We always think of our toilets as being pretty grim in terms of hygiene, even though we clean them regularly and are quite happy to sit on them. Unfortunately, there are loads of things in your house that are dirtier.
5x more germs
Many of us use computers every day, but they’re one of the least cleaned devices we own. The fact they harbor more germs than your toilet isn’t all that surprising, as we clean our bathrooms regularly. With home computers shared between a number of people, keyboards become breeding grounds for cold and flu viruses, not to mention some much nastier infections.
The solution? Clean your keyboard with an antibacterial wipe, and wash your hands before and after using the computer. You might also want to avoid eating at your desk.
10x more germs
Another piece of electronic equipment we’re reluctant to clean is the mobile phone. As these are held close to your mouth and often get passed around, they soon pick up huge numbers of germs. These bacteria can cause stomach upsets and sickness making it vital to clean your phone regularly.
Touch screen smartphones encourage you to handle your phone more than ever, so it’s incredibly easy to transfer germs to your mouth, eyes or nose.
200x more germs
If the research is to be believed, it’s actually more hygienic to make a sandwich on your toilet seat than a chopping board. Wooden boards in particular are prone to harboring bacteria, and those used for meat preparation are worst of all.
Dr Gerba, a famous microbiologist, recommends regularly disinfecting surfaces and chopping boards to maintain kitchen hygiene. You can use vinegar, an alcohol spray, or bleach, which has the advantage of stain removal. Don’t think wiping the board with a sponge will help; these often contain germs like salmonella, and should be regularly zapped in the microwave or thrown away.
4,000x more germs
One of the worst concentrations of germs in our homes is in the carpet. Carpets have been found to contain around 200,000 germs per square inch, according to research by New York University. This might seem a frightening statistic, but it shouldn’t really worry you if you deep clean regularly. Carpets contain a lot of bacteria, viruses and allergens, but that’s because carpets filter these nasties out of the air. If you go on to wash these things out of the carpet fibres with a wet extraction carpet cleaner, you remove them from the house.
??? more germs
It’s difficult to know how many germs are lurking on your toothbrush, but you can safely assume it’s a lot. What makes this so disgusting is the fact your toothbrush goes in your mouth; but that’s exactly why they are prone to harbouring germs in the first place. Brushing removes bacteria, which is good, but toothbrushes are also damp and rarely cleaned so these germs have the perfect environment in which to breed. There is also evidence to suggest that flushing the toilet releases thousands of tiny, bacteria containing droplets, covering the bathroom (and your toothbrush) with nasty bugs.
Allowing the brush to dry out fully, changing it regularly and soaking it in mouthwash can all reduce the number of germs.
All these things are simple to keep clean when you know how. It’s recommended that you deep clean your carpets a couple of times a year to remove allergens like pollen and the breeding ground for bacteria and harmful germs.