12 Places Where You And Germs Meet

shopping cart african americanI mean, it is no secret that there are plenty of disgusting places that you want to steer clear of, but what if I told you that some of these are right in your own home, or that you use them everyday?  You may be surprised how many germs your hands come in contact with on the daily. According to the Center for Disease Control, 80% of diseases and infections are spread by touching.  So listen up and wash up, people, and get ready to put bleach to use!

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Kitchen Sink 

The sink in your kitchen is probably dirtier than your bathroom. Research says that there are usually more than 500k bacterial spores per square inch just in the drain alone! And please don’t forget about that gross sponge you’ve been meaning to replace, but continue to use, or that basin you’ve had since you moved in! Let’s not forget the counter tops and faucet handles that are a germaphobes nightmare!

Risk Reducing Tips:

  • Use anti-bacterial products to cleanse the countertops and sinks after preparing food of all kinds, raw fruits and vegetables included! You would be surprised at how many pathogens are carried in produce.
  • Wash, wash and wash your hands! It is recommended that you wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Remove and replace, or at the very least, sanitize! Dirty sponges, rags and towels NEED to be replaced regularly. I’m not the most recycle-friendly or conscious when it comes to matters of cleaning, so I simply just stock up on paper towels and Clorox bleach wipes. If you are a recycler and don’t want to be wasteful, try running your sponges through the dishwasher’s drying cycle. It will kill the majority of the bacteria.
  • Make sure you are cleansing your sink and drain at least twice a week with bleach.

READ: Hand-Washing: You’re Still Not Doing It Right

Airplane Bathrooms

This is probably not a shocker, as most public bathrooms are at the top of the dirty list! These cramped and overused potty nightmares are the absolute worst! Research has shown several instances of E. coli and fecal bacteria traces found on the faucets and door handles. This is often due to the high instance of individuals not utilizing the sink to wash their hands properly. Don’t even get me started on the explosive flush! These toilets flush and in turn splash and spew germs in the air that coat the wall and floors.

Risk Reducing Tips:

  • Always use the paper cover when available to protect the seat, or better yet, just forgo touching the seat all together and squat!
  • Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
  • Try to always use a paper towel to handle toilet seats/lids, doorknobs and faucets in the bathroom.

READ: Germ Hot Spots: The Plane Edition

Wet Laundry

Did you know that almost every time wet undies are moved from the washer to the dryer, you get E. coli on your hands? All it takes is one soiled, sexy panty to spread bacteria amongst your entire load of clothes and even the machine!

Risk Reducing Tips:

  • Run the washer on at least 150 degrees.
  • Use bleach with whites and not the color-safe kind (it doesn’t kill as many germs).
  • Never let wet laundry sit for long periods of time, and quickly transfer it from washer to the dryer. This prevents germs from multiplying as quickly.
  • Wash underwear in a separate load and make sure to dry on high for at least 45 minutes. Statistics show that there is about 1 gram of feces in every pair of dirty under wear. (Can you say GROSS!!!).
  • Always wash your hands after doing laundry.

Public Drinking Fountains

Drinking fountains are a huge health hazard. They are like the all you can eat self-serve restaurants of the water world. You have no clue what happens to that fountain spigot before you use it, and have no idea what happens afterwards. School fountains are said to be the worst, and the most health hazardous. Studies show that they have anywhere from 62k- 2.7 million bacterial spores per square inch.

Risk Reducing Tip:

  • Supply yourself and kids with enough water in personal water bottles or tumblers to last throughout the day.

Shopping Cart Handles

Shopping cart handles carry it all: saliva, bacteria, fecal matter you name it! This is yet another place that is at the top of the charts on the dirty scale. Shopping cart handles are touched daily by several individuals handling foods, produce, and any  personal germs they are carrying.

Risk Reducing Tip:

  • Most stores offer disinfectant wipes near the carts, UTILIZE them! If you don’t see them, or they aren’t offered start carrying your own.

ATM Buttons

Cash is not the only thing you get when you go to the ATM. These machines and their buttons often have more germs and dirt than the public bathrooms! I mean, how often do you see anyone cleaning the ATM machine (yikes!)?

Risk Reducing Tips:

  • Carry your own small container of Lysol and do a quick spray before ATM usage.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after each visit, as well as after handling paper money (this is quite dirty as well).

READ: How To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Your Purse

Recent studies have shown that a woman’s purse can carry millions of bacterial spores inside. There were even oftentimes bugs like pseudomonas, salmonella and E. coli.

READ: Do You Know Where That Lipstick Has Been

Risk Reducing Tips:

  • Ladies, ever heard of the old wives tale about never putting your purse on the floor? Maybe you should consider this. Find hooks to hang your purse on, or simply put in your lap!
  • Be mindful of where you place your purse in the bathroom as well as the kitchen, keep it off the countertops!
  • Leather and vinyl purses, are the best to carry, they typically stay cleaner because they are made of cleanable materials.

Visit the BlackDoctor.org General Health center for more.

To read the rest of “12 Places Where You And Germs Meet,” go to KissTheChaos.com.