My What is How Dirty?: Surprising Places Germs Lurk
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My What is How Dirty?: Surprising Places Germs Lurk

  • Mar 30 / 2012
Smith Home Security Blog

Photo by Sara Deer via Flickr

I’ve been on a bit of a cleaning kick lately which means my house is spotless…or so I thought. The floors are mopped, the sinks wiped down, the toilets gleaming, so imagine my surprise when I found out that I’ve been missing out on the most common (and germ invested!) areas. Most bacteria are harmless, in fact, they help you digest food, build immunity, and generally keep you healthier. But there are some that can make us more vulnerable to colds and food poisoning, so to minimize bacterial spread, here are some surprising places that are veritable HAZMAT zones of germs that you should watch out for:

Credit/debit cards. On average, how many times do you use your cards a day? Two, three, maybe even four times? Now, think about the sales people who handle those cards. Now think about what their hands come in contact with, the money they handle, the other cards they swipe, the shelves and bathrooms they may or may not clean regularly. Grossed out yet? I’m not done yet. Ever wonder what’s lurking in the crevices of card-swipe machines? Now you will. With every use, your debit or credit card comes into contact with more germs than some currently circulating money! Wipe them down with an antibacterial cloth every once in a while to cut down on the bacteria playground going on in your wallet.

Cell Phones. We use our smart phones constantly, to check our email, text our friends for dinner plans, and to play Draw Something with the cute guy in the cubicle two rows over. So it’s safe to assume that they carry more than their fair share of germs. According to a recent study, cell phones are covered with 18% MORE BACTERIA THAN TOILET HANDLES. And we willingly put that on our face.

Toilet roll holder. According to everyone’s favorite rerun of Myth Busters, when you flush the toilet, water and, uh, other things, are sprayed up to 50 feet in the surrounding area. While you may only touch the roll to slide on more toilet paper, just think about how much bacteria collects on that thing after every flush. By disinfecting the roll holder once a month, you can cut down on chances of catching something nasty.

Light switches. Just another reason why I stand by my purchase of the “Clap-On, Clap-Off” light system, a Simmons College bacteria study found that light switches carry as many germs as a trashcan. Light doesn’t seem so important now, does it?

Even though germs surround us, doesn’t mean we have to put up with them. Many of these places can be cleaned with a simple bacterial wipe or some bleach. But the most important thing you can do to counteract this bacteria blitzkrieg is to WASH YOUR HANDS. We touch our faces up to 30,000 times a day; so wash your hands to avoid transferring staph (from your iPad), e. coli (from your wet laundry), and MRSA (from that nice $20 dollar bill your grandma gave you for your birthday) to your face.
Looking for some more tips on how to keep your home clean? Check out this article!

Photo by Sara Deer

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