5 Everyday Items That Are Dirtier Than Your Toilet
We don’t want to gross you out, but it’s important we all be honest with ourselves. It turns out that our smartphones and four other items we often use have more germs, including those from fecal matter.
A researcher found familiar things that are a part of our everyday lives are teeming with bacteria. In fact, their filth surpasses that of our toilets because they are items we rarely clean. As 80 percent of the infections we contract come from touch, it’s good to put the five things below on our cleaning routine.
1. Electronic Devices
The unsavory truth is that one out of every six smartphones contains fecal matter, according to 2011 research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. What’s more, Charles Gerba, a renowned microbiologist at the University of Arizona, discovered cell phones have 10 times the bacteria on most toilet seats. Yet since these devices are rarely shared, they aren’t likely to give the owner an infection, he said. An item more dangerous, however, is the TV remote, as it’s commonly shared with multiple people. Regularly cleanse these devices with a nontoxic cleaning agent.
In a footwear study, Gerba found it only takes two weeks for brand new shoes to collect a staggering average of 421,000 units of bacteria. Of the shoes tested, 27 percent had E.coli, which suggests frequent contact with fecal matter that probably comes from public restroom floors or outdoor fecal material from animals, he said. E. coli is a known cause of diarrhea and urinary tract infections as well as maladies that are more serious. The study advised cleaning shoes in a washing machine. It’s also a good idea to avoid wearing outdoor shoes in the house.
3. Reusable Shopping Bags
One of Gerba’s studies indicated 97 percent of shoppers never wash their reusable shopping bags, an oversight that can cause potentially deadly bacteria to accumulate. After randomly testing bags, he found bacteria levels sufficiently high to cause serious illnesses. Children are a particular concern because they are more vulnerable to food-borne infections. He recommends washing the bags every week.
4. Kitchen Sink
Gerba’s research shows that kitchen sinks are especially high sources of filth, having more bacteria than both garbage cans and toilets. His work also found that those benign-looking damp kitchen sponges lurking near the sink could be 200,000 dirtier than the toilet. People should clean sinks daily with hot, soapy water and sanitize sponges, he told Today.
5. Playground Equipment
The dirt in outdoor play areas for children exceeds that of shopping cart handles and even outdoor port-o-potties, Gerba said. These areas are rife with fecal matter from birds, and soccer balls invariably carry E. choli, he explains to Good Housekeeping. Wipe playground equipment with a nontoxic cleaning agent before children are allowed to use it.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.