It’s in the middle of the night when you hear your son wailing in pain. He has an upset stomach. The worry-wart that you panicked and rushed him to the hospital. The doctor said, “It’s Traveler’s diarrhea.”
After receiving his prescription, you went home, still thinking how he contracted the illness when he’s always been at home? The house has always been hygienic…or so you thought.
Well, the best way to determine the cause is to trace back every household surface he has touched in the last few days.
Hence, here are 10 surprising household hygiene facts that might help you pin down the contamination’s root cause.
Let’s begin with the place that most people assume to be the dirtiest—the bathroom.
1. Toilet seats aren’t actually that dirty
We often think that the toilet seat is the dirtiest part of the bathroom. After all, excrements are flushed down the bowl. But, according to a study by Biocote, it’s the sink that contains the most bacteria with 50,000 Colony Forming Units (CFUs). The toilet was only measured to have 150 CFUs.
2. Flushing launches bacteria in the air
You might think that bacteria from toilets can only reach you by touching toilet surfaces. But, the truth is more bacteria can spread whenever you flush the toilet.
A fine mist containing various mixtures of bacteria start spreading in the air, which might enter your airways or stay on your clothes. In fact, toilet bacteria can travel as far as 6 feet.
3. 77,000 types of bacteria and viruses are present in the bathroom
Some of these are common coliforms like e.coli and salmonella and the methicillin-resistant s.aureus.
4. Dish sponge is the dirtiest house item
Among the 22 households tested by NSF International, more than 75% were recorded to have sponges that are contaminated by coliforms like e. coli and salmonella—the usual troublemakers in your stomach.
This is the sign you’ve been waiting for to finally replace your squishy dishwashing buddy.
5. Chopping food or feces?
Would you consider chopping your meat on a toilet seat? Well, maybe it’s not that strange of an idea when you know that chopping boards house 200% more fecal bacteria than your toilet seat.
This is why you need separate boards for different kinds of ingredients. It would also be beneficial if you replaced them regularly.
6. Kitchen taps of germs
The Hygiene Council conducted swab tests on the kitchen taps of 20 homes in the U.K., Australia, Germany, India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the U.S. They found out that ⅓ of the kitchen taps contained unsatisfactory bacteria levels, including the pneumonia-causing staphylococcus aureus.
Some even contained more bacteria than 15% of toilet handles. Experts say that toilet users may have transferred the bacteria after failing to wash their hands.
7. A dirty remote is deadly
People often reach for the remote to watch the shows they enjoy. But, by doing so, they’re unknowingly making themselves vulnerable to germs.
Remote controls possess 2 to 10 times more bacteria than what is deemed acceptable in hospitals. Consequently, 90, 000 deaths recorded annually are due to infections contracted from remotes.
8. Pillows of dust
After a long day at work, it’s tempting to just simply slam your whole body on your couch pillow. Little did you know, 10% of your pillow is actually composed of dust. Yikes!
9. Mites love your dead skin
You might already have an idea that at least 10,000 mites live in your supposedly clean bed. But do you know the reason why they love your sleeping place? Well, that’s because they feed on your dead skin, and you shed at least 10 grams of it per week—definitely a feast for the mites!
10. People love snuggling their dirty sheets
Most people only change their bedsheets after 24.4 days. Some can even go up to 35.3 days before they consider their sheets gross.
Ideally, you have to change it at least once a week. It might feel like a chore at first, but it’s definitely worth it if you could avoid the possibility of snuggling a month’s worth of dust and germs.
Well, it seems that there are a lot of possible sources of contamination. But, one thing is sure, you need to change your perception of what’s clean or hygienic enough and go beyond appearances. Simple cleaning negligence might result in something more serious than an upset stomach.
But, fret not! You’re not alone in this journey. You have reliable cleaning companies like Cleanrific to keep you safe from germs.