A Public Restroom Is Not the Dirtiest Place You've Been Today

Nicole Fabian-Weber
32

toiletI may as well have been born in Germany because I am a germ-o-phobe. When outside the confines of my own home, I do anything -- no matter how weird -- to protect myself. I always carry a bottle of Purell. I pull my sleeves over my hands when I have to touch a railing in the subway. And I never touch a public restroom toilet flusher or door (my foot and paper towels).

Well, looks like I might be SOL when in my domain because it turns out our cars are dirtier than public toilet seats. Like, a lot dirtier.

According to the researchers at the Queen Mary University, about 80 bacteria can be found in each square inch of a public toilet, while more than 700 harmful bacteria inhabit the interior of a car. Gulp. Is there any way I can drive to my father's in a toilet?

Thankfully, now that I live in New York, I drive a quarter of the amount I drove when living in Los Angeles. Unthankfully, I clean my car about a quarter of the amount, also. Yikes. What do I/we do? It seems like nothing is safe anymore. Up is down. Right is left. Help!

I consider myself a really clean person. Go ahead, drop by my house unannounced. I'll gladly show you to the bathroom, or let you rummage through my fridge. Nothing to be embarrassed about there. It's the little things that I forget to clean often, though, that seem to be the most gnarly.

Like doorknobs. Do you remember to clean your doorknobs and light switches regularly? I certainly don't. And those are the places that have to carry the most bacteria. I mean, one of the first things I do when I get home from work is wash my hands (subway=blech). But before I do that, I open the door to my house and my bathroom and switch on a couple of lights. Those things have to be crawling with all sorts of nastiness.

I'm actually okay about wiping down my iPhone, but with its sexy touchscreen, I highly doubt I do it enough.

My keyboard. Both at home and in the office. I'm always afraid I'm going to ruin my laptop or lose a bunch of stuff at work, so I just never do it. Again, though -- subway, hands, keyboard, nasty.

Lastly, I've realized I don't clean my toothbrush enough. Like, ever, really. I have a Sonicare, so I switch the head every six months or so. But if you think about it, we're using these things to get gross stuff out of our mouths. They're probably all sorts of icky.

From now on, I am making it a point to be more diligent about cleaning all the little things, not just the cliche public ones. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go disinfect my entire life!

Do you clean all the little things in life? What tips do you have?

 

Image via Mai Le/Flickr

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