10 Surprisingly Germiest Places in Your House That You Never Knew

Toothbrush and holder is one of the germiest places in the home
You might think you know the exact hot spots where germs like to dwell, but you'll be in for a shock when we'll tell you the extent of their reach.
In the human gut alone, it is estimated that more than 500 - 1000 species of bacteria reside. The bacteria in the body outnumber the cells of the body by a ratio of 10:1.
We've all been taught the importance of hygiene throughout our primary school years and the kind of havoc that germs and bacteria can inflict on our health. With this knowledge in place, we now know that toilets, bathroom drains, dustbins, etc., are some of the most unhygienic places, teeming with germs. We toil hard to try to keep them clean, happy in the knowledge that what we have now achieved is a germ-free environment. Right? Wrong! What if we told you that the seemingly 'clean spots' in your home are but an illusion? That the germs dwell where you least expect them to be―some as disturbing as the very things you use to clean the home and yourself? Here's waking you up to the rude reality of the 10 surprisingly germiest places in your house.

Please note: These places have not been arranged in any particular order.
The Welcome Mat
Welcome Mat
The entrance to your home is one of the dirtiest places in the house, and welcome mats placed there act as a carrier of many germs. These have been known to house coliform and fecal bacteria. When one rubs their shoes on to the mat that is teeming with these germs and walks into the house, they are carrying those germs indoors and putting people inhabiting the home at risk.

To Do:
✔ Make sure to clean the mat at least once a week in hot water and detergent.
✔ Spray a strong disinfectant on it at least once a week.
✔ Do not rub your shoes onto the mat and then proceed to walk into the house.
✔ Do not place grocery bags, or any other items on the mat.
Computer Keyboard
Computer Keyboard
It does not necessarily happen that you always remember to wash your hands before touching your keyboard. In fact you eat around it, spilling food particles in the cracks of the keyboard, you sneeze and cough on it, and you let it fester in this manner. Little wonder then that the keyboard is seen teeming with harmful bacteria to the likes of staph and E. coli―the germ levels sometimes exceeding 5 times than those found on the toilet seat.

To Do:
✔ Wash your hands before you use the computer.
✔ Do not eat or drink near the keyboard, and if you do, do not drop crumbs on it.
✔ Once a week, clean the keyboard by turning it over and gently tapping on it.
✔ You could also use a bristle to clean out the crevices.
✔ Wipe the keyboard and mouse with a damp alcohol or bleach wipe.
Vacuum Cleaners
Vacuum Cleaners
You clean up all that mess and food particles with brushes from around your home, and collect them in one place, thereby, creating a perfectly conducive environment for the growth of bacteria and other germs. Vacuum cleaners and the brushes are known to accumulate E. coli if not cleaned properly. This only means that every time you use the vacuum cleaner, you're spreading more germs in the house.

To Do:
✔ Change the vacuum bags as often as possible.
✔ Change the bags outside the house so that bacteria do not filter right in.
✔ Clean the brushes with hot water and detergent at least once a week.
✔ Once the bags are out, clean the empty vacuum with diluted bleach, and let it air dry.
Stove Knobs
Stove Knobs
The kitchen is one of the dirtiest places in the house, and the stove knobs are one of its many components. One does not necessarily think of the cleanliness of the knob when in the process of cooking. In fact, the knobs become even more contaminated with our mindless handling of the same while cooking, especially raw meat.

To Do:
✔ Wipe the knobs with a paper towel every time you use them.
✔ Wash the knobs in hot, soapy water at least once a week.
✔ Wash your hands thoroughly before and after touching the knobs.
✔ Do not touch the knobs after handling raw meat without washing your hands first.
Remote Control
Remote Control
One, the remote control is handled by all. Two, there is absolutely no control over how one handles it. So, it is coughed and sneezed on, falls on the ground several times, is retrieved from the crevices of the couch cushions, and oily hands are used almost as a rule while handling it. With the kind of action that the remote control sees, it acts as the perfect breeding ground for several germs and bacteria. In fact, remote controls have been tested positive for several cold viruses.

To Do:
✔ Wash your hands before and after touching the remote control.
✔ Wipe it with a paper towel every time it gets stuck in between crevices or falls to the ground.
✔ Once a week, wipe it clean with damp alcohol or bleach wipes.
Advertisement
Dish Towel
Dish Towel
You might have imagined that the wash cloth and sponges that you use to scrub the very grime off the kitchen counter and other surfaces might not be clean, but you might not have guessed that the kitchen cloth used to wipe the counter dry after the scrubbing is done could be just as much infected with germs. It has been found that these dish towels could be harboring the MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) bacteria, that can cause life-threatening skin infections. These cloths might also be contaminated with E. coli B strains and other bacterial forms. The reason this happens is because we often use these cloths to wipe up spills on the counter, and then do not end up washing them before using them again, thus, spreading germs in the process.

To Do:
✔ Wipe the kitchen counters and other surfaces with paper towels.
✔ Use the dish towels exclusively to dry utensils that have been just washed.
✔ Make sure to change these towels twice a week.
✔ Wash the towels in a mixture of hot water and bleach at least twice a week.
Salt and Pepper Shakers
Salt and Pepper Shakers
The salt and pepper shakers are right there on your table―you don't even realize it, when someone asks you to pass the salt, whether your hands are clean or not. While wiping the table clean after a meal, you might use the same hands in which you're handling the sponge to shift them from one side to the other. Your salt and pepper shakers have been tested positive for cold viruses and other forms of bacteria.

To Do:
✔ Make sure that you do not touch the shakers with the same hands with which you handle the wash cloth.
✔ Wash your hands before and after you handle them.
✔ Once a week, empty their contents, and wash them in hot, soapy water.
✔ Wipe the shakers with a clean, separate cloth when you're wiping the kitchen counter as well. Wash this cloth afterwards.
Bathroom Faucet Handle
Bathroom Faucet Handle
The faucet handle is the very thing that you use to wash yourself ... imagine that. The very fact that this is the first thing that you touch after using the toilet should be proof enough of the kind of germs that may get transferred during the washing process itself. In fact, it is one of the commonly neglected areas that are given a miss during the cleaning process, and it has been found to harbor germs, like coliform and other bacteria that could cause staph infections.

To Do:
✔ Make sure to wash the faucet thoroughly after every use.
✔ Wash it down with a solution of hot water and bleach at least once a week.
Cutting Board
Cutting Board
Shocked? You see, the abrasions and cuts that are caused due to the daily cutting done on the board only means that innumerable food particles and moisture get locked in these. The end result of which is that the cutting board acts as the perfect breeding ground for varied organisms, like coliform and others, and travels into your food rather easily, given its location.

To Do:
✔ Always wash the board before beginning to cook.
✔ Wash the cutting board thoroughly after each use, and use a brush to clean it, if necessary.
✔ Once a week, soak the cutting board in hot, soapy water and give it a good scrub.
Toothbrush and Holders
Toothbrush and Holders
Pretty ironic that the very thing that is used to clean the insides of your mouth and tongue could be teeming with germs, microorganisms, and other bacteria. Add to that the toothbrush holder, which is a willing accomplice in this mess. What we often fail to take into consideration is that the toothbrush is usually stored in a communal holder with the rest of the toothbrushes of the family, and this communal holder is generally placed in the bathroom. Every time the flush is operated, it throws tiny fecal matter into the air at 10, sometimes 20 feet. This matter travels around the room for approximately 2 hours before settling onto the varied objects around, including your toothbrush. Imagine the kind of organisms harboring on your toothbrush then! Add to that the fact that the toothbrush is usually stored when it is moist, thus, allowing germs to fester further.

To Do:
✔ Wash the holder with hot, soapy water at least once a week to combat the grime that has accumulated due to all that moisture.
✔ After each use, brush off the excess moisture from the toothbrush by shaking it vigorously.
✔ Store the toothbrush head in a personal plastic holder. You get these quite easily at the chemist and/or in the supermarkets.
✔ Do not store the toothbrush close to the commode, and make sure to close the lid every time before you flush it.
✔ Change your toothbrush once every 3 months, and every time after you've been through a bout of sickness.
So, you see? It's not for nothing that they are called the surprisingly germiest places in your house. For who could have imagined that these everyday items and products could be teeming with germs themselves? Scary huh? That is why it becomes important that you know about these germs, and take the necessary precautions and measures to be safe and healthy.
Advertisement