28 Things Covered In Viruses and Germs That You Touch Everyday
Public restrooms bring shivers down our spines. They’re not always well-kept and they’re used by a lot of strangers throughout the course of a day, so, naturally they’re full of bacteria and germs. But what if you learned that germs like Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and E.coli are closer to you every day, right in your own home, in your back pocket, and under your purse? There are germs and viruses lurking everywhere—and not just during cold and flu season, but everyday and everywhere because we as a society touch concentrated spots on a daily basis.
You may not think to clean certain areas because perhaps their function is to clean things themselves, like spray bottle handles, a dish drying rack, your toothbrush and its holder and the shower itself. When we neglect them, they can become some of the worst contamination offenders. Here are some of the more disgusting things in everyday life that will surprise you and are worth reconsideration for increased cleaning hygiene:
1. Your phone
Your phone is much dirtier than you think.
Your phone touches your fingers, your face, and all sorts of surfaces throughout the day—so it’s no surprise that it’s a haven for viruses and germs, even dangerous ones that cause the flu, staph infections or whatever else is on the latest CDC infection pandemic bulletin. In fact, a study found that the average high schooler’s phone has 17,000 different types of bacteria, making it 10 times dirtier than a typical toilet seat. Don’t get too comfortable in knowing that you aren’t a high schooler because adult phones are right next to them in uncleanliness.
You should be cleaning your phone about once a week, at the least. You can dilute rubbing alcohol with water, then spray it on your phone and wipe it dry with a soft cloth. Of course, you never want to eliminate 99.999% of the bacteria on your phone because it’s the good guys that defend against the bad kind and without that biological ecosystem you’ll always have a hoard of bad bacteria running a muck on your phone.
We recommend inundating any surface with a positive reacting bacteria to human life. This type of ecological offset of probiotic bacteria to pathogenic bacteria on a surface such as your phone will quickly result in a reduction of pathogenic bacteria and biofilm which was created and left behind. The probiotics even after dried and wiped will still move into all the deeper hiding places without the risk of shorting out electronics like the alcohol solution can.
Now for 3-5 days, your phone or any other surface will be constantly monitored by the new surge of the new microbiome you’ve just created on that surface. Killing 99.999% percent of all bacteria only leaves that surface wide open and fully exposed to the first new bacteria to land on it which is generally going to be an unhelpful pathogen your fingers pick-up from a foreign keypad, grocery cart or a dirty doorknob.
2. Your credit cards
A McDonald’s door handle is cleaner than your credit card and that’s already pretty disgusting in itself.
According to a study by LendEDU, our credit and debit cards are the most bacteria-covered things in our purses, even more so than the dollar bills or coins you find lying around. Most people think cash and coins are more bacteria-ridden than cards—but that isn’t true, the study revealed. You can swipe them with an antiseptic wipe after every few uses to kill all microflora living on the card or place your cards in a UV light sanitizer which kills all bacteria but leaves the pathogenic biofilm on the surface or just give them a gentle spray with probiotics and wipe if off on your pants. Pants can always use the extra probiotic protection.
3. Your shower and shower curtain
You’d expect that something you use to clean yourself would also be clean, but that’s not the case.
Over half of America confesses that they only clean a surface—like their showers—when there’s visible dirt. But here’s the cringe-worthy truth: Just because you can’t see any grime or mildew, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Studies have revealed that potentially harmful germs like , E.coli, streptococcus, and staph, all are commonly found in bathtubs and in many showers. And, that soap scum that looks innocent enough? It’s actually a breeding ground called biofilm for certain types of bad bacteria. You’re going to want to use some all-purpose bathroom cleaner to remove (and prevent) mildew and mold.
And whatever you do, don’t forget to clean your shower curtain if you have one, too. Since you hop into the shower daily to get yourself clean, you might not have realized that the shower curtain was dirty. It’s more than likely already coated with disgusting soap scum, mold and mildew, or worse yet, that slimy pink growth which is visible biofilm. Biofilm is the makings of pathogenic bacterial secretions used to protect and capture nourishment, none of which you want to willingly come in contact with. It also serves as their community. No worries: all you need to do is run it in your washer with a probiotic laundry detergent on a delicate cycle with two towels, which will help scrub it clean and neutralize the pathogenic qualities, and then hang it out to dry. If you don’t do that and run it through your washing machine with regular detergent then be sure to run a couple of empty loads through your washing machine to help reduce the new surge of bacteria now infesting it and spreading to new loads of laundry you wear. One way you’ll notice excessive bacterial contamination of your washing machine is by how fast clean clothes begin having foul odors when worn and activated by body moisture during the course of a day my all members of the family.
4. Your kitchen sponge
A kitchen sponge is one of the dirtiest things in the average house.
Over 75% of kitchen sponges and dish rags that were tested and documented in a scientific report, says that either E.coli or salmonella germs live on them. To clean your sponge, some people suggest placing it on the top rack of your dishwasher and putting it on the “heated dry” setting. Another good rule of thumb to follow? “Never use a multipurpose sponge to clean up after raw meat,” our senior lab testing technician warns. “Bacteria that can make you very sick can thrive inside a sponge. It’s the perfect breeding ground for all types of bacteria.” Keep in mind, too, that you should change your sponge every week, according to one study that found 362 different types of bacteria on the average kitchen sponge. However, if you’re using a probiotic dish soap then you’ll find that your sponge will last way longer, nearly never smell bad and those 362 different types of bad pathogenic bacteria are pretty much all eliminated. You’ll not have to dish wash your sponge or refrain from using it for all of your kitchen sponge needs after you get it and keep it laced with probiotics.
5. Your pillows
Did you know, your pillows are full of dead bugs!
Brace yourself. Your pillows are filled with unpleasant things. In fact, after two years, approximately 1/3 of a pillow’s weight contains dead skin, dust mites (which eat the dead skin), and droppings (poop from all those mites). Additionally, 10% of people and 80% of allergy sufferers are allergic to proteins found in waste and decomposed dust mites. It would have never occurred to me that bed pillows are the ideal breeding grounds for dust mites and the flu. Protekt experts recommend washing your pillows in a probiotic laundry soap every 6 months, follow a monthly probiotic spray regiment and replacing them every couple of years to reduce your allergic reactions to dust mites and exposure to other bacterial/viral contamination living inside of your pillow. One of the Protekt Team members (Protekteer) says that he gives his dry hair after his nightly shower a quick spritz of probiotic Face & Body Mist before he goes to bed.
6. Your remote control
Remote controls are touched by every family member—even our pets.
“Remote controls are touched by every family member—even the pets tend to sit on them and slobber them occasionally—so the surface of your remote control is the perfect host for germs and bacteria,” says Lily Cameron, a cleaning professional and supervisor at Fantastic Services. You should clean your remotes at least once per week, more if someone in the household is sick. You can try to kill all the bacteria on the surface of the remote by wiping it down using a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol and try to clean the build-up of dirt inside the buttons using a toothpick. Make sure you remove the batteries before cleaning in case the alcohol drips down into the remote circuitry. Rubbing alcohol will kill many non-resistant bacteria on a surface for as long as the alcohol hasn’t dried up. When the alcohol dries up, it is done and bacteria will repopulate the surface by either crawling out of nooks and crannys under the buttons, protective biofilm on and around the remote or from inside of the remote where the alcohol didn’t drip into. And just like that, old bacteria repopulated on a fresh and clean virgin surface. Not good. You best solution is our solution, a probiotic solution either in spray or wipe it on using our travel spray kit.
7. Your kitchen sink
Ironically, the place where you clean your dishes is actually one of the dirtiest.
With nearly half of kitchen sinks containing some type of coliform bacteria, it’s a serious place to keep tabs on. One of the Internets best cleaning advice is to mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda and a ¼ cup of lemon juice, then apply the mixture all over the surface of the sink. Let it sit overnight and in the morning, rinse it with boiling hot water. Then dry the sink using a clean towel. That sounds like a ton of unnecessary work and inconvenience in not being able to use the sink while steeping in the lemon juice solution. Our best cleaning advice is, just use a probiotic dish soap every time you wash dishes and it will do the rest on its own. Our in house product technical, Billy Kutivan, says, “You’ll find that your sink wont get as dirty as often and knocking away grime will be super easy when you use a probiotic dish soap on the regular. You’ll also notice a huge difference with your dish washing sponge or whatever else you use to clean up with not to mention how awesome it is in breaking down greasy dirt on dishes.”
8. Your toothbrush and toothbrush holder
You’re probably brushing your teeth with fecal matter. That sounds disgusting but scientific research doesn’t lie.
Your toothbrush is the perfect place for bacteria to hide. In fact, you’re probably brushing your teeth with fecal matter. To minimize this, flush with the lid down to keep fecal matter from spreading by way of vapor particles. Yes, that’s a thing that actually happens. Make sure you change your toothbrush every three months, as well as after each time you get sick to prevent the illness from coming back.
Have you ever cleaned the toothbrush holder? Next to your dish sponge, it’s the germiest thing in the house. It’s one of the easiest things to clean, though. Just throw it in the dishwasher or hand wash with dish soap if it’s delicate. Or, use an all purpose probiotic cleaner or dish soap. Make sure to rinse well.
9. Your coffee maker
Coffee with a side of bacteria? No thanks.
In one analysis, samples taken from coffee makers tested positive for bacillus cereus, staphylococcus, E.coli, and streptococcus. Not exactly what you want out of your morning cuppa Joe! Even the drip trays are gross. Researchers recently found that the leftover liquid was host to between 35 and 67 genera of different bacteria. Pro tip: denture cleaning tablets can help you clean your coffee maker or a couple probiotic spray (Kalos Misting Wand) here and there during the week will keep the pathogens away and your cup of coffee fresh without the scent of denture cleaner.
10. Your carpets
Carpets are approximately 4,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat.
Philip Tierno Jr., Ph.D., a microbiologist and immunologist, told Men’s Health that carpets contain about 200,000 bacteria per square inch and are approximately 4,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat. And consider this: Tierno says even the best vacuum cleaner doesn’t reach the bottom of the carpet, leaving behind tons of bacteria. However, you should still vacuum at least once a week. On top of that, have rugs professionally steam-cleaned at least once a year, or learn how to clean your carpet yourself. If that seems like too much effort, invest in machine-washable area rugs. But whatever you do, maintain your living space environmental microbiome through the use of probiotics like a room mister, probiotic room-bomb (slated for release in mid-late 2020) or by using our commercial grade probiotic floor and carpet cleaning solution. Leave the deeper biological cleaning to your personal army of probiotics to do your dirty work for days after the original cleaning.
11. Doorknobs and light switches.
Everyone handles doorknobs and light switches, and you don’t know what they’ve touched previously.
Doorknobs and switches are among the dirtiest parts of your home. Everyone handles them, and you don’t know what they’ve touched earlier. Have you ever cleaned a knob or switch? If not, then at least start today with some simple disinfectant wipes. This will quickly leave the surface free from bacteria while moist but as soon as the moisture from the wipe evaporates, it’s open season for bacteria to re-colonize. You should do this constantly, especially if someone’s sick, or, use a probiotic liquid or spray. Probiotics will reside on a surface for up to 5 days doing what they do best, consuming biofilm and disrupting pathogenic survival. Now that’s something no disinfectant can claim it can do.
12. Your cutting board
Cutting boards tend to be bacteria havens.
Two words: raw meat. That’s one of many things that likely goes on your cutting boards so it’s understandable that they tend to be bacteria havens. And while some of the best cutting boards that we’ve tested are wood, they also require special care, especially if you’re cutting meat on them. a common recommendation for cleaning a cutting board is using a water and vinegar solution if you don’t mind the odor to thoroughly sanitize your cutting board after you wash it with regular soap and water. Our CEO, Karris, recommends just using a probiotic dish soap and spray with a home spray afterwards if you feel it necessary. She also reminds us that these are the same bacterial contributors to the contamination of grocery cart baskets, handles and child seat so remember that when you lay your purse, coat, child or other belonging into the cart.
13. Your backpack, purse or bag
When you get home and put your backpack down, you’re spreading germs from outside.
If you take off a backpack and drop it on the floor of your office, a bar, subway or the bus, that pack is now smattered with dirt and germs from the places you dragged it through. When you get home and put it down, you’re spreading those same germs around your personal space. To prevent this from happening, your backpack needs a cleaning. Vacuum out the inside every few months, or if it’s made of fabric, put it into a pillowcase or a big mesh laundry bag and tuck it into your washer with a probiotic detergent on a cold, delicate cycle. Hang it dry, and voila! The probiotic Work & Sport spray is a perfect companion to carry in your backpack for daily hygiene management with a quick spray when you feel it is necessary.
14. Your counter-tops
Most people are disinfecting their kitchen counters wrong.
Kitchen counters are crawling with bad bacteria and one of the main reasons why that is, is because most people are using antibacterial wipes wrong. On the CDC’s website, it explains that “disinfection usually requires the product to remain on the surface for a certain period of time (e.g. letting it stand for 3 to 5 minutes).” That means you’ll need to use enough wipes to keep your counters wet for up to five minutes if you really want to kill all of the bacteria. But, we all know that killing the bacterial biome is bad, so use a probiotic all purpose cleaner to eradicate bad bacteria that come from dirty hands, raw meat liquids, kitty paws and various other food contaminants left behind.
15. Your pets’ toys
Our furry friends bring in a lot of different kinds of bacteria.
A recent study found that homes with pets had not only a higher concentration of bacteria but many more types and species of bacteria, too. A lot of that bacteria can be found in their toy basket: Your animal is necessarily dirty but instead, our furry friends slobber all over their toys, which primes them as hotbeds for mold, yeast, and other bacteria. But don’t worry, you won’t have to necessarily toss stuffed or soft toys once they start to smell. For rubber toys, you should soak them in a solution of one part probiotic all purpose cleaner and one part clean water for 30 minutes, then rinse the toys through the dishwasher or by hand and let air dry. The same can be done with washer safe soft cloth toys in the washing machine using a probiotic laundry soap or just hand wash the toys while thoroughly rinsing.
16. Your kids’ toys
It’s important to clean your child’s toys for their own safety.
While dirty pet toys might seem like a no-brainer to you, your kids’ toys are filthy as well. Microbiologist Dr. Susan Witterier tested 50 bath toys and sippy cups and found pathogenic mold and/or bacteria on all 50 of them. Worse, they found fecal matter present on 20 percent of the sippy cups. Needless to say, it’s important for every parent to learn how to clean and disinfect them. While it’ll take a few steps by either using a simple spray or deep washing using a probiotic all purpose cleaner or probiotic dish soap, it’ll be worth it.
17. Your keyboard
Keyboards are traps for dirt, dust, and bacteria.
Keyboards are gross. Over time, they just become traps for dirt, dust, and bacteria. According to multiple studies, your keyboard is probably even dirtier than a toilet seat, so finding a good way to clean it and keep it hygienic is crucial, especially if you want to stop the spread of germs. You can use disinfectant wipes or if you’re feeling truly healthy, we found that spraying the gentle atomized mist generated by the Kalos probiotic misting wand was perfect for reaching all of the crevices in your keyboard, car vents, and other imperfectly-shaped objects without saturating the area with moisture. In house testing using the Protekt ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) meter showed nearly 100% reduction in pathogenic bacteria on computer keyboards after the application of the living eternal probiotic mist from the Kalos probiotic misting wand.
18. Your mascara
Your mascara can be contaminated by bacteria, causing eye infections.
When you put on your mascara, bacteria like Streptococcus pneumonia, which live on your eyelids, can be transferred to the brush and into the tube. Those bacteria can multiply and cause pink eye and other eye infections. Sounds scary, right? To avoid this, make sure you remove your mascara thoroughly every night, never introduce other liquids into the tube, and try to replace your mascara as often as possible or use a less costly and more replaceable brand.
19. Your oven handle
Appliance handles often get neglected, which means they’re filthy.
Appliance handles—like that of your oven door—are some of the worst offenders when it comes to hosting bacteria. Think about it. You prep raw meat and, before washing your hands, go to put it in the oven. Add to that any oil or grease that splatters from the stove top and you have a recipe for a disgusting door. Bacteria love to eat oils and fats. It’s an area that you don’t automatically think to clean, either, so you probably rarely show it any sanitizing love. Luckily, disinfectant wipes will do the trick or some warm, soapy water. After the surface dries and no disinfectant liquid is present, treat it after the fact with a quick spritz of probiotics for the finale.
20. Your bedding
When’s the last time you washed your comforter? Be honest.
How often do you wash your bed sheets? If it’s been more than a week or two at the most, you’re sleeping surrounded by body oils, bacteria, dead skin cells, and the notorious allergen causing—DUST MITE. You need to step up your washing frequency. Just make sure you read the care tag first. If you use a duvet or top sheet, you’ll want to wash those regularly. Comforters, on the other hand, need washing a few times a year and don’t forget to read the piece on pillows. That piece of information will have you looking at your pillow in a very different light.
21. Your refrigerator
Is your refrigerator at the right temp to ward off bacteria?
Considering it’s where we keep our food, we should all be cleaning our refrigerators more thoroughly and more often. It’s a common misconception that bacteria can’t grow at lower temperatures, but some bacteria can still grow in cooler settings, just more slowly according to a Michigan State University study. To play it safe, make sure your refrigerator temperature is always under 40°F (37° is ideal). The best time to clean your fridge is before you go grocery shopping or when it’s nearly empty. If you use a chemical disinfectant then take the appropriate precautions to ensure the toxins do not contaminate your food. If you are using a probiotic solution as your solution for cleanliness then wipe down all the surfaces and crevices using a probiotic all purpose cleaner in a spray bottle. Be sure to wipe with a virgin cloth or paper towels as you do not want to cross contaminate the probiotics with any toxins or disinfectants. They are alive and you’ll want them to stay alive as long as possible.
22. Your hairbrush
Back away from the hairbrush.
Your beloved brush is covered with disgusting things that you’re applying to your clean hair every time you brush. About once a month, you’re going to want to remove the hair and then soak it in warm water with a few drops of all purpose probiotic cleaner or a probiotic dish soap solution. Rinse it in clear water and dry before use. Quick and easy regular maintenance can include a quick probiotic spritz using the Face & Body mist.
23. Your dishwasher
If you’ve noticed food specks on your dishes, that could be an indication of a dirty filter.
Most modern dishwashers have a filter that catches gunk and food residue. It’s usually at the bottom of the tub, under the spray arm. If you’ve suddenly noticed food specks on your dishes, that could be an indication of a dirty filter. Simply remove it, clean it with a soft brush and an antibacterial soap, then rinse it before you put it back in place. Add a couple of drops of the probiotic dish soap or all purpose cleaner into the dishwasher and run it on cold. Rinse the dishwasher well. You will see a big difference with the next load along with a renewed smell of clean.
24. Your luggage
Don’t bring bedbugs home from vacation with you.
When you return from trips, you could be bringing home more than just a tan and a pile of laundry—you could be bringing home bed bugs, too, according to a study. Bed bugs are attracted to the bacteria on dirty clothes that are contracted from publicly shared seating such as coffee houses, bars and airplane & taxi seats. So, if you toss them into your suitcase, guess where the critters will crawl into? Some ways to avoid this from happening: scan your hotel room for infestations before settling in, keep your dirty laundry in an airtight plastic bag, and keep your suitcase on a luggage rack as bed bugs can’t climb up slippery legs. If you suspect you may have brought pests home with you, the best thing to do is put everything into the laundry immediately on a hot cycle, which kills the bed bugs.
25. Your washing machine
A washing machine that smells bad means that your clothes will likely smell bad, too. And, we all know that bad bacteria are pretty much the cause of bad smells.
If you have a washer, you may have noticed a bad odor emanating from it. Dirt, detergent, and liquid fabric softener can build up in the rubber gasket at the front, creating a biome home for mold, mildew and bacteria that cause bad odors and other wretched byproducts. The odor can transfer to your clothes, making the problem even bigger. Luckily, this is a problem you can fix. It’s recommended that you run the washing machine on hot with a cup of bleach but the smell always comes back and often times with smellier vengeance. Use a probiotic laundry detergent with all of your loads and you’ll discover that the smell never comes back.
26. Your local park and your pets paws
It will shock you to find out what lives on a single blade of grass in a park watered with reclaimed water?
A recent study found that homes with pets had not only a higher concentration of bacteria but many more types and species of bacteria. Scientific reports also state that reclaimed water is host to a ton of bad bacteria, viruses and protozoa that specialize in surviving through water, saliva and feces. These enteric pathogens attach to the fur of your pet after walking through the contaminated park and then licked off the legs and bottoms of the animals by the animals. Since these are enteric type pathogens, they thrive in an aqueous environment such as saliva. Your pet will also leave these pathogens all over their living space and within your home. There are several things to consider in this scenario. Reconsider where you walk your pets, Choosing a probiotic dog shampoo and after-care spray, Using a probiotic spray in your home and in your pets personal space(s).
27. Your pets hair brush and fur
Pets get into places that humanity has mucked up and because of that our pets often times suffer untimely and strange illnesses.
Many of these contamination’s breed deep in their fur. But where do they get these bacteria’s and viruses? One huge contamination source is public grass areas watered with reclaimed water. Reclaimed water is full of enteric pathogens and protozoa. Much like the recommendation for a humans personal hair brush, you’re going to want to remove the hair and then soak it in warm water with a few drops of all purpose probiotic cleaner or a probiotic shampoo solution. Rinse it in clear water and dry before use. Maintenance between arduous hair removal and washing can include frequent spraying the brush with Protekt probiotic Pet Allergen Control spray. The spray should also be applied directly to your pets exposed body area after every visit to a contagious area. It’s food grade so it’s okay if they lick themselves after they’re sprayed.
28. Your furniture
You’re long overdue for a deep-clean of all of your furniture.
Last but not least, pay attention to all of the furniture in your home. I’m talking mattresses, mirrors, couches, wood, and even outside furniture made of wicker or metal. When was the last time you cleaned these things? Whatever material they’re made of, it’s probably high time to give all your furniture a once-over. Cleaning not only lessens allergens but also helps prolong the life of your furniture.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably just about ready to hop in the shower (after you clean it, of course). While we can’t avoid handling these disgusting things every day, we can make sure we minimize the spreading of germs by avoiding touching our faces, washing our hands often, and for the love of all things good, clean these things with a probiotic bacterial solution and avoiding killing everything. Our specially formulated external probiotic products are alive and they remain alive for 3-5 days disrupting the life cycle of pathogens.