Three Home Items That Are Dirtier Than a Toilet Seat

The coronavius pandemic has really sparked fear and increased the need for cleanliness, now more than ever before. “A really clean home environment is imperative for keeping your family members healthy during cold and flu seasons, including this current outbreak,” says Mary Gagliardi, cleaning expert and senior scientist at Clorox.

People have been taking on the habit of frequent hand-washing as part of COVID-19 precautions. Nevertheless, it is easy to overlook the everyday items that surprisingly can house more germs than a toilet seat.

Hand towels

According to a research by the National Academy of Sciences of U.S.A, your hands can harbour 3,000 bacteria from more than 150 species. These bacteria and viruses (including coronavirus), may be defeated with something as simple as hand soap. However, drying your hands on a frequently used towel could just reverse that entire process. Far more often, towels and dishcloths are used indiscriminately; from wiping hands, surfaces, tools etc… it is no surprise that these cloths are one of the dirtiest items in your kitchen.

Here are some tips for cleanliness:

  • Used towels should be swapped with a clean one everyday.
  • Use separate cloths for wiping surfaces, drying hands, dishes and the floor.
  • Wash your cloths at ideally hotter than 80C
Phones and tablets

It is a fair assumption that the majority of the people take their phones with them to the bathroom. While public toilets get cleaned regulary, our smart devices are often overlooked. According to a study by The UK Global Handwashing coalition, faecal bacteria, notably the E.coli, is found on one in six smartphones, most of them able to survive on surfaces for hours.

Charles Gerba, PhD, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona suggests cleaning electronic screens with wipes or a damp, soft cloth in order to reduce exposure to germs.

Phones and tablets

Microorganisms grow readily in water. The kitchen sponge is always soaking up coliform bacteria as it is always wet and moist, not to mention it is filled with gunk from dirty dishes that make excellent food for microbes.

Even sponges regularly cleaned with soap or the microwave can still be germ-laden. A good indicator that it is time to bid farewell to your sponge is when it starts to stink. Markus Egert, the microbiologist at the University of Furtwangen in Germany, suggests buying new sponges frequently as they are difficult to clean.