The bathroom, especially the toilet, is not exactly the cleanest place in a home. After all, we go there to relieve ourselves. That’s why dozens of bacteria per square centimetre cavort there.
That may seem like a lot, but your toilet isn’t the biggest offender when harbouring microbes and bacteria – there are even dirtier places in your home. Curious about which ones they are? Read on to find out. But be warned: you’ll never look at your home with the same eyes again.
You use your cutting board daily to slice fruits, vegetables and meats. But do you know how to clean it? Probably not. A cutting board contains 200 times more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat. Shocking, isn’t it?
To clean your cutting board, wash it with soap and warm water, and then soak it in a solution of two teaspoons of bleach (if it’s plastic) or two tablespoons of bleach (if it’s wood) and four quarts of water. Wooden cutting boards should soak for a shorter time than those made of plastic so that they do not lose their shape.
Ah, the good old cleaning rag! Great for wiping down countertops, washing dishes and scrubbing pans. Except it’s anything but clean. A cleaning rag contains six times more bacteria than the flush button on the toilet.
Full of heat, moisture and organic matter from food scraps, cleaning rags are great for breeding bacteria.
Be sure to wash your cleaning rags every day with hot water in the washing machine to disinfect them, and dry them in the clothes dryer.
Do you wash your dishes with a pot sponge? We don’t want to alarm you, but it’s like scrubbing your dishes with a toilet seat.
On average, a sponge contains 10 million bacteria in just over two square centimetres. That’s 200,000 times more than a toilet seat. Yes, you read correctly: 200,000 times more!
The best way to get rid of the bacteria is to get a new sponge every week.
Smartphones are something we use all the time but hardly ever disinfect. Yes, these devices are filthy. There can be up to 10 times more bacteria on a smartphone than on a toilet seat. That shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s not like people wash their hands before reaching for their phone and take it everywhere – sometimes even to the bathroom!
To clean your phone, dampen a cloth with 60% water and 40% rubbing alcohol. Ensure you wring out all the excess liquid before wiping your phone, so you don’t damage it.
When you work on the computer, your keyboard is one of the things you touch the most. But how many times a month do you clean them? If you’re like most people, you hardly ever disinfect them.
According to a study by CBT Nuggets, a keyboard, especially if it’s old, is dirty. On average, it contains 20,500 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
To clean your keyboard, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Ensure the liquid doesn’t drip down between the keys and that your keyboard is unplugged. You can also use compression air to blow out dirt stuck between the keys.
It may not be quite as dirty as your keyboard, but your mouse is still one of the filthy devices you use daily. According to a study by CBT Nuggets, a mouse is 45,600 times dirtier than a toilet flush button.
Use a disinfectant wipe to get rid of the pesky microbes that live on your mouse. Then wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth before plugging it back into the computer.
Just because animals seem more resistant to bacteria doesn’t mean they should eat out of a dirty bowl. Dog bowls contain an average of 2,110 bacteria in just over two square centimetres, nearly ten times as much as a toilet seat.
So to make sure Bello eats out of a clean dish, wash the dog’s bowl daily with soap and warm water.
Like most people, you probably throw your clothes in the washing machine when dirty. It smells good but is far from clean, especially if you’ve washed underwear.
On average, there is one gram of fecal matter on each pair of underwear (yikes!), which means there could be up to 100 million E. coli bacteria in your washing machine. These bacteria are then transferred to your clothes.
To avoid putting on a sweater full of E. coli bacteria, clean your washing machine regularly with water and bleach (without loading it) or let your clothes dry in the sun, a natural disinfectant.
If you don’t wear gloves while driving, you’re probably coming into contact with hundreds of bacteria every time you get behind the wheel. According to studies, the inside of a car is one of the dirtiest places in the world, four times dirtier than a toilet seat.
The inside of a car is often hot and humid, which is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow.
To kill bacteria on your steering wheel and elsewhere in your car, use car-friendly products or have your car cleaned by a professional.
Oddly enough, your ID card is dirty even if you don’t touch it very often. It contains more bacteria than a toilet seat and more bacteria than Bello’s chew toy. In fact, according to a study by CBT Nuggets, it is the dirtiest item people come in contact with every day.
You can clean your ID card with a rag dipped in a solution of a cup of water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent (be sure to wring it out properly). Before you wash your card, you should find out if it can be cleaned with water. For some, it can’t.
Would you brush your teeth with a toilet seat? Probably not. But you might unknowingly brush them with a toothbrush that is even dirtier than a toilet.
On average, a toothbrush contains over 10 million bacteria. And not all of them are harmless, as some are E. coli.
Since toothbrushes are often kept in the bathroom near the toilet, they are bombarded with fecal matter every time you flush.
Keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible and change it at least every three months.
The sink in the kitchen
Washing your dishes in the sink is like washing them in the toilet bowl.
Your sink probably contains more bacteria than your toilet. Covered in food debris and moisture, a sink is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
To disinfect your sink, wash it every day with a mixture of bleach and water and rinse with plenty of water.
Salt and pepper shakers
A little salt and pepper can help add flavour to your food – as long as your salt and pepper shakers are clean!
A 2008 study from the University of Virginia reported that salt and pepper shakers top the list of household items that can make you sick due to germs. You’re less likely to get sick from flushing your toilet than salting your spaghetti.
To properly clean your salt and pepper shakers, use a disinfectant wipe if the manufacturer recommends it. Do not soak them (unless the manufacturer specifies them), or the grinding mechanism could rust.
It falls on the floor, slips between the sofa cushions, everyone has it in their hand and yet: how often is it cleaned? Yes, we’re talking about the remote control. Chances are, it’s dirtier than your toilet.
To clean it, first, remove the batteries and then use a damp cloth dipped in bleach or rubbing alcohol. Just make sure the liquid doesn’t run between the buttons.
Although it comes in contact with water, soap and shampoo daily, your shower curtain can still get very dirty. The layers of soap that build up on your shower curtain over time are ideal for bacterial growth.
If you notice a pink film forming on your shower curtain, it’s time to get a new one. To save the new curtain from the same fate, wash it in the machine as the manufacturer instructed.
Nobody wants to dry their hands with a dirty towel. But that’s what we do anyway, without realizing it, if we don’t change our towels daily.
After several days of use, your towel may contain millions of bacteria, such as E. colioor Salmonella. Even more than a toilet….
Stored next to the toilet, the plunger you use to unclog your bathroom is one of the dirtiest items in your home. Day after day, it accumulates bacteria. When you use it, your hands are not always clean, which encourages the growth of microorganisms even more.
Clean the handle with a disinfectant wipe and the plunger with a mixture of detergent and bleach.
If you love tea, you may ingest hundreds or thousands of bacteria every time you enjoy a cup of your favourite hot beverage. Since tea bags are often stored open, they are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Add to that that your hands aren’t always clean when you touch them.
To reduce the risk of contamination, leave tea bags in their packaging until you use them.
Do you wipe your desk frequently? Congratulations! But that doesn’t make it any less dirty. On average, the surface of your desk contains more than 10 million bacteria – that’s 100 times more than a toilet bowl.
To avoid working with millions of microorganisms at your fingertips, use disinfectant wipes to clean the surface of your desk.
In the office, it’s a good idea to be extra careful when using a vending machine, as it could be dirtier than the restroom. The buttons are pressed by numerous people who don’t always wash their hands first.
The best strategy to avoid contaminating your hands is to wash them before eating or drinking what you bought from the vending machine – or take your snacks home. You’ll be less likely to get sick and save money in the process!
- hp with reports from espressocommunications.com/picture:
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