It’s obvious that certain areas of your home or office are dirtier than others, such as toilet seats and trash cans.
However, your phone, a pile of dirty clothes in your room, and even grocery carts are covered in bacteria that can lead to infections and other long-lasting health problems.
We touch our phones almost 100 times a day, but experts warn that the devices harbor 10 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat.
That cup of coffee at the office could be riddled with E. coli, which sickens more than 250,000 Americans each year.
And even blowing out the candles on your birthday cake spreads over 1,000 strains of germs.
Below, DailyMail.com reveals several of the dirtiest surfaces you touch every day.
Grocery carts could be covered in fecal matter and have more bacteria than a toilet seat.
Dr. Kunal Sood, an acute and chronic pain doctor in Maryland, shared a TikTok with his two million followers warning about the dangers of shopping carts.
Dr. Sood said grocery carts could be a source of infections such as hand, foot and mouth disease, which causes mouth sores and rashes on the hands and feet.
He cited a study by University of Arizonawhich found that more than 75 percent of shopping carts tested positive for fecal bacteria.
“The study even showed that shopping carts were even dirtier than toilets because toilets were more likely to be clean than shopping carts,” Dr Sood said.
He recommended using a disinfectant wipe on the cart before using it.
We lift our phones almost 100 times a day, but they harbor 10 times more bacteria than toilet seats.
Career company details. Zippia found that the average American checks their phone about 96 times a day, or once every 10 to 12 minutes.
This could leave you vulnerable to several types of bacteria, including staphylococcus, which causes staph infections, and MRA, a largely antibiotic-resistant infection that can spread to the bloodstream, lungs, heart, bones and legs. joints if untreated.
A study published in the journal germs He found that high school students’ mobile phones contained 17,000 copies of bacterial genes.
And research from the University of Arizona showed that cell phones have 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.
Washing your hands and keeping your phone out of the bathroom, which tends to have more bacteria, can help reduce germs.
Although toothbrushes are meant to keep teeth clean, toothbrush holders are rarely cleaned, making them breeding grounds for germs.
This is because the holder comes into contact with a wet toothbrush at least twice a day and that moisture allows yeast and mold to grow.
Findings from the independent public health organization NSF International showed that more than a quarter of toothbrush holders harbor bacteria such as E. coli.
E. coli are bacteria typically found in the intestines of animals such as cattle, goats, sheep, and deer. While most are harmless, some can cause a range of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting.
Exact numbers vary, but it is estimated that E. coli infections cause around 265,000 illnesses and 100 deaths per year.
Office Coffee Mugs
That cup of coffee you keep at the office may get rinsed out at the end of the day, but it’s still a haven for germs.
A University of Arizona study suggested this could be because community kitchen sponges are rarely changed. These can carry coliform bacteria, including E. coli.
Dr. Jeffrey Starke, an infectious disease physician at Texas Children’s Hospital, told Wall Street Journal Adding sugar and cream to coffee could lead to more bacteria lurking because “the stagnant liquid can stimulate the growth of environmental pathogens, especially mold.”
Taking the mug home and running it through the dishwasher can kill bacteria due to the steam and high heat.
Blowing out birthday candles can spread more than 1,000 types of bacteria
Blowing out candles on your birthday seems innocent, but when a whole group helps out, it could generate massive amounts of bacteria.
A 2017 study in the Food Research Journal It was found that when candles are blown out, 1,400 percent (15 times) more bacteria spread in the frosting than if they were not blown out.
Dr. Paul Dawson, a food safety expert at Clemson University who conducted the study, said cnn: ‘The amount of bacteria varies greatly from person to person depending on how careless someone is when blowing out candles, but it happens.
“I don’t know the likelihood of this happening, but in fact, if someone is sick, has an illness, and hits the birthday cake, there will be bacterial transfer.”
However, Dr. Dawson said it is probably not dangerous to eat this cake unless you are immunocompromised, elderly or have an underlying illness.
Several viruses, including rotavirus, have been shown to survive the washing cycle. Washing clothes at higher temperatures can kill them
Although the goal of washing clothes is to remove dirt and contaminants from clothing, research published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology demonstrated that several viruses can survive the centrifugation cycle.
The researchers found that adenovirus, rotavirus and hepatitis A survived when washed and dried.
Adenoviruses are a group of respiratory diseases that cause cough, fever, runny nose and pneumonia.
Rotavirus is very contagious and usually affects children under five years of age. It causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and black stools. However, it is much less common in the United States than in other countries: it kills 20 to 40 children a year compared to 600,000 worldwide.
If clothes are left wet for more than 30 minutes, it is best to run another cycle on high heat to kill any remaining germs.
Also, if you are folding clean clothes on a surface, be sure to clean them first.