10 Everyday Things That Are Unbelievably Dirtier Than Your Toilet

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When it comes to dirty and gross things – the bathroom will typically come to mind. However, inside your home, there are many things that attract dust, bacteria, germs, and dirt. These surfaces have more germs than the average toilet seat, and you’ve likely already touched at least one of them today.

10. Your shoes

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Image: Rafaela Biazi

Take a moment and think about everywhere you and your shoes went today. With every step you take, more and more germs latch on to your shoes, potentially spreading to every surface you and your shoes come in contact with.

Studies show that depending on several factors, many viruses are capable of surviving for weeks. In fact, another study found that it only takes two weeks for a brand new pair of shoes to collect 421,000 units of bacteria. So, it might not be a bad idea to take your shoes off when you enter your home.

9. Your Keyboard

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Image: Glenn

The fact that we often don’t wash our hands before using our keyboards and we don’t clean our keyboards, makes them very dirty. Just how dirty you ask? About 200x dirtier than your toilet seat! This swarm of bacteria can survive for hours or days or even weeks after you come in contact with them. Keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer on your desk is a good idea.

8. Dog bowl

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While dogs might be our best friends, they are also known to harbor bacteria. Every dog owner knows that dogs have the habit of sticking their nose in everything, which means that the germs that their nose comes in contact with, collects in their bowls.

A recent study found that 67% of pet bowls still have harmful bacteria even after dishwasher cleaning, because the dishwashers don’t get hot enough to get rid of them. One way to reduce the spread of germs is by choosing the right bowl. Believe it or not, bacteria is more likely to thrive on ceramic or plastic bowls rather than stainless steel.

7. Your TV remote

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Image: Glenn

The key to home entertainment is actually one of the dirtiest items in your home. All the dirt and bacteria from your hands ends up on this magical device, which never gets cleaned. This is due to the fact that it comes in contact with every hand in the household. Or more realistically, think about all the times that remote has fallen on the floor or was lost in the couch.

On another note, if you have the habit of eating while watching tv, the grease and food residue that’s left on the remote, adds up too. This is why the household TV remote is one of the dirtiest items in your home. From now on, make sure to thoroughly disinfect the remote more often.

6. Faucet handle

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Washing your hands should make them cleaner, but it may not be the case if you don’t ever clean your faucets. A bathroom faucet can be 21 times dirtier than your toilet seat, while the one in your kitchen is shockingly 44 times dirtier. The Hygiene Counsel in the UK conducted a swab test, where samples were taken in cotton swabs and inspected underneath a microscope.

The swab test concluded that over 30% of kitchen faucets have bacteria at levels that were completely unsatisfactory. The same test was also conducted on the handles of toilets in people’s bathrooms and it was concluded that only 15% of them had unsatisfactory levels of bacteria.

5. Your backpacks, handbags, wallets and purses

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Image: Ethan

Aside from dirty items such as cash, phones, and coins being put inside your purses and backpacks, the bags themselves are often being put on dirty surfaces, including bathrooms. It’s a known fact that women carry their bags just about everywhere they go. If you are one of them, then here’s an interesting fact. Your handbag or purse might be carrying a little more than your money.

Household experts have listed a woman’s handbag as one of the worst places in your home for germs that could be making you sick. While toilets regularly get cleaned, the same cannot be said for handbags. One way to prevent germs from spreading to and from your handbag is to avoid placing it on the ground in restaurants, or while in the bathroom.

4. Kitchen sponges

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Sponges are by far one of the dirtiest things inside your household. A typical sponge can contain as much as 10 million bacteria per square inch. That is 250,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat. Just because you use something to clean stuff does not mean that it cleans itself. Your kitchen sponges are usually damp and are constantly being introduced to new microbial cells every time that they are used to clean up a mess.

A team of German researchers analyzed 14 used kitchen sponges, collected from households in southwestern Germany, and discovered that they harbored a surprisingly high amount of bacteria. You may be wasting your time by even trying to clean your sponge. The study found that the best thing you can do is replace your sponge once a week.

3. Your cellphone

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Image: Chad Madden

What’s the one item that never leaves your side? It’s your smartphone, of course. A study by the University of Arizona found a typical worker’s desk, which tends to be your smartphone’s home for about 40 hours a week, has hundreds of times more bacteria per square inch than an office toilet seat.

Another study found that the average phone is seven times dirtier than your toilet. While swabs from toilets showed bacteria on approximately 220 areas around the seat, the average mobile phone boasted a disgusting 1,479 such spots. So, take my advice and use sanitary wipes more often on your phone.

2. Your cutting board

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Image: Caroline Attwood

The food preparing tool you might be using every day, isn’t just a little dirty. University of Arizona researchers found that the average cutting board has 200 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. The tiny grooves your knife left in the cutting board are prime real estate for germs to get cozy. One survey concluded that out of 2,000 UK residents asked, 40% of them admitted to using the same cutting board for meat and vegetables. In order to ensure safety, get into the useful and healthy habit of washing it, not only after using it, but before as well.

1. Your mouth

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Image: Alexander Krivitskiy

Yep, it’s true. Your mouth has more bacteria than an entire toilet does. A study conducted by the Forsyth Institute in collaboration with the University of Oslo, Norway, and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, found that the average mouth contains more than 700 different species of bacteria. Although many of those are harmless, that’s still a lot and many of them are hazardous. Brush often and make sure you use mouthwash, since skipping them could quickly increase that number.

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