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35 Places Germs Hide

It’s hard to keep your hands free of germs, especially after handling objects that are picked up or used by many other people. Protect yourself by learning where germs lurk.

There are several items that we touch nearly every day that contain tens of thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of harmful germs. Any time your hands come into contact with a surface that other people have previously touched, viruses and bacteria can be transferred from that surface onto your skin and clothing. You can avoid spreading germs by being aware of where these pathogens are commonly found. Here is a list of objects that harbor germs.

  • Gas pump handles and the handles of squeegees found at gas stations (used to clean car windshields)

  • Dollar bills and other forms of currency

  • Salad bar serving utensils

  • Straps on purses, briefcases, backpacks, diaper bags, and laptop cases

  • Mobile phones (people rarely clean these)

  • Salt and pepper shakers and napkin dispensers

  • ATMs

  • Exercise mats or yoga mats that are used by multiple people

  • Gym equipment

  • Doorknobs

  • Car steering wheels

  • Light switches

  • Arm rests on chairs

  • Coffee machines and coffee pot handles

  • Keyboards, computer mice, and mouse pads

  • Vending machines

  • Counter tops at libraries, banks, restaurants, and doctor’s offices.

  • Credit card pads and other touch pads

  • Shopping carts (handles, edges, and surfaces where children sit)

  • Parking meters

  • Mailbox handles and mailbox flags

  • Pens (in banks, doctor’s offices, etc.)

  • Remote controls

  • Refrigerator handles

  • Microwaves

  • Elevator buttons

  • Water fountains

  • Playground equipment and “bounce houses”

  • Escalator rails and stair rails

  • Crosswalk buttons

  • Restaurant menus, credit card trays, and folded books where the restaurant bill is placed

  • Bathroom stall door handles and latches

  • Toilet seats and bathroom garbage can

  • Bathroom floors (don’t let shoe laces touch the floor)

  • Kitchen sponges (this is arguably the most germ infested object in most people’s homes)

Basically, if a lot of hands have come into contact with an object, it can collect an assortment of viruses and bacteria. People forget where they have rested their hands and what objects they have picked up. Then they touch other surfaces. When you touch your face (especially your eyes, nose, or mouth) after your hands have picked up harmful germs, you introduce these pathogens to the very areas they need to spread infection. Continued exposure to harmful germs increases your likelihood of getting sick. So be careful of what you touch. In addition, wash your hands several times a day with soap and warm water in order to limit the amount of germs on your hands. Use soap on the backs of your hands and between your fingers. Also spend time cleaning under your nails because this is where huge amounts of bacteria can get trapped.

If you are aware of what your hands come into contact with, and take a little extra time to keep your hands clean, your immune system won’t have to work as hard to keep you healthy.

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1 Comment

Aug 16, 2018

Really interesting article. Cleanliness is of the utmost importance when it comes to a healthy environment. If you are looking for the best healthcare professionals that have experience in various field of the healthcare industry, Log on to and get the best medical health services in Portland, Oregon.

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