The coronavirus is forcing us to rethink our way of life, especially when it comes to hygiene. While many of us are constantly wary of door handles or toilet seats, there are plenty of dirty surfaces we carry and interact with almost all the time. They carry plenty of bacteria that can be transferred unknowingly when we touch our faces or shake someone’s hands.
We are not here to create panic or have you live in fear. For sure, life goes on. But it can’t hurt to give these surfaces the occasional wipe down. Here are some dirty items you should look out for, so get that alcohol wipe ready.
We leave our phones in our pockets and on tables. While using it, we cover our mouths to cough and continue typing away. Some of us even use it while in the loo, so it’s no wonder experts say mobile phones are 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat. In fact, studies have shown more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies can be found on the phones of high school students. While you probably won’t fall sick, you still don’t want to risk these getting into your system. These viruses can also spread through phones if a person is sick and spread to others.
An easy way to get around this is to keep your phone out of the bathroom. You wash your hands but probably not your phone. To get down to cleaning it, use alcohol wipes to clean the surface of your phone – even a few times a month is good enough.
Experts are speculating these could be one of the biggest carriers of the flu. Cash is transferred endlessly from one person to the next, nesting themselves in wallets and pockets. This is even more problematic with US notes, made of cotton and linen, a comfortable home for bacterial growth, compared to polymer notes that are less absorbent.
One would seem like a bit of a maniac to wipe every note in your purse, but it could help to clean the purse once in a while. Going digital also has its health benefits, as mobile payment reduces our interaction with notes and coins.
When was the last time you cleaned your keyboard? We spend entire days typing away on our keyboards with our fingers, which meet with food, the grime on our faces, boogers and all sorts of nasty substances. It’s probably time to give your keyboard a good clean.
Our suggestion would be to plug it out and really dig into the nooks and crannies of it, digging out whatever dirt and crumbs could get caught between each key.
Like doorknobs, these high-contact surfaces in public areas should be cleaned regularly. They’re used by dozens of people every day who bring bacteria which can remain on metal surfaces from several hours.
Our spectacles are a comfortable home for bacteria, thanks to the warm, moist environment on our faces, which can become a source of eye-irritating bacteria.
The good news is glasses are easy to clean. Warm water with a drop of dishwashing liquid can be used to clean your lenses and frames. You can use alcohol too, but make sure you don’t use your breath to fog up your lenses and clean them. Be sure to clean the nose pads too, which should be changed occasionally.
Video game controllers
Blasting away at bad guys, with a drink and some bowl of crisps at arm’s reach. That’s the life of a gamer, which we are as guilty of as the next guy. As much as we love it, bacteria does too. All that grime, food and dirt that come into contact with our controllers becomes a home for germs. Controllers are especially prone to bacteria growth because of perspiration from our hands during an intense match as well. Definitely worth a quick wipe down.
As fresh as your kicks are to your friends, they are one of the dirtiest items on this list. Being in contact with the ground all the time, this shouldn’t need much explaining.
It could be a hassle to wash your hands after tying your laces. One quick solution is to place a bottle of hand sanitizer by your front door to clean your hands.
Lastly, you really don’t want to be wearing these around the house – certainly not on the bed!
A study found more than 700 potentially dangerous germs per square inch on steering wheels. It’s one of the easiest surfaces to clean in a car, which mind you, is often alarmingly filthy, especially if you consume food in the vehicle, or drive sweaty.
While change our toothbrushes frequently, toothbrush holders are often overlooked. Water that drips from toothbrushes are often trapped at the bottom of these containers, which are damp and shaded, perfect for mold and bacteria growth. Empty your toothbrush holders frequently and give insides a good scrub with a drop of dish-washing liquid.
Most of these entries are just precautions. We didn’t want to create panic or sound awfully germophobic. But if there is one you should really be alarmed about, its display units of earpieces in stores. These nasty things can harbour colony-forming units and lead to ear infections and other illnesses.
Your best friend here, as with most of our entries, is a trusty alcohol wipe. A toothpick can also help wedge out bits of earwax caught in the mesh of your earpieces.