6 Disgustingly Germy Things You’ll Touch Today (And 1 That’s Surprisingly Clean)

10/29/2009 / Glamour

With all this H1N1 talk, it’s hard not to get paranoid about germs. But knowing where the enemy’s set up camp is actually a good thing, because you’ll just be more aware, right? So. I’m not trying to freak you out, but I just discovered six horrifically germy things that we touch daily. Some of them will surprise you.

Your car’s dashboard.
It has ten times more germs than your door handles! Apparently, the sunlight heats the dashboard and provides germs with the perfect breeding ground, so they grow whole cities right under your unsuspecting little nose, every day.

Your work desk.
Major, major yucko: it has 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat. Your phone and computer keyboard figure into this, too; they’re coated with germs from your own fingers.

The office microwave handle.

A cold virus can survive for 72 hours on one of these things, so wash your hands before and after you nuke that morning coffee.

Your kitchen sink. Blame germ-filled sponges and drains filled with remnants of old food for the fact the kitchen is the germiest place in your house.

ATM buttons.
It makes sense: tons of people beep-beep-beep these buttons every day and they are rarely (if ever!) cleaned.


Your bathtub.
You wash the germs and bacteria off your body and guess where they land? In the tub: a moist, warm place that germs find as inviting as the tropics. There are nearly 120,000 bacteria per square inch near your tub drain.

But in good germ news, there is at least one thing that’s totally, completely, surprisingly clear of germs:

Wood floors.
They’re not very porous, so they can’t harbor as much moisture as germs would like to live in. Even the heavily trafficked ones are too dry for many germs to thrive. (That doesn’t mean the Five-Second Rule applies, though!)

I’m sure you’re already doing all the things you should to keep germs at bay–washing your hands (but it bears repeating–after all, a recent study found that a lot of people don’t wash their hands at all unless there’s an actual sign posted in the bathroom to remind them!), keeping the Purell handy, boosting your immunity with vitamins and plenty of good sleep, avoiding other people’s sneezes and sniffles. Just let this serve as a gentle germ reminder: we’re all in charge of our own good health.


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