7 Everyday Items That Are Dirtier Than You Think
Time to make a clean sweep
It doesn’t take a genius (or total germaphobe) to know that you should probably wash your hands after holding onto a subway pole--or using a public restroom. But for every obvious suspect, there are a ton of sneakily unsanitary places we come into contact with on a daily basis. Here, seven surprisingly germy spots to clean now. (Like, right this second.)
We hate to break it to you, but those freshly washed clothes--despite how good they smell--might be contaminated with E.coli leftover from a previous load. (Gross, we know.) Run an empty cycle on the highest heat setting now to kill off any existing germs and repeat every month.
If you think about the number of people who probably tried on that pair of pants before you, it should come as no surprise that evidence of flora, feces and respiratory secretions have been found on new clothing. Yeahhh. So fight the urge to wear everything immediately and toss it all in the wash first.
Contact lens cases
Quick question: When is the last time you replaced your case? If you had to think about it for more than 30 seconds, it’s been too long. That little container is a prime spot for bacteria like staphylococcus aureus, or "staph," to be lurking around. Keep your peepers safe by replacing your case every couple months (and no, occasionally tossing it in the dishwasher won't cut it) and use fresh solution every single time.
Turns out, it’s one of the dirtiest spots in your car thanks to air vents that are constantly blowing germs around. And…since it’s pretty much always in direct sunlight, the germs have a nice, warm breeding ground to thrive on. Wipe down your dash with a disinfecting wipe every week or so to keep bacteria at bay.
Carpets and rugs
Fact: The average person sheds up to 1.5 million skin cells every hour. Add to that pet fur, crumbs and any other gross things you’re tracking inside, and you’ve got a veritable feast for the bacteria nestled in your carpets and rugs.
Even the neatest of freaks can have an incredibly dirty pillow. See, your fluffy headrest collects dirt, oil and dead skin cells like crazy. And while a weekly wash will certainly help, experts also recommend replacing the cases every six months to a year. (Brb, bidding a tearful farewell to that one we’ve had since second grade.)
The very things you use to clean
RIP sponges and dishrags. First off, get in the habit of thoroughly rinsing and wringing them dry after every use. Then, once a week, toss your sponges in the dishwasher (or microwave them wet for 30 seconds) and throw your dishcloths in the washing machine in--you guessed it--hot water. Bottom line: When it comes to washing grimy things, always turn up the heat.