Dirty Objects You Touch Every Day

Mar 18, 2020Silvia Fonseca

One of the first things people learn is the importance of washing hands. Handwashing helps prevent the spread of many diseases. But people don't always remember why that is so important. The answer is simple: everyone touches a shocking number of dirty surfaces every day. You don't believe that? Here there are some of the most surprisingly dirty things that are part of people's daily life.


Do you know that ice you ask to put in your drink? So ... We have bad news. The truth is that it is quite dirty. A study in the US found that 70% of the ice offered in fast food restaurants has more bacteria than the water in your toilet. The problem is that ice machines are not sanitized. This causes it to accumulate bacteria, especially E. coli type.

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Office Desk

On average, an office desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet. The reason is the fact that on the table some very dirty items live on it, such as your phone, the computer keyboard, the mouse, your mug and so on. These bacteria move from the items mentioned to your desk, making it dirtier than the items.

Restaurant Menu

Here is another item that goes through many hands throughout the day and that, normally, does not worry much. What may come as a surprise is the fact that this item has 100 times more bacteria than a toilet bowl. So, after picking up a menu, always wash your hands before eating. 

Cutting Board

Don't cut raw meat on wooden cutting boards! These items, although being popular for a long time, are dangerous because they absorb meat juice. Opt for versions made of glass or other materials that are easier to wash and keep clean.


The truth is that toothbrushes that are exposed over the sink are one of the nastier items at your house. That is because they get dirty with bacteria that fly away when you press the flush button. That's why it's important to lower the toilet lid whenever you flush it. In addition, always maintain your brush slightly tilted downwards. Thus, water is not accumulated in the bristles creating bacteria.


That carpet on your home floor has 4,000 times more bacteria than your toilet seat. As human beings shed 1.5 million skin cells every day, the bacteria in these items are very well fed. Even more, if you ever spill some food on it or have a pet. So take the opportunity to do a thorough cleaning on it whenever possible.

Car Gear Stick

Like office desks and carpets, the gear stick in your car is also a filthy place and often overlooked when it comes to hygiene. Think about how many times you used cash to pay for Fast Food's drive-thru! Or even carelessly used a cell phone before driving the car. Therefore, the ideal is to have a special cloth to clean this place regularly.

Sink Drain

If you think the kitchen is the cleanest place in your home, think again. In the kitchen, more than 1 million bacteria per square centimeter can be found in the sink drain alone, making it really dangerous for your health. Solve this problem by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar down the drain. Then wash it with boiling water.

Kitchen Sponge

This object that you think is clean is actually the number 1 germ source in your home. Its moist micro-cracks that are difficult to disinfect are welcoming places for germs. When you pass the sponge over a surface, you are just transferring all germs to it. One way to end this is to put it in the microwave for 60 seconds and change it regularly.

Airport Tray

Mobile phones are dirtier than toilets. Also bags or even male beards. Now the plastic trays used in airport security checks are added to the list. A study published in BioMed Central Infectious Diseases and led by scientists from the University of Nottingham and the Finnish Institute of Health concludes that they are full of germs, including those responsible for the common cold, and that they accumulate more respiratory viruses than toilets.


Knowing that your sponge is dirty, you can decide to wash your hands after washing the dishes. This is a wise choice. But unfortunately, grabbing the dishcloth you keep in the sink can undo the benefit of washing your hands. Dish towels often have the same problems as sponges, as they are also moist, warm, and come in contact with food particles.

Bed Sheets

Bed sheets have many of the characteristics that bacteria love. Humans sweat a lot, so they are often wet and warm - an ideal environment for bacteria and the growth of fungi too. Also, the skin particles that rub on the sheets along with everything that people come in contact with during the day help these microorganisms to grow too. Experts recommend that you wash your sheets once a week.

Groceries Cart

Your shopping cart is perfect for storing your products and, sadly, E. coli bacteria. It turns out that when people walk around the market - with potentially unwashed hands - picking up food, including wrapped raw meat, they can transfer some nasty bacteria from their hands to the cart and vice versa.

Toothbrush Holders

And is putting a brush in a holder safer than leaving it over the sink? The answer is, probably not. That's because the toothbrush holder is perfect for harboring any bacteria that are nearby. A survey found staph bacteria in 14% of toothbrush holders and yeast or mold in 64%. So make sure to clean these containers regularly and choose alternatives with lids.


A survey commissioned by Initial Washroom Hygiene - an English company responsible for cleaning commercial properties - reveals that, on average, a computer mouse can be up to three times dirtier than a toilet. The report analyzed 158 items from 40 work desks in three offices, which were compared with data collected from bathroom seats in several buildings.

As seen here, some common things that people touch every day are covered with viruses and bacteria, making them dirty and dangerous. They are so dirty that they can cause serious illness if people don't take care of their hygiene properly. So, now, will you think twice before touching these objects the next time?

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