Germaphobe Nightmares: 8 Places Where Icky Live

Captain Obvious says: Surprise! Germs are everywhere! Now, there are good germs. They can live in the gastrointestinal tract of the body to help make vitamins. Some germs are used to make pickles and yogurt. But the icky ones that make you sick? Those are the baddies. And guess what, you touch their homes often. Then you touch your eyes, nose and mouth all without washing or sanitizing your hands. Yeah, you’re gross germ freak. Did you know the CDC recommends regular hand washing with warm to hot soap and water, for 20 seconds — the time it takes you to sing Happy Birthday twice.

So, where does the icky live? In the eight places below for starters. Feel free to take a look while I go wash my hands, again.

1. ATM/Credit Card Payment Keypads

The Lollapalooza of germs is ATM/Payment Keypads. They’re among the dirtiest things around. ATM keypads were found to have germs such as moraxell catarrhalis, a bacteria capable of causing everything from ear infections to meningitis.

Solution: Swipe your own card because once you give it to the cashier its now been with all the other cards they’ve touched. Carry and use antibacterial hand sanitizer. Or use TouchSticks (Yeah, we wish we woulda thought of this first.)

2. Money

Let’s just all agree it’s pretty gross because you never know where it’s been. The Federal Reserve does test money but the test shows only how soiled money is; it doesn’t reveal what soils it.

Solution: Antibacterial hand sanitizer.

3. Computer Keyboards

Anything that gets on hands can get on your keyboard. People eat, sneeze, cough and continue to tap away. Some studies show the levels of germs are five times higher than that found on a toilet seat.

Solution: Wash your hands before and after using your computer. To clean your keyboard, gently shake out the crumbs or vacuum it —wiping the keys with alcohol or bleach wipes. And don’t forget the mouse, because that’s groody too.

4. Toothbrush

Even MythBusters concluded toothbrushes are rife with germs; including fecal matter either from direct contamination or the spray from the toilet. Each time you flush the toilet, bacteria disperse in the air in the form of tiny particles. Chances are your toothbrush is hella gross.

Solution: Placing your toothbrush where it can air out and dry between uses — but not too close to the toilet. Also, replace your toothbrush often, especially after a cold, and be sure to close your toilet lid before flushing. There’s something called the Germ Terminator for that added protection.

5. The Bed

Get ready to gag: Dust Mites feed on your dead skin and their fecal matter and corpses contribute to asthma and allergies.

Solution: Don’t make your bed. Dust mites need humidity levels above 50 percent to survive. And while they can’t live in the arid conditions of an unmade bed, a made bed traps the moisture they need to thrive. It wouldn’t hurt having a dehumidifier with an oscillating fan to eliminate moisture and buy some dust mite-proof fitted sheets.

6. Salt & Pepper Shakers

Let’s learn a new word: Rhinovirus. What is it? It’s the culprit behind the common cold. And it lives most places, including the salt and pepper shakers.

Solution: When you wipe the kitchen table after eating, wipe off the salt and pepper shaker. And if you’re in a restaurant, use a disinfectant wipe. You might be viewed as the weirdo that carries around wipes but you’ll also be the weirdo that didn’t get a cold this season.

7. Remote Controls

The remote control’s surface is among the most cootified. Seriously, who doesn’t touch that thing?! Family, friends and we already know you’re not the cleanest thing around. So handling the remote can create a hotbed of germs. And what about the time you laid on the couch nursing that cold? Cold sufferers often leave their germs on the remote, where they can live for two days or longer. Gross.

Solution: Before you veg in front of the boob tube, wipe the remote control with a disinfectant. Or even put it in a plastic bag.

8. Steering Wheel / Keys

So you take the time to wash your car, but how about the steering wheel or a quick wipe down of your keys? The steering wheel is a breeding ground for germs. Plus, think of all times you’ve touched them with dirty hands or the places your keys have been dropped. Germs live longest in wet environments. A droplet from a sneeze that lands in your car could contain thousands of germs.

Solution: Take a can of Lysol spray, a cloth and get to wiping.

Published in: on 02/16/2010 at 17:25  Leave a Comment  
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