Asian man using phone and laptop

It’s no secret that despite your best efforts, you can’t avoid germs completely. Your home and the items in it have much more grime than you would like to think. For instance, did you know that a carpet can hold up to eight times its weight in dirt and dust? And did you know common household items are the main cause of dirty hands? From home office equipment to kitchen tools, here are some of the most bacteria-infested items that you probably encounter — and use — daily:

Mobile phones

Mobile phones are some of the dirtiest items in your home, with a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine even noting that one in six mobile phones is infected with fecal matter. Given the amount of time most of us spend on our phones, don’t be surprised if you get dirty hands. It makes sense to clean and disinfect them regularly to stop the spread of germs in our homes.  

Bathroom towels

Bacteria like to grow in wet and warm environments. This makes bath towels — especially if they aren’t dried properly between uses — a prime incubator for potentially nasty pathogens. To address this, you should make it a point to wash towels after just two days of usage to avoid rubbing nasty bacteria back onto your skin.

Money

Harmful pathogens can build up on the surface of bills. These can cause infections if you don’t wash your hands.

As if you needed another reason to switch to cashless transactions, did you know that bills and coins harbor high concentrations of potentially harmful bacteria? According to experts from Scientific American, this is because the surface of paper bills provides ample space for bacteria. Not only that, but the longer a paper bill stays in circulation, the more it accumulates harmful pathogens — kinda like a toxic version of Pokemon Go, if you get our drift.

Even worse, a government study from the U.S. found that most germs found in paper bills cause serious health problems such as blood infections, diarrhea, and pneumonia, as well as urinary tract and respiratory system infections. Be on the safe side and assume you have dirty hands after handling cash and disinfect accordingly.

Kitchen sponges

You typically associate kitchen sponges with cleanliness. After all, they are the tools we use to clean up our pots, pans, and dishes. However, did you know that kitchen sponges have more bacteria in them than your toilet bowl? Because of this, experts generally recommend that you replace your sponges every week to prevent further contamination. 

Refrigerator and microwave handles

Don't forget to disinfect handles and doorknobs, too!

Surprise, surprise: the dirtiest spots in your house are the handles on your trusty fridge and microwave. According to experts, many users don’t clean their appliance’s doors, preferring only to give them nothing more than a surface-level wipe. According to a study by the University of Arizona published in the Journal of Microbiology, this results in the doors acting like an incubator for germs. Chew on this the next time you grab a midnight snack or a quick merienda.

What can I do to prevent germs from spreading?

Because your home isn’t as spotless and sterile as you think, you should start maintaining good personal hygiene to stop the spread of germs. One way to do this is by adopting proper handwashing techniques and maintaining good hand hygiene. With products like Lifebuoy, washing hands becomes simpler. Lifebuoy Antibacterial Handwash Total 10 is formulated with a patented Activ Silver+ formula and provides optimal germ protection for your dirty hands.

While you can't be 100% germ-free, you can still take measures to protect yourself from unwanted dirt and debris. Make sure to wash your dirty hands religiously. Just because they look clean on the outside doesn't mean they aren't filthy.