It’s easy to assume that the toilet and bathroom are the dirtiest places you frequent on a daily basis, but you’ll be surprised to learn that there are in fact 8 things dirtier than toilet seats. By Sharon Mahlase
When it comes to taking care of our families, there’s no doubt we want to keep everyone as healthy as possible. This means avoiding those pesky germs that make us sick. Of course it’s not always possible to steer clear of germs in the air, but there are steps you can take to avoid the germs lurking on our everyday items.
The following are some of the surfaces and items we interact with on a daily basis which host more germs than an average toilet seat! It’s crazy we know, but true.
1. Car seats
Children’s car seats have twice as many dangerous germs as the average toilet. In 2014, scientists at the University of Birmingham found more than 100 potentially dangerous bacteria and fungi lurking per square centimetre on the average child’s car seat, compared to 50 different bugs in the same area on the average toilet.
What to do: Make sure to wipe car seats down every day with a good anti-bacterial solution and give them a good wash as often as you can.
More germs can be found on coins and notes than on a regularly cleaned toilet seat.
What to do: Wipe or wash your hands after directly handling money.
3. Elevator buttons
Our fitness levels will definitely improve after reading this. Scientists found that a typical elevator button harbours nearly 40 times as many germs as a public toilet seat.
What to do: Take the stairs! And if you must take the lift, sanitize your hands soon afterwards.
4. Your keyboard
Keyboards have up to 200 times more germs than a toilet seat. For those who eat and snack while working, you might have to change that habit. A growing body of research suggests that computer mice and keyboards are, in fact, prime real estate for germs. Keys and spaces in between are a safe haven for gems.
What to do: Regularly wipe down your PC and keyboard, as well as your mouse with a PC-friendly solution. Also don’t forget to wash your hands regularly.
Our cellphones have become our “best friends”. We take them everywhere, even to the toilet. We put our cellphones on our desks, in our pockets, on kitchen counters and so many other places too.
What to do: Disinfect your cellphone more often as it comes into contact with your mouth and ears.
The ice served in six out of 10 of Britain’s most popular high street restaurants contains more bacteria than the water found in their toilets. Next time you order your drink with ice, remember this. Due to dirty ice makers and unsanitary storage conditions, studies have shown that ice served in restaurants often have more bacteria than toilet water.
What to do: Skip the ice when you’re eating out!
7. Your chopping board
Your cutting board is a breeding ground for germs, even though you probably wash it with soap and hot water. Research shows that chopping boards have 200 times more fecal bacteria (yes, poop) than a toilet seat due to the raw meat cut there.
Microbiologists in Albuquerque, N.M. recently found that men’s facial hair can contain as much bacteria as your average toilet seat. A microbiologist with Quest Diagnostics swabbed a group of bearded men and analysed the results to see how dirty the beards were. The results showed that some of the men’s facial hair contained bacteria that you would commonly find in a toilet. Yuck!
What to do: Get those shavers ready ladies if your man has a beard.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.