What’s the Germiest?

Ever wonder how many germs are on everyday objects in our lives? Dr. Melissa Lem shocks us by deciphering some of the germ-filled items we encounter on the regular.

What's the Germiest?

Keyboard vs. Desk Phone

What's the germiest? Desk phone!

One study shows that keyboards have about 3,000 bacteria per square inch, while telephones have about 25,000 bacteria per square inch. Whenever you or your co-workers gab on the phone you're spitting bacteria all over the receiver. What's more, items like keyboards and phones rarely get cleaned.

Solution: Quit talking dirty by cleaning your desk items with disinfectant wipes or a spray once a day to kill more than 99 percent of bacteria.

Mascara vs. Lipstick

What's the germiest? Mascara!

Every time you apply mascara then put the brush back in the tube you're shoving bacteria from your skin into a dark, moist breeding ground. In fact, a 2008 study showed that 36 percent of mascara tubes grow bacteria by the end of three months!

Solution: Sniff and look for odours or changes every time you use your makeup, and avoid sharing. Replace mascara every season, liquid foundation twice a year, and powder-based cosmetics and lipstick every two years.

What's the Germiest?

Restaurant Lemon Wedges vs. Ketchup Bottle

What's the germiest? Lemon wedges!

Lemon wedges are often cut from unwashed lemons and left in a pile for hours, not to mention grabbed by servers who might not be washing their hands properly. A 2007 study done in New Jersey restaurants found 70 percent of lemon slices grow harmful bugs, including fecal bacteria like E. coli and Enterococcus! Condiment bottles aren't exactly clean either because no one washes them between uses.

Solution: Ask your waiter for lemon-free water, and sanitize or pass up that condiment dispenser.

Kitchen Sink vs. Toilet Seat

What's the germiest? Kitchen sink!

A study by the Hygiene Council reveals there are close to 600,000 bacteria per square inch in the sink drain alone, and a mere 300 bacteria per square inch on a toilet seat! Kitchen sinks are usually wet and coated in food particles, making them ideal for growing bacteria, while toilet seats are typically dry and smooth.

Solution: Scrub your entire sink with soapy water every time you do the dishes, and disinfect it more thoroughly twice a week.

Keep in mind that if you have a healthy immune system and stock yourself up with good bacteria your chances of getting sick from these objects are pretty low, but the ick factor is extremely high!


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