When we think of things that are dirty (real items, not someone’s mind), public restrooms immediately jump to the top of the list. Yet, in the grand scheme of things, there are items far dirtier and you probably handle them on a daily basis. You don’t need to be famous germophobes Howard Hughes or Howie Mandel to be concerned about this, but you should still be concerned.
According to an article on Forbes titled, 5 Gadgets With More Germs Than Your Toilet Seat, some of our everyday items carry thousands more bacteria per square inch than a public toilet. If that’s not gross, then I don’t know what is. So, let’s start with that most horrible of germy objects – the toilet. The average one in your home has between 50 and 300 bacteria per square inch. The average public toilet bumps that up to more than 1,000 per square inch. But if you think that’s bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Since the advent of the smartphone, people have carried them everywhere they go. We put them in our pockets or purses, on car seats, we place them on restaurant tables, we handle them without washing our hands, and of course, we take them into the bathroom with us. And despite all this, we hold them right up to our face next to our ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. Yuck! In that same Forbes article, a study in 2012 had smartphones carrying 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats and a 2013 study had that much higher at a staggering 25,107 bacteria per square inch. But before you go and disinfect your phone, you shouldn’t ignore these other havens for germs.
Tablets, e-readers, and other similar devices are just like a smartphone, only with a lot more surface area to catch all those nasty bacteria. Not too far down from those are keyboards. You know, the device with tiny keys that we put our fingers on after eating messy food or touching sticky things. If you have children, then you probably have a game controller in your home. Again, think about what your kids touch, and then consider how often they wash their hands. Yeah, all that gets put on the game controller along with thousands of bacteria. But adults don’t get a free pass at home either. That remote control near the TV – the one that gets stuck between couch cushions, dropped on the floor, and then handled with sticky fingers – is the perfect breeding ground for germs.
If you’re not freaking out right now, then you’re probably asking what you can do to clean up these devices and keep them clean. The first step is to never, ever under any circumstances take these into the bathroom. The next step is to wash your hands (or use a hand sanitizer) before handling these devices. And finally, clean these devices on a regular basis using gadget-friendly wipes.