10 Bacteria-Rich Things You Touch Every Day

Warning: In case you’re a mild germaphobe, this article will really gross you out.

You probably know that most of the things you touch are absolutely filled with bacteria. And in this case, we’re not talking about obvious-seeming offenders such as toilet seats, or bathroom floors.

Believe it or not, these examples are oftentimes CLEANER than the culprits we’re about to list. I know, it sounds surprising. But the reality is this: the objects that we use the most are prone to hosting more bacteria than we could ever imagine. Let’s talk about 10 things you never thought would be so dirty:

Sponges and dishcloths

This one might have crossed your mind, it’s true. I mean, the very items that we use to clean everything in the house are obviously among the filthiest objects.

But between them all, kitchen sponges are the absolute worst, as they have 10 million bacteria per square inch. You wanna hear something even more frightening?

It’s about 200,000 times more bacteria than our beloved toilet seat. In this case, dishcloths are just as filthy. In fact, there’s even a study that analyzed 82 dishcloths from 5 big cities in the U.S. and Canada and found E. coli on nearly half of towels, and Salmonella in almost 14% percent of the dishcloths.

sponges bacteria
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Sinks, faucets, and handles

When it comes to places you usually go to get water, such as basins and handles, next time make sure you give ’em a good old scrub. Surprisingly or not, the kitchen is even worse than the bathroom, but both can be covered in all sorts of gross bacteria.

In fact, there is research conducted by the brave souls of NSF International, that found coliform bacteria, that huge family of bacteria that includes Salmonella and E. coli, in 45% of kitchen sinks.

In comparison, only 9% of bathroom sink handles had the same bacteria present. And if you’re thinking of switching to the shower when it comes to germ-blasting activities, think again.

There’s a 2009 study that shows how you could introduce dangerous pathogens into your shower like Mycobacterium avium, which causes pulmonary diseases.

Toothbrushes, and toothbrush holders

Do you want to hear the painful truth? Your brush, which you use to clean those pearly white teeth of yours, has probably more germs than your dog’s entire mouth.

The reason for this isn’t what hides in your mouth, but rather what surrounds your toothbrush and your toothbrush holder. First things first, let’s exercise our imagination: after cleaning your teeth, do you leave your toothbrush wet?

If the answer is yes, then it’s a perfect place for nasty-sounding bacteria like Serratia marcescens, which can cause, in some cases, meningitis.

Secondly, our toothbrushes are very close to our toilets, and if you flush with the toilet lid up, the water might reach everything within a 5 to a 6-foot radius.

bacteria
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Refrigerator handles

Next time you’re in the mood for a snack, just remember that the handle to your home refrigerator door might be the host of a great party of could germs.

Plus, don’t forget to add to that list the regular yeast and mold. This is one of the places that might really slip your mind when it comes to bacteria-infected places because when you’re thinking about your fridge, you tend to think of other places rather than the refrigerator handles.

But luckily, you’re reading this article, so now you know more! It’s important to be extra cautious when it comes to the place where we store our foods, so next time make sure you scrub well those handles.

Cutting boards

Cutting boards are probably the ones on this list that you really expected to be filled with bacteria. And truth to be told, they ARE the worst offenders when it comes to dangerous bacteria, mainly because that’s where we put the foods we buy that aren’t cleaned or cooked yet.

The best example, in this case, is, as you guessed, the chicken. The chicken, alongside the pork and any other meats, is the number one suspect when it comes to bacteria.

So much so that it’s recommended to have a special cutting board for these meats. If you want to avoid getting E. coli or Salmonella, which are at fault for causing severe stomach problems, try to keep everything as clean as possible.

bacteria
Photo by Opat Suvi from Shutterstock

Remote controls

I’m about to break the heart of some channel surfers, I know. But at the same time, it’s worth knowing, because it’s a matter that concerns your health.

Most of our remote controls are filled with germs, like Coliform bacteria, mold, and even the infection-causing Staphylococcus aureus. In fact, NSF International found 14% of household remotes have some sort of bacteria on them.

But to make you feel better and worse at the same time, I’m going to tell you that the remote controls in your house are NOTHING compared to the ones in the hotel rooms. There, scientists discovered 13 times the maximum acceptable level that’s recommended for hospitals.

Phones

Healthy Reads latest DM: Your smartphone is FILLED with countless types of bacteria, including the ones that if you’ll hear you’d probably freak out in a moment.

Let’s just say that some of the worst include the good old Staphylococcus aureus, which is at fault for causing skin infections, pneumonia, and food poisoning, among other conditions.

This doesn’t mean that you should give your smartphone a good shower, but make sure you remember to wash your hands before using your phone. After all, we’re at fault for infecting it with all sorts of bacteria, as we grab it the minute we have a free hand.

bacteria
Photo by Ilona Kozhevnikova from Shutterstock

Purses

Ladies, don’t panic, but when is the last time you actually cleaned your purse? If the answer is yesterday or last week, congratulations! But if you’re about to answer “not recently enough”, then you should read this.

There’s a 2012 swab test that found A LOT of bacteria in handbags, with germs that were lurking everywhere, including the handles to the items inside.

And to make matters worse, do you know where they find the most bacteria? In the makeup products that you’re using when you go to the toilet. That’s because no one would ever consider their purse when it comes to holding bacteria.

Grocery carts

If you’ve ever noticed those wipes that most groceries have sitting out by the carts, great! Next time, make sure you use them. Research shows that most of the supermarket carts definitely have E. coli, given the fact that they’re in constant food contamination.

In fact, reusable grocery bags aren’t much better. There’s a 2010 study that found frequent traces of E. coli bacteria on totes, as well. In fact, the representatives for this study went as far as to call them “a serious threat to public health”, especially for young children.

The only solution, in this case, is to make sure you wash your grocery bags as often as possible.

Keyboards

And the last but not least, if you’re spending quite some time in front of your laptop or computer, watch out! In the crannies of your favorite keyboard, hides some of the tastiest treats, such as Staph, Coliform, yeast, and mold.

If you’re interested in keeping the QWERTY keyboard as clean as possible, there are a couple of sprays and cleaning tricks. Just google them and you’ll find quite a few options.

Also, try to make a habit out of washing your hands every couple of hours, especially if you’re used to touching your face a lot. This way, you’ll keep everything as clean as possible!

If you enjoyed reading this article, we also recommend reading: 14 Silent Signs You Already Had COVID-19

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