Which room contains more germs, kitchen or bathroom?

April 28, 2010 by Tarcher/Penguin
Filed under DailyTarcher, Fun Fact

Dr. Charles Gerba, known as “Dr. Germ” by his colleagues, is a microbiologist at the University of Arizona.  Dr. Germ is renowned for being America’s expert on domestic and public hygiene. He carried out a survey and found that in most homes, the bathroom is actually much cleaner than the kitchen.

  • the cuprit

    Surprisingly, the least contaminated place in either room was the toilet seat. Accordingly, Dr. Germ concluded that most people would be safer making a sandwich on top of the toilet bowl than in the kitchen. He also quipped, “That’s why your dog likes to drink out of the toilet.”

  • Moist environments in the kitchen, such as the dishcloth and the kitchen sink drain, were some of the most contaminated with bacteria.
  • The worst offender is the kitchen sponge, which can contain up to 50 million bacteria! Fecal bacteria was found in kitchen sponges and dish cloths. Dr. Germ found that kitchen sinks are the place where you can find the worst kinds of germs, and thoroughly wiping the sink and counters with a sponge serves only to spread them all over the kitchen.He also found that 20% of coffee cups contained fecal bacteria, which had almost certainly been transmitted from the sponges that had been used to wash them.
  • Ironically, it may be that the people who try hardest to keep their kitchen clean may be those in the most danger. Dr. Germ explains, “Clean people are usually the dirtiest, because they spread the germs all around. The bachelor who never cleans is usually cleanest from a germ standpoint.” If you want to actually clean your kitchen, rather than simply pushing the germs around, Dr. Germ recommends using an antibacterial spray and paper towels.
  • In the end, most of the germs are fairly benign, and the body’s immune system helps fight off harmful germs.
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