s for health reasons—it’s a win-win.
Do you throw your purse down on the ground at work, or place it next to you on the bus seat? Have you committed the cardinal sin of placing it on the floor of a public bathroom? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then consider how much bacteria you’ve subjected your bag to. With that in mind, remember to wipe down your purse from top to bottom occasionally, and be wary of where you set it down.
Kids seem to smell out the grossest items in the house and have a strange propensity for putting them in their mouths. How often has a parent walked in the living room to find a little one tasting the remote control? Well, you’ll want to thwart that behavior as soon as possible when you hear about the disgusting microorganisms taking up residence on your television remote. The worst culprits in this category? Remote controls in public places, like hotel rooms or public waiting rooms. When it comes to your home, consider investing in a Smooth Touch remote from CleanRemote.com, a company that designs remotes with a smooth surface—meaning less nooks and crannies for bacteria to hide under.
Fair warning: this one might inspire feelings of nausea. While your toothbrush is designed to clean out your mouth, what do you do to clean out your toothbrush? Used daily to dig out the gross remnants of food and other bacteria from between your teeth, your brush is a powder keg of germs. Now for the kicker: think about how close your toothbrush is to your toilet. If it’s within the vicinity, know that every time you flush, your toilet kicks up thousands of micro water droplets containing fecal matter that attach onto whatever they come in contact with. The theory has been tested, and it’s been proven true, so remember to lower the toilet lid before flushing and keep your toothbrush in a medicine cabinet or protect it inside a Steripod to ensure you’re not inserting fecal matter into your mouth each day.
When was the last time you wiped down your refrigerator? Add food into the mix, and bacteria runs rampant. One of the major issues with refrigerator handles is that we’ll pull out raw meat from the fridge, close it, and forget to wipe down the handle like we would the preparation surface. Make sure you prioritize cleaning those handles off once a day, and remember that it’s the entryway to all of your food—what more reason could you have to take more precautions?
Some studies have found that ATM machines can actually have as much bacteria on them as a public toilet. Every day, thousands of peoples head to public money machines to access their bank accounts, and with a combination of grubby fingers touching those keypads one after the next and no janitorial staff to wipe them down, you can see how that would add up to millions of tiny nasty microbes.
Welp, there you have it, all the daily items you never knew you should be disgusted by. With this information in mind, you’ll know what to wipe down, what to leave where it is, and when you should wash your hands to cut down on the amount germs you come into contact with each day!