The human immune system is surprisingly tough. That said, filthy surfaces will always pose more of a risk than properly sanitized ones. Unfortunately, we can’t see microbes with the naked eye. Even a surface that seems clean on visual inspection may harbor all sorts of nasty germs that can pose a risk to you and your family.
Here are some seemingly-innocent everyday objects and surfaces that are often teeming with all kinds of nasty microorganisms:
1.) Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs)
If you’re in the habit of using gloves or face masks when you’re cleaning your house or running quick errands, chances are that these will be teeming with microbes after only a few hours of use. Most commonly-available types of PPEs are designed to be used one time, for just a couple of hours at the most. In fact, reusing them might make you more susceptible to infection than not having any PPEs on at all.
To avoid this risk, you can use antimicrobial gloves and masks such as the ones available from Ghluv. Antimicrobial gloves are typically made of materials that actively destroy microbes without the use of conventional disinfectants. The Ghluv hand protector, for example, uses HeiQ Viroblock technology which inhibits a wide range of viruses and bacteria responsible for common contact-transmitted illnesses. Best of all, these items are designed to be reusable, which means they can protect you from germs over multiple uses.
These days, we probably touch our smartphones more than anything else that we own. According to a Seattle Times report, they can harbor up to 18 times more microbes per square inch than a flush handle in a men’s restroom. Sanitizing your phone daily and after using it in the bathroom can do a lot to keep microbes to a more acceptable level.
3.) TV Remotes
Your TV remote ranks among the dirtiest items in your home, for similar reasons as your smartphone. Most of us simply don’t bother to sanitize them, even if we handle them daily. Be sure to wipe down your remote control at least weekly if it’s only used at home or daily if it’s shared with several people in an office.
4.) Computer Peripherals
After your phone, computer peripherals such as your mouse and keyboard are probably touched more than anything else you own. Weekly sanitation is usually sufficient if no one else uses your peripherals. Shared workstations, on the other hand, should be sanitized at the start or end of each shift.
5.) ATM Keypads
Some ATMs may be used by tens of thousands of people weekly. Even if they are sanitized daily, it might be too much to expect them to be pristine when you need to use them. You can use an antimicrobial glove to reduce the risk of germs on keypads getting on you.
6.) Shopping Carts
It’s not just the usual cold and flu viruses from human hands that you have to deal with when you use a shopping cart. Chances are that these carts are also teeming with salmonella and E. coli bacteria from the meat and veggies these carts carry. Because most supermarkets only disinfect or wash their shopping carts infrequently, they can carry an ever-present risk to users who don’t wash their hands.
7.) Public Handrails
Handrails on trains, buses, ramps, staircases, and escalators are only sanitized infrequently, if at all. And even if they were sanitized daily, they’re often used by thousands of people each day, making them dirtier than most surfaces most of the time.
As such, be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after coming in contact with any public handrails. Using an antimicrobial glove can also prevent contaminants on handrails from posing any major risk to you. If the rails are visibly soiled, however, avoid using them altogether.
8.) Car Door Handles
Sure, maybe your own car’s doors might be sanitary — but could you say the same about the ones on the cabs and the rideshare services you take? In these instances, using disinfectant wipes might be too awkward and may even offend the driver. This makes taxis and shared cars a place where using an antimicrobial glove may be a more discreet solution to protecting yourself.
9.) Faucet handles
While washing your hands properly is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick, it’s worth noting that the handles of the faucets we use are often teeming with germs as well. This is because we have to manipulate it with our (usually) dirty hands and we rarely take the time to clean the handles. This means we often re-contaminate our hands when we reach to the handles to stop the faucet.
Faucet handles should be disinfected daily to avoid a buildup of nasty germs. You can also use your elbows or a bit of tissue when you’re using traditional style faucets in public to reduce your risk of contact with harmful germs.
Just because something looks clean, it doesn’t mean that it is. By understanding what everyday objects are most likely to be teeming with germs, you can take the steps needed to reduce your risk of contact with harmful microorganisms. To reduce your contamination risks even further, be sure to invest in antimicrobial PPEs and to wash your hands frequently.