Dirtiest places in a . . .
Public bathroom, the filter in an air dryer. They are almost never changed or cleaned. They accumulate dust and debris in a concentrated warm moist environment where mold, fungus and germs can grow. If there are no paper towels, better to wipe your hands on your clothes. Note: wet hands pick up more germs than dry hands.
Motel room, people do things on motel bedspreads. Unlike the sheets they don’t get laundered regularly. A television news station went to 40 motels, at all price ranges, a pointed a black light at the bedspreads, all were stained. Pull down the bed spread in a motel and if you have the room, take your own pillow.
Health spas and gyms, forget the workout gloves or launder them regularly. The fibers of workout gloves collect and hold everything off gym equipment that the person left there before you, yes . . . including fecal matter.
In your pocket . . . Everybody loves money, but nobody loves the germs that comes along with it! Yuck. From the Ralphs cashier to the business executive’s office to the homeless man on the street, there’s an enormous amount of bacteria on every buckaroo in your pocket. Dr. Darlington, the Health Commissioner of New York, found 135,000 bacteria from washing one bill and 126,000 from another. The way to tackle this problem is easy: wash your hands.
Your desk, The computer’s your friend (except when it freezes on you in the most pivotal moments of life) but its accompanying keyboard is a nemesis thriving with germs. In a study from a British consumer group in 2009, 33 computer keyboards were randomly sampled and out of these tested four were considered a health hazard. One was even discovered to have more bacteria than your average toilet. The only way to clean (or delete) this pile of cooties is to spray the keyboard with a can of compressed air and wipe with a cloth dipped in mild detergent.
Forget the dog. Cell phones are a modern (wo)man’s best friend. Heck, the average person probably touches, taps, or strokes their or her cell phone more times than they pet their neglected pooch at home. New research from the United Kingdom show that mobile phones are a technological petri dish for tens and thousands of germs, mainly due to the heat that they generate as well as the bacteria it shares with your hands and face. Next time, consider an anti-microbial coating for your phone or frequent anti-bacterial wipe-downs
Though the toilet seat has been good to you on many a bad days, its porcelain white surface is party-host to all sorts of diseases and viruses. Statistics show that there are 295 bacteria for every square inch of the cold, smooth surface
Sorry to be a killjoy, but surfing down the grocery aisle just got a lot less fun. Think of every possible bacteria-filled thing a person can touch – well, once they hit their local supermarket, those things can also be found on the handle of any shopping cart. In fact, there may even be things on there that you haven’t touched. A study from the University of Arizona found that shopping carts were loaded with more bacteria, saliva, and fecal matter than escalators, public telephones, and even public bathrooms. So next time you’re at a supermarket, you might as well pick yourself up some Purell
Sure, you’re all clean and spiffy, but what about your bathtub? The bathtub is home to many toxic bacterias that is often left unnoticed. That is, until someone in the family catches a staph infection, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, septicemia, or some form of a skin condition. Believe it or not, bacteria left lingering near the drain of a bathtub is worse than bacteria found in the toilet. By cleaning the bathtub with bathroom cleaner just once a week, you can minimize these unwanted germs (and illnesses) from you and your loved ones. Go on, give it a good rub-a-dub-dub.
Contrary to popular opinion, the kitchen may actually be the dirtiest place in the house. Of course, that’s not including your dirty little brother Jimmy’s bedroom but that’s another story. Anyway, there’s typically 500,000 bacteria per square inch in the kitchen sink drain alone, so you can only imagine the total gunk with faucet handles and all. To solve the problem from the inside out, try pouring 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar down the drain. Finally, rinse with hot water, and you just might hear your sink burp a clean gurgle of delight.
Now it just seems like I’m messing with your head. But I’m not. It’s true. The very sponge that takes the grit off of your dishes and bathroom sink, is really the dirtiest of them all. The yellow and green icon of the kitchen is really a cozy home for germs. Its moist, micro-crevices make it harder to disinfect, so instead of wiping surfaces clean with a sponge, users are really just transferring bacteria from one place to another. An easy remedy is to microwave the sponge for 60 seconds–it improves the odor too!
Danger lurking in the misty fumes from dish and clothes washing machines
Using detergents that contain chlorine in the dishwasher or clothes washer can pollute the air in your home. The water in the machines, which contains chlorine from the detergents, transfers the chlorine to the air through a process called “volatilization.” We then breathe the contaminated air. Dishwashers are the worst culprits, releasing chemicals in a steamy mist when the door is opened after washing. In a clothes washer, chlorine mixes with the dirt in clothes to generate airborne, toxic chlorinated organic chemicals (9).
Generally, chlorine is a dangerous chemical to keep in your house. In 1993, 40,000 household exposures to chlorine were reported to poison control centers, more than any other chemical10. Particularly dangerous are fragranced chlorine bleaches and products made with chlorine bleach plus surfactant. Disguising the odor–actually making the experience of inhaling chlorine bleach pleasant–can lead to over-exposure as we inhale the fumes unchecked. Another danger lies in mixing household products containing chlorine, either intentionally or unintentionally. These mixtures can create chlorine gas and chloramines, both of which are toxic gases that can injure the deep tissues of the lungs. although the number of reported incidents is relatively small, the percentage of accidents with moderate to serious outcomes is high (10).