Health knowledge and news provided by doctors.

5 Things You Touch Every Day That Are Dirtier Than Your Toilet

Tim Boyer's picture
Dirty Germs

We have been told repeatedly that washing our hands often is the best way to prevent transmission of the cold and flu viruses. However, avoiding bacteria should be a concern as well, that in some cases takes more than habitual hand cleaning to protect our health. In fact, one study reported that that the level of bacteria found on the hands of 300 test subjects was equivalent to the contamination of a dirty toilet bowl.


According to a recent episode of the The Doctors, why our hands are so dirty is due to that many of the surfaces of the things we touch every day are actually dirtier than our toilet.

The following is a summary of 5 everyday things the hosts of The Doctors warn us that we should be aware of to avoid getting a bacterial infection.

Bacteria Source #1: Trying on clothing at a store

When you take an article of clothing off of the rack, there’s a good chance that up to hundreds of shoppers have previously tried on that same piece of clothing. According to Dr. Ross, that puts you at risk of coming in contact with what she colloquially refers to as “booty leavings” and that clothes shoppers need to take special precautions to avoid another person’s filth.

“So when you are shopping for a swimsuit bottom or some thongs, what do you do?” ask Dr. Stork.

“You wear full panties underneath it,” advises Dr. Ross who adds that at a minimum if you do not wash newly purchased clothing before wearing at home that you should at the very least wipe down the crotch region of the clothing with a sanitary wipe.

Bacteria Source #2: Electronic gadgets in stores

“When you go into the iPhone store, the Apples, the laptops, the iPhones and the iPads are full of staph and viruses― and you really need to be aware of that,” says Dr. Berman. Like clothing for sale at the store, electronic gadgets are handled by many who more likely than not have filth on their hands that would make you flinch if you really knew what they touched last.

Dr. Berman advises viewers to be sure to wash your hands immediately after touching electronic gadgets in a store. Or, you can also take some hypoallergenic wipes with you into the store and wipe the surfaces of the gadgets clean before handling them to try them out safely.

And, if you already have a cell phone and have a habit of toilet texting, you may want to follow some cell phone cleaning advice before dinner.

Follow eMaxHealth on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Please, click to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to be notified about upcoming health and food tips.

Bacteria Source #3: Throw rugs in the home

“Your throw rug is a magnet to pick up…you name it…allergens, dirt, grime, your dog may be rolling around on it―you may be rolling around on it―all of that stuff gets stuck on the fibers,” says Dr. Ordon who suggests that a better choice would be to cover your floors with throw rugs that are made of materials that are less dirt trapping such as silk or wool.

Bacteria Source #4: The steering wheel of your car

“Do you ever think about how many germs are on your steering wheel?” asks Dr. Stork. “700 bacteria per square inch as opposed to the 80 or so on your toilet.” The problem with a germy steering wheel is that by touching your face or rubbing your tired eyes while driving can transfer bacteria to the mucous membranes of your nose, eyes and mouth. Dr. Stork’s advice is to make it a habit to wipe down your steering wheel often to keep the number of bacteria down.

Another car related example of one of the filthiest things people touch every day are gas pump handles when refueling your car. At least one study demonstrated that gas pump handles may be one common source of the flu virus that can spread from one customer to the next.

Bacteria Source #5: The arms of your couch

“The arms of your sofa are 12 times dirtier than the rest of your sofa,” says Dr. Ross who points out that not only are human arms in contact the sofa arms quite a bit, but that some people sit on the arms as well.

Her advice to viewers is to wash the sofa arms occasionally by either steam cleaning the fabric or wiping them down with a vinegar and water solution. Another solution is to use sofa arm covers that can be tossed in with the laundry.

For an informative article about other hidden germs in the home, click-on the titled link, “5 Surprising Germ Hot Zones in Your Kitchen.”

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket

Reference: The Doctors



I'd say the tables n chairs at any fast food restaurant :P