Bacteria is everywhere, there isn’t really a way to avoid it.
Most of us still try to get around the hot spots though. We wouldn’t eat our dinner off the toilet, for example. And most of us would wash our hands after handling dirty garbage.
But what if you found out the counter you do prepare your food on was dirtier than the toilet you refuse to eat off of? What if the places you thought were infested with bacteria were actually quite clean, while the ones you felt comfortable around were teeming with disease?
Hate to say it, but it’s true. Here are some of the grossest things you own that you probably thought were germ free:
These spots in your home are way more filthy than you realize
LoofahYour loofah might make you feel clean, but it contains all the right conditions to accommodate a bacteria colony. The moisture it holds allows the tiny microbes to form, while the dead skin cells that get stuck in it allows them to flourish. Lab results have confirmed that the sponges contain two different harmful organisms: One that can infect open wounds on the skin, cause boils or trigger conjunctivitis; and another that can potentially cause rashes. You can keep it clean and safe by soaking the loofah in a bleach/water solution, or by replacing it every three to four weeks. ThinkStock
Washing machineYou might want to set your next wash cycle to hot. While you probably thought your detergent has been taking care of bacteria this whole time, it only dilutes it. Some washing machines don't even heat the water hot enough to kill grimy germs. You can reduce your exposure by washing underwear by itself in hot water — the same goes for things like towels and bedding.ThinkStock
Cutting boardsWithout careful cleaning, your cutting board could be harbouring dangerous bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. Particularly, if you use one made of wood or plastic, you should listen up. Because both materials are soft enough to be cut into by kitchen knives, those tiny sliced crevices create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. While worse for your knives overall, glass cutting boards are much easier to clean.ThinkStock
Coffee makerDo you enjoy starting your day with a nice cup of germs? A 2011 study found that about half of coffee makers had both yeast and mould growing inside them. Without regular cleaning, they can grow to the point of making us sick. Clean your machine by running vinegar through it, which will also remove the mineral buildup from tap water. Similar rules apply for pod-based machines like Keurig or Tassimo.ThinkStock
CellphoneMake no mistake, your cellphone is disgusting. People use them in bathrooms, hands get all over them - a man in Uganda actually contracted Ebola after stealing one. British watchdog "Which?" found a smartphone had 140 units of Staphylococcus aureus (which can cause a severe stomach bug) per swab. To help wipe those suckers out, avoid using alcohol-based cleaners and instead wipe with a damp, soft cloth. And try not to get any moisture in the openings or ports. Thinkstock
Toothbrush holderA study by the NSF found toothbrush holders are, on average, the dirtiest thing in your bathroom. And the reason why will make you queasy. When you flush your toilet, the fecal bacteria flies into the air and lands on anything nearby. Guess what's usually near a toilet? Yeah, that's right. Throw your toothbrush holder in the washing machine every so often to take care of that disgusting bacteria...or just close the lid before you flush. Thinkstock
Elevator buttonsThe next time you're in an elevator, get someone else to hit the button. Open Medicine found they have more bacteria than toilets. Specifically, Coagulase-negative staphylococci was the most common organism they found, which is able to infect open wounds. If there's no one to take the plunge for you, try using your elbow instead.ThinkStock
PursesYou're carrying a lot more around in that purse than you realize. A study by Initial Hygiene found one in five handbag handles were contaminated. Since the bags come into contact with our hands, bathroom floors and disgusting things like used tissues, there's a whole lot of gross stuff dwelling in there. Regular hand washing can help limit the exposure, and wiping the inside of your purse down with an anti-bacterial wipe wouldn't hurt either. ThinkStock