Let’s face it. The world is full of nasty germs and bacteria, but some everyday items we come in contact with are a lot nastier than others.
If you’re taking a wild guess that a toilet seat is the dirtiest thing you touch every day, you would be wildly wrong. In fact, toilet seats are among the most pristine objects we touch, mainly because they are typically cleaned and disinfected so often.
So, what are the five dirtiest things we come in contact with daily? Here they are in no particular order – except for the last one, which most experts agree is the worst.
In descending order, here are the “Filthy Five”:
5. Let’s talk about your cellphone.
Or let’s not; because one in six cellphones hold a dirty, little secret: they’re contaminated by fecal matter. ’Nuff said. Just swab yours down every so often with a disinfectant wipe to be safe, and too keep it from being one of the dirtiest things in the house.
4. Bathroom hand towels.
Yes, you wash your hands after going to the bathroom. The problem is most of us don’t wash them too thoroughly. We then wipe them off on a hand towel, which remains damp and serves as a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Compound that with the fact that most people only wash their towels once a week or so, and you have an even bigger problem.
3. Your toothbrush holder.
The chances are it’s one of the dirtiest things in the house. In fact, a 2011 public health organization report found that 27 percent of toothbrush holders tested positive for coliform bacteria, which includes Salmonella and E. coli.
2. Your kitchen cutting board.
You’ve probably heard about this bacteria breeding ground before, so we can’t stress the importance of thoroughly cleaning and scrubbing this surface enough. In fact, a run through the dishwasher occasionally is ideal.
And finally the winner (or loser) is – “ding!” “ding!” “ding!”:
1. Your kitchen sink sponge.
This household item is home to hundreds of millions of potentially harmful bacteria. In fact, a whopping 75 percent of kitchen sponges are teeming with coliform bacteria.
So, what’s the solution? STAT Health recommends disinfecting and washing these common items – and your hands – frequently. Also, if something gets too grungy to clean properly, don’t take a chance. Just follow these words of wisdom from STAT Health: “When in doubt, throw it out.”