A Loathly Fact
You won’t believe what places faecal matter can raid. You probably are very particular and careful about washing hands after using the toilet but what do you do to germ-free your cell phone or even your toothbrush? Yes, E. coli could be budding in there and other places too where you get your hands on daily. Here are a few things you should be watching out for.
Your Mobile Phone
A London-based research found that there is a 16 percent chance that your cell phone has faecal matter on it; and you press that thing against your face! Disgusted enough? Read on. Researchers determined that 9 out of 10 cell phones carry some kind of germs that can cause diseases like influenza or MRSA, even if there is no E. coli on them. Wipe off your cell phone with an electronic-safe disinfectant wipe once a week to keep infections at bay.
Most people clean their toilet seats more often than they clean their grill. This isn’t such a healthy habit because your grill comes in contact with your food; the same food that you eat thinking of it to be healthy. A 2013 British study detected 1.7 million microbes on an averagely-used grill. You wouldn’t want those microbes to stick to your food and go inside your body to do nasty things in there. Scrub your grill grates with soap and scouring pad every time you use it. You can use a paperclip to clean out the gunk in the burners.
Don’t gape in disbelief; your laundry isn’t all that “clean” as you would like to think. Faeces stick to your underwear and as you throw them into the washing tumbler, you throw with them 500 million E. coli bacteria inside. So, your washed laundry actually is a breeding ground for that many germs. To actually clean your clothes, wash your whites first and sanitize your washing machine with chlorine bleach before tossing other clothes in and innerwear inside.
According to Philip Tierno Jr., Ph.D., director of microbiology and immunology at NYU's Langone Medical Center and the author of The Secret Life of Germs, every time you flush your toilet seat, it suspends aerosolized droplets over 20 feet. If your toothbrush comes in the way, imagine tiny drops of whatever you have flushed on it. Keep your toothbrush away from the toilet seat. A 2011 study published in the American Journal of Dentistry recommends running your toothbrush through the dishwasher to eliminate germs from it.
Your Kitchen Sponge
The dirtiest thing in your kitchen is your cleaning sponge. What irony! Because it comes in contact with bacteria while cleaning and is often left damp, it is a favourable breeding ground for infections. A Simmons College study shows your kitchen sponge to have a one in three chance of having a staph; and the real surprise is: your toilet seat actually has half this contamination rate. Every square inch of your kitchen sponge could be harvesting 10 million bacteria, according to research from the University of Arizona. And that makes it 200, 000 times filthier than your toilet seat.
Findings of a new study from the University of Toronto could give you dreads about pushing that elevator button: it could be parenting more buttons than your toilet seat. In fact, another large from Saudi Arabia detected 97 percent of elevator buttons in offices and residential buildings to be fouled. Every one in 10 buttons had germs responsible for causing food poisoning or sinus infections. Every time you use an elevator button, apply an alcohol-based sanitizer to kill the germ you picked.
And I am worried as I type this post on my keyboard! Your keyboard could be mounting 5 times more germs than your toilet seat, according to a London study. 93 percent keyboards were found to be contaminated by the large Saudi Arabian study and every 1 in 5 of them harboured food poisoning and sinus infection causing germs. Just like your cell phone, wipe your keyboard with an electronic safe disinfectant wipe and along with it, your mouse, desk, and monitor.
ATM just doesn’t give you hard cash, it can dispense cold too. Okay not literally, but University of Arizona researchers have found that each button on the ATM machine has about 1200 germs, the likes of cold and flu viruses and E. coli. Remember what we told you to do after touching elevator buttons? Yes, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. That’s the to-do here too.
Everything in the Bathroom
Let’s talk simple facts. A refillable soap dispenser is contaminated and pumps out millions of bacteria (says a 2011 study by University of Arizona). A hot air dryer blows out at least 45 percent more bacteria that you had before using it (says a study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology). Imagine what amount of germs must be thriving in your loofa that you always leave damp in the bathroom. The least you can do to save yourself is to look for soap dispensers that have bags in them, when using a public toilet. Instead of blow-drying your hands, wipe them off with paper towels.