5 things in your house that are dirtier than your toilet seat


5 things in your house that are dirtier than your toilet seat
A ladies washroom fitted with English and Asian toilets.

In Summary

  • Your carpet has 700 times more bacteria than your toilet seat.
  • A study by Arizona researchers who collected 1,000 dishcloths and sponges in kitchens established that 10 percent of them had salmonella.
  • The tablets had up to 600 units per swab of staphylococcus, a bacteria that can cause stomach sickness. The phones had 140 units of the same bacteria. A toilet has about 20 units of Staphylococcus. So is it the toilet or your mobile phone making you sick?

By ANNE MAWATHE

Carpet
I know. You bought your carpet for the aesthetics it brings to a room. It makes your sitting room come alive. Well, your most beloved piece of decoration is also a haven for bacteria. To shock you, your carpet has 700 times more bacteria than your toilet seat.

If you really want an idea as to how much bacteria your carpet is holding, think about the times you have walked bare feet. Every hour, one person will shed about 1.5 million dead skin. Add to it the food particles, pet urine, the spilt juice, milk, dust, insect faeces, toys and what you have on your carpet are a mega feast for bacteria.

On a square inch of carpet, there will be about 200,000 bacteria.

Flip through The Secret Life of Germs, a book by Philip Tierno and I bet this will be a revelation of sorts. From your carpet to the things that ladies love.

Handbags
No surprise here, that lovely item is a host of bacteria. Whether you are driving or in a matatu, your bag usually ends up on the floor somehow.

I won’t say where else mine has been. Yours might have found its way to a floor in the bathroom, who knows.

Then there are those items inside your bag. Since you carry them you sure know them by name and designer.

In a research done in Britain, it studied 25 handbags and established what you might not be ready to hear. The average handbag is three times dirtier than a toilet seat.

So, ladies and gentlemen, there is such a thing as regularly washing your handbag or using those wipes to ensure all is well. As for makeup? Be warned. You need to keep changing especially your eye and lip favourites.

Exit handbags enter keyboards.

Keyboard
It is where you play. This is literally the place where you spend most of your time if you are using computers at work or in school. Since you are a very busy person, this is also the place you eat or snack.

So your keyboard also has traces of breadcrumbs, cookies, fruits and whatever else you are munching as you punch the keys.

If you share a computer, that means your keyboard could be loaded with harmful bacteria.

Research by a group known as Which? established that your keyboard could make you sick because of all the bacteria from your dirty hands, food, dust. In fact, the study they carried out found some computers had 5 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

To solely talk about the office computer is not to say your laptop is any safer. The grime on that keyboard that has accumulated over time is often ignored more so because it is not visible dirt.

Microbiologist Dr. Peter Wilson once said that your keyboard is a reflection of what is in your nose and in your gut.

To stop your keyboard from competing with your toilet seat, clean it together with the screen at least once every week using a damp microfiber cloth.

Mobile Phone
It is in the kitchen. It is in the meeting room where everyone is shaking your hand and you are not even sure where those hands have been. It is with your children. It is almost as if your mobile phone has a life of its own.

You know how many times you have scrolled on your phone while relaxing on a toilet seat. Doesn’t matter whether it is at home or wherever, your phone is with you pretty much with you everywhere.

In a 2013 study, researchers swabbed 30 tablets, 30 phones, and an office toilet seat.

The tablets had up to 600 units per swab of staphylococcus, a bacteria that can cause stomach sickness. The phones had 140 units of the same bacteria. A toilet has about 20 units of Staphylococcus. So is it the toilet or your mobile phone making you sick?

Your mobile phone and tablet are carrying more bacteria hence the reason why you should clean them frequently.

Kitchen Sponge
Let’s be candid, how often do you change your kitchen sponge? If you use one kitchen sponge for more than a week, I am the bearer of bad news.

A study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that the kitchen sponges they studied had 362 different kinds of bacteria.

The irony of our scrubber getting colonised by bacteria should get you on alert. The sponge that is especially near your sink (mine is always hovering around there) could contain E.coli and salmonella bacteria. These are the kind you want to keep away from.

Another study by Arizona researchers who collected 1,000 dishcloths and sponges in kitchens established that 10 percent of them had salmonella.

In short, your kitchen sponge, the one that you use to ensure your utensils are all sparkling could be harbouring the largest amount of bacteria largely because you do not change it as often as you should.

Here is a kitchen hack you can try; every week, soak your dishcloths in hot water then wash them as thoroughly and best as you can. Your sponges have to be changed every week.

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