Top 10 Germiest Places in Your Home
Updated: Jan 18
For many of us, it’s easier if we just don’t think about how many germs are lingering everywhere.
But, as with anything else, knowledge is power. If we know where the most germ-filled places in our home are, we’re better equipped to mitigate the damage according to a recent article in CNN.
Your kitchen, bathroom and pets could possibly be harboring a lot of germs.
10. Cutting Boards
This is often the first stop out of the fridge or freezer for raw and uncooked food, so it only makes sense that a cutting board would have its fair share of germs. The National Science Foundation found that nearly 20% of cutting boards contain coliform bacteria (those found in feces), while roughly 15% contain molds and yeasts.
9. Stove Knobs
Stove knobs are one of the most frequently touched items in a home, and they’re often touched with hands that have been in uncooked foods, making knobs a harbor for bacteria.
8. Kitchen Countertops
Our tour through the kitchen continues. The NSF study revealed that 32% of kitchen countertops contained coliform bacteria (fecal). It’s imperative to make sure you give your countertops a deep clean after each and every use.
7. Pet Toys
We all love our pets, but let’s be honest they get into a lot of stuff and spend a lot of time on the floor and in the dirt. Pet toys can collect bacteria, yeast and even mold. Take extra special care to wash your pets’ toys regularly to protect your family, even the furry members, from possible disease.
6. Faucet Handles
Just like with countertops, make sure kitchen and bathroom faucet handles are cleaned regularly to avoid bacteria collection.
5. Coffee Makers
Back into the kitchen, we will always try to clean the coffee pot after brewing our favorite morning fuel. But how often do we clean our coffee makers themselves? Definitely not as much as we should. Some bacteria found in coffee makers include staphylococcus, streptococcus and bacillus cereus, as well as e-coli.
4. Pet Food/Water Bowls
We’ve already established that your pet might not be your most sanitary friend, so it stands to reason that their food and water bowls aren’t the cleanest, either. Make sure to regularly wash your pets’ bowls, just as you’d wash your own dishes after a meal.
3. Toothbrush Holders
Your toothbrush lives in two places--your mouth and then its holder. You know how dirty your mouth can be, and your toothbrush is certainly taking some of that with it into the holder after every use. Additionally, like other bathroom items, a toothbrush holder is usually located very close to the toilet in our bathrooms, making it a welcoming destination for harmful bacteria. Make sure to regularly wash and sanitize your toothbrush holder.
2. Kitchen Sinks
We’ve thrown everything BUT the kitchen sink at you already, but we’re finally getting to one of the grimiest places in your home. In the NSF study, nearly HALF of the kitchen sinks examined tested positive for coliform bacteria (fecal), while more than 25% contained mold. Just another reason to not let those dishes pile up!
1. Dish Sponges/Rags
Another kitchen item rests itself atop our list. The NSF study found that nearly 90% of dish sponges/rags contained coliform bacteria or mold. These are the very items we use to keep things clean in our kitchen, so it’s vital that we’re not spreading germs from one thing to another. The best way to kill germs in your sponges is to microwave damp sponges for two minutes regularly and replace them regularly. Dish rags should be washed with the laundry regularly as well.
So, let’s all do a little due-diligence by making sure our kitchens and bathrooms are a bit cleaner and our pets are being taken care of just like every other family member—let’s clean their toys and bowls as regularly as you clean your kid’s toys and dishes.