You better have as much tolerance for the dirt on your bills as you have for the love of money itself, because you won't be escaping money's bacteria any time soon.
From the store cashier to the drug dealer's cocaine to the homeless man on the street, there's an enormous amount of bacteria on every buckaroo in your pocket. Dr. Darlington (yep, that's the name), the Health Commissioner of New York, found 135,000 bacteria from washing one bill and 126,000 from another. In other words, experts have long been afraid that paper money could be the source of a contagion outbreak.
It's about time to put on those latex gloves. Or encase yourself in a plastic bubble.
Somebody's got to do it, and usually it's the last person in the room. So pack up your things quick and get out of there, because turning off the light switch in a public area is just about the nastiest task anyone can be assigned to do, besides counting fat stacks of cash (refer to #1).
All the itty bitty germs love swirling around on the plastic switch that's touched by millions of dirty fingers over the years add up to about 217 bacteria/square inch. According to a local restroom sanitation glossary, that's what you'd call a common contact point where germs are transmitted. Clorox wipe, anyone?
The computer's your friend (except when it freezes on you in the most pivotal moments of life. Damn you, rainbow wheel!) but its accompanying keyboard is a nemesis thriving with germs.
In a study from a British consumer group in 2009, 33 computer keyboards were randomly sampled and out of these tested, four were considered a health hazard. One was even discovered to have more bacteria than your average toilet. The only way to clean (or delete) this pile of cooties is to spray the keyboard with a can of compressed air and wipe with a cloth dipped in mild detergent.
Poop. Apparently your typical beard carries a host of the bacteria found in fecal matter, leaving bearded men around the world to consider the necessity of an in-earnest beard washing routine. While we're not talking about clumps the size of something you'd see in a cat box, there are some gross molecules attached to some of the lesser-groomed beards out there.
Source: NY Post
Forget the dog. Cell phones are a modern (wo)man's best friend. Heck, the average person probably touches, taps, or strokes his or her cell phone more times than they pet their neglected pooch at home.
New research from the United Kingdom show that mobile phones are a technological petri dish for tens and thousands of germs, mainly due to the heat that they generate as well as the bacteria it shares with your hands and face. Next time, consider an anti-microbial coating for your phone or frequent anti-bacterial wipe-downs. Or sterile rubber gloves every time you touch or use your phone, always disposing of them in a furnace immediately afterward.
Though the toilet seat has been good to you on many a bad days, its porcelain white surface is party-host to all sorts of diseases and viruses. Statistics show that there are 295 bacteria for every square inch of the cold, smooth surface. Though that's not as bad as the 3.2 million on the toilet bowl, it's still not a place to rest your head on at night – or in the morning.
Sorry to be a killjoy, but surfing down the grocery aisle just got a lot less fun.
Think of every possible bacteria-filled thing a person can touch – well, once they hit their local supermarket, those things can also be found on the handle of any shopping cart. In fact, there may even be things on there that you haven't touched.
A study from the University of Arizona found that shopping carts were loaded with more bacteria, saliva, and fecal matter than escalators, public telephones, and even public bathrooms. So next time you're at a supermarket, you might as well pick yourself up some Purell. Shop and squirt, shop and squirt...
How many times has ice cream splattered onto your remote control and you've just ignored it? Or even worse, smeared it across the surface into an expansive-but-barely-there layer? Add to that the MRSA, VRE, and SARS bacteria that is easily transferable by touching TV remotes, and you've got yourself one soiled artifact. Next channel, please.
Sure, you're all clean and spiffy, but what about your bathtub? The bathtub is home to many toxic bacterias that is often left unnoticed. That is, until someone in the family catches a staph infection, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, septicemia, or some form of a skin condition. Believe it or not, bacteria left lingering near the drain of a bathtub is worse than bacteria found in the toilet. By cleaning the bathtub with bathroom cleaner just once a week, you can minimize these unwanted germs (and illnesses) from you and your loved ones. Go on, give it a good rub-a-dub-dub.
Contrary to popular opinion, the kitchen may actually be the dirtiest place in the house. Of course, that's not including your dirty little brother Jimmy's bedroom, but that's another story.
Anyway, there's typically 500,000 bacteria per square inch in the kitchen sink drain alone, so you can only imagine the total gunk with faucet handles and all. To solve the problem from the inside out, try pouring 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar down the drain. Finally, rinse with hot water, and you just might hear your sink burp a clean gurgle of delight.
"NO! I TRUSTED YOU!!!"
Now it just seems like I'm messing with your head. But I'm not. It's true. The very sponge that takes the grit off of your dishes and bathroom sink, is really the dirtiest of them all. The yellow and green icon of the kitchen is really a cozy home for germs. Its moist, micro-crevices make it harder to disinfect, so instead of wiping surfaces clean with a sponge, users are really just transferring bacteria from one place to another. An easy remedy is to microwave the sponge for 60 seconds – it improves the odor too!
A lot of people wash their hands before leaving the bathroom, but more people than you may think don't. Modern door knobs are designed with anti-bacterial properties but they take hours to kill bacteria, and non-bacterial door knobs have it even worse. Hands are one of the dirtiest parts of the human body and all of that bacteria just gets put right onto door knobs and transferred onto your own hands.
This may seem liked a "duh" item on this list, but notable nonetheless. The fridge handle has the same reasoning behind it as the doorknob, but worse. Think about all those things you may be touching before touching the handle: raw meats, eggs, dairy. Prime conditions can allow bacteria to multiply within 20 minutes, so grab that dirty sponge get a scrubbin'.
Same as the fridge handle and door knob, the shifter knob in your car gets touched all the time but is rarely cleaned. Imagine all the fast food and money you have handled right before putting your hand right back on the shifter knob. Maybe now is a good time to clean it?
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