20 Germ Infested Things you Desperately need to Clean in your House

Germs in diverse forms like viral, bacterial or fungi are omnipresent! They are invisible to the eyes, hence entering your body is not a difficult task for them. These Microorganisms are capable of causing  deadly diseases, damage to the gastrointestinal tract, circulatory and respiratory systems. People assume that since a toilet is a place they excrete and bathroom is the place they exfoliate the dirt, then only these places are prone to contamination. Whereas, there are multiple places and objects in the house where deadly bacteria reside and are probably dirtier than a toilet seat. This post may transmute you into a germaphobe but will also educate you about the high concentration of harmful microorganisms in your house, that you were unaware of prior to reading this.

20.) Towels

Researchers warn that towels could be the crucial felon for the outspread of germs around the house. Not only kitchen towels but bathing towels can also spread diseases.

The problem is the moisture retained by towels for a long period of time, leaving extensive fissures for the bacteria to survive. Cleaning towels are utilised in the most germ-infested areas of the  house. When using a towel on our body or face, we leave a microbial fingerprint on the cloth. Therefore, the residue leads to the growth of organisms, lead by the dampness of the towel after a shower. This is the reason why towels turn musty. But there are many bacteria that don’t cause harm.


A study of houses across the US revealed that 7% of kitchen towels were contaminated with MRSA – the antibiotic resistant super drug. Coliform bacteria has also been discovered in 89% while E. coli was found in 25%.


19.) Cleaning Equipment

Components used in cleaning dishes could in fact be contaminating them with germs!


After conducting a study, scientists discovered that there are one million bacteria per square inch on an average dish cloth and a tremendous 10 million per square inch on a kitchen sponge, proving them 200,000 times tarnished than a toilet seat! We usually use kitchen rags for multiple reasons, to wipe hands, wipe a spill, or when handling a hot plate, thus transferring germs to other things.

In order to avoid refuging bacteria in your kitchen, wash your sponges, kitchen towels and clothes every other day in hot water or microwave the sponge for two minutes to eliminate germs. Also dry wiping linen before using, as the bugs cannot sustain for more than a few hours in dry fabric.

A Sponge or wiping cloth can contain upto 134,630 bacteria per square inch.


18.) Coffee Machines

After testing office coffee machines, over 4 million colonies of deleterious bacteria and mould like E. coli, staphylococcus and streptococcus, manifested in the water tank, pod compartment, spout and tray in preponderance.

AY8E82 Coffee maker leaking coffee in office kitchen

In a study conducted by NSF International, the coffee maker reservoir evinced more germ count than that of  bathroom sink or dog chew toy.

Just the buttons of the machine are believed to have 214 bacteria per square inch.


17.) Kitchen drain


Leftover food thrown into the sink or dirt sponges, both are major contributors for the residue in developing bacteria in the kitchen sink, from the drain to the faucet. Studies believe that there can be 500,000 bacteria in the kitchen sink which is nearly a thousand time more in quantity than that in the toilet. It is recommended to scrub the sink and faucet with a cleaning agent and water solution to sanitise the area.

Kitchen drain are believed to manifest 567,845 bacteria per square inch.


16.) Bed Mattress

While you sleep in your bed, you rest your body for hours during the night. You cough, sneeze, lay unbathed or your kids urinate on the sheets. All this ensures that your bedsheets and pillows become an abode for germs. Studies show that a bed Mattress can have as many as 5 million mites live in a double mattress and pillows.


15.) Spice jars

Since the kitchen is a pool of germ-infested objects, it is easier for spice jars to come in contact with them. If you touch the cleaning cloth or sponge and then use spices, then it is bound to transfer germs in the food and other edibles. Cleaning condiment containers regularly can help prevent them from befouling.


14.) Remote control

Video game and remote controls are objects that we touch customarily, and  share with family members and friends, even when they are sick. We pass a portal for entry for the germs to take shelter with the touch of bacteria-infested fingers that transfer a shedload of microbes.


Microbiologists claim that a television remote control can have upto 70 bacteria per square inch. Researchers also tested a hospital room and it turned out that remote controls harbour more germs than any other common object in there! MRSA was discovered only on the remote controls. Therefore, wiping down your remote controls and game consoles is not a bad idea.


13.) Computer keyboard


Keyboards are covered with germs, as people eat, drink and do various other activities while working on their computers. Keyboards aren’t spared from dirt, even in hospitals. When examined, the keyboards tested positive for a type of staphylococci bacterium which can cause pus on skin, mucous membrane and is a common causes of bloodstream infections in hospitalised patients. If hospitals have such a high rate of contamination, then imagine the ones in our house. Studies reveal that a computer keyboard can have 64 bacteria per square inch.


12.) Door/Refrigerator handles

Hand on door handle of a red refrigerator

You walk in and out of that door, open the fridge,open the cabinet, having touched all kinds of surfaces, dirty or clean. This makes it conspicuous to be harboured by a massive amount of dirt on its surface, which propagates over time. Doorknobs should be cleaned with antibacterial or a diluted solution of bleach as it can contain upto 121 bacteria per square inch.


11.) Stuffed Animals and Toys

Those lovely plush stuffed toys aren’t all that cute when you’ll know that they contain almost 345 bacteria per square inch. They are infested by children who throw them on all kinds of surfaces. In other cases, the amount of dust they are exposed to can cause bacterial growth. The soft feathers tend to cling along the dirt.


10.) Shoes


You travel the world with them, sweat your feet in them, return home and dump them in a rack filled with others alike. It is bound that those shoes are going to develop bacteria and cause infections to your feet. Shoes are the most germ-infested objects in the hose, as they are exposed to direct dirt on the outside, while inside, the sweat causes the bacteria to pullulate. It is highly suggested that you clean your shoes monthly and desiccate them under direct sunlight.


9.) Make Up Brushes

Makeup brushes can potentially carry deleterious germs which can spread to the eyes, nose, and mouth. 72% women never clean their makeup brushes or sponges, causing toxins to grow and leading to facial infections.


Many store their brushed in the bathroom, which is filled with moisture and can conveniently provide a haven for bacteria. In order to ave a healthy skin, cleaning your make-up brushes with baking soda or other cleaning agents is a crucial essential.


8.) Light Switches

Your bathroom switches are capable of holding bacteria equivalent to that of a trash can! This alone might sound nauseating to you but the hotel rooms are tested to be one of the most germ-contaminated installations. Guess what, vacations are busted by bugs too!


In order to avoid indisposition, wipe dow n the switches once a week.

Studies show that light switch can have upto  217 bacteria per square inch.


7.) Headphones

Headphones are gadgets that we comfortably share with our friends or family, without perceiving the repercussions. Bacteria can easily transfer and cause otitis or abrasion in the external ear.

A study claims that 86% of ear samples and 62% of earphone samples have shown bacterial growth. While people who share their headphones manifest 92% of bacteria.

Clean your headphones with cleansers to avoid inflammation in ears or any other disease.


6.) Yoga Mat and Other Exercise Equipment

You start off new in a yoga class, ardent and health conscious but heedful that the communal yoga mats you borrow can make you ill. Yoga mats or other shared equipments contain a huge amount of bacteria, since they are exposed to a moist environment and are sweated upon.


Doctors believe that germs on yoga mats are more impactive than those on cell phones. Our skin is laden with organisms, a lot of which come off with sweat. When you practice yoga, you expose your skin directly to the mat, letting those organisms to cause infections like herpes, impetigo, acne or other skin infections. You should instead carry your own Yoga mats and clean them frequently to avoid health impediments.


5.) Chopping Boards

Since chopping boards are used cutting a variety of raw animal products and vegetables, its leads to cross-contamination. Also, because the chopping boards develop fissures from knives, it creates scope for bacteria to take shelter and thrive diseases. A cutting board is believed to be consisted of 200% more faecal bacteria than the average toilet seat, leaving people exposed to infections.


It is advisable to wash the wooden or plastic board with the instructions provided by the manufacturer or in the dish washer, eliminating germs.

A study claims that a kitchen chopping board has194 bacteria per square inch!


4.) Purses

A ladies hand bag is believed to be more contaminated than the handle of a toilet. Surprisingly, the hygiene and beauty essentials like face cream or lipstick were the most unhygienic and germ infesting spots.

A study concluded that leather handbags served as a ground for eminent growth for germs. Also, most bags contained faecal bacteria at the bottom of the bag. It is advised that women should wipe their cosmetic products, phones, keys and other essentials they keep in their bag in order to avoid germs.


3.) Toothbrushes


A toothpaste resides bacteria, fungi and viruses such as staph and herpes simplex in it, which can sustain on your toothbrush for months. It is believed to harbour more than 100 million bacteria living in a single piece. The dampness of the toothbrush provides to their growth, causing dental infections. It is advised to wash it in regular intervals and replace it every three months.


2.) Phones

This may sound unappetising to you, but your phone has ten times more bacteria than a toilet set! Yes, disgusting! A phone is an object we use all day long, bringing it close to our ears and mouth, which is a major source of germ infestation.

thequint-2015-07-3d412277-8968-4ec4-8936-1400063a6829-cell phone toilet (1)

From a test conducted on mobile phones, about 2,700 to 4,200 units of the bacteria were found on each phone. A cell phone is an electronic device, hence we hesitate on cleansing it, but wiping the phone a non toxic cleaner can eliminate germs to a huge extent.


1.) Our hands

Our hands are probably the most eminent transporter of bacteria, fetching germs from objects and other people. According to a study, an average human hand manifests almost 150 varying species of bacteria.


One must give their hands frequent washes throughout the day. Before and after having food, after petting your dog, before applying make-up or going to bed, you must wash your hands to stay clean of bacteria in order to prevent cold or cough or any other transferable disease.

Always wash your hands with a natural soap, as it is more effective than water alone since the surfactants in soap remove soil and microbes from skin.

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Aakanksha Nagar