Prepare to be grossed out because there are lots of things that have more germs than you think. Not all germs are destined to make you sick, but they certainly can, so you want to limit your exposure as much as possible. As we move into the cold and flu season, it’s a good idea to understand the things that have more germs than you think because it gives you the tools to avoid those items, or wash up really well after contact with them. Read on for your healthiest season yet.
1. Kitchen Sponge
You might be surprised to find out that your kitchen sponge is one of the things that have more germs than you think. Even if you douse the sponge in soap to wash your dishes on a regular basis, it still contains tons of germs. It sits there all wet when you’re done, which is a prime way to encourage the growth of icky stuff. Sanitize your sponge in the dishwasher or microwave a few times each week to kill germs.
2. Dirty Laundry
Do you toss a load of clothes in the washer then go back to what you were doing? Not a good idea, according to experts. Especially when we’re talking underwear. In fact, according to the experts at Today Health, dirty underwear contains an average of a gram of fecal matter. When you wash it, that gets on your hands, transferring E.coli, which can then be spread through the rest of your house. Always wash your hands after putting dirty clothes into the washer. And wash underwear in hot water.
3. Shopping Carts
I always, always wipe down my cart when I get to the grocery store. After all, I put my purse in there and even more importantly, I fill the cart with food I’m going to put into my mouth. This turns out to be a good habit because the average shopping cart contains fecal matter, bacteria and raw meat juices. Most stores offer a container of disinfectant wipes at the door, so put them to use.
4. Your Purse
Speaking of your purse, it’s a lot dirtier than you think. You carry it everywhere you go and put down in a lot of less than sanitary places. Think grocery carts, public bathrooms and restaurant floors. One study found thousands of bacteria on the bottom of the average woman’s purse. Try to keep yours off the floor when possible and wipe it down with disinfectant wipes each time you get home.
This includes buttons on things like vending machines and ATM machines. Think about the virtual number of people who press those buttons on a daily basis. If only a few fail to wash their hands after using the bathroom, you’ll be exposed to lots of germs if you touch them. Make sure to wash your hands very well after using such machines.
6. Remote Control
Your remote control is another item you should be wiping down as often as possible. It gets used a lot over the course of a day, so you have to assume that it gets contaminated with at least a few icky germs. One study even found that your remote control contains more germs than the average toilet seat. Gross, right?
7. The Playground
If you take your kids to the playground, use caution. After all, kids in diapers are notorious for spreading germs everywhere they go. Researchers have reported finding spit, blood, poop and pee on the average child’s playground. Because kids put their hands on their faces and in their mouths pretty regularly, this sets them up for all sorts of illnesses. Hot sunny days minimize exposure, but be sure to wash up when you’re done and encourage your kids to keep their hands out of their mouths.
Are you totally grossed out now? Me too. I’m off to pull out my disinfectant wipes. What about you?