The Dirtiest Things You Touch Every Day
From occasional hand-washers to germaphobes, this list of the dirtiest objects you touch every day will get your skin crawling and your hands frantically searching for the sanitizer. Dirty objects are all around you - and not just in places where you're naturally wary of germs, like the bathroom or the gym.
Many of the things you handle on a daily basis - like money, your cell phone, or your computer keyboard - are covered in bacteria. And if you've ever forgotten to wash your hands after using the bathroom or sneezing (gross!), you might be part of the problem. You may never want to touch anything again after this.
An enormous amount of bacteria resides on every dollar in your pocket. One study at NYU found 3,000 different types of bacteria on a smattering of $1 bills. Scientists found bacteria that causes acne and antibiotic-resistant microbes, among other things.
There's a good chance traces of cocaine exist on your cash, too.
Computer KeyboardsPhoto: Shutterstock
In a study from a British consumer group in 2008, scientists randomly sampled 33 computer keyboards, and out of these tested, four were considered a health hazard. One was even discovered to possess more bacteria than your average toilet.
Also in 2008, the CDC linked an outbreak of norovirus to a keyboard and mouse in a first-grade classroom.
Cell PhonesPhoto: Shutterstock
Research from the United Kingdom shows that mobile phones are an ideal host for bacteria, mainly due to the heat they generate. To combat this, it's a good idea to give your phone frequent anti-bacterial wipe-downs.
In terms of germs, you don't really need to worry about toilet seats - it's what happens when you flush that's the real concern. When you flush a toilet, it causes a "toilet plume," and tiny microbes of fecal matter get blasted into the air.
From there, they can settle on your hands or clothing, potentially spreading disease.
Shopping CartsPhoto: Shutterstock
Think of every possible bacteria-filled thing a person can touch; once they hit their local supermarket, those things include the handle of any shopping cart. A study from the University of Arizona found 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 hand sanitizer or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.
Remote ControlsPhoto: Shutterstock
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 all the sickness-causing germs on your hands that have easily transferred to your TV remote, and you've got yourself one soiled object.