Germaphobes, Clean Freaks and those with OCD beware! This information could send your afflictions into overdrive, so prepare yourselves. The toilet has gotten a bad rap, as we all feel this one object is the dirtiest item in the house, when in reality there are a lot of supposedly clean places that are exponentially filthier. Below I have listed the most unexpected things most of us come into contact everyday, that are dirtier than than toilet.

If you're wanting to know just how the toilet is typically cleaner than all the items tested and listed below, it’s pretty simple really. We actually clean the toilet with all sorts of chemicals, because we always think of it as being dirty, while things like toothbrushes, kitchen sponges, and cell phones are rarely cleaned, if at all, leaving them teeming with all kinds of bacteria that can makes us horribly ill.


These are as dirty as a toilet seat. ATMs were found to be contaminated with as much bacteria as a public restroom.(Time Magazine)Each button on an ATM has about 1,200 bacteria per square inch. You never know what germs the person who used the touch screen left for you to catch. You find mostly "red flag bacteria" on these buttons which could lead to infection if they enter your body through a cut. Next time, use your knuckles.


The place you go to get clean may not be the first place you think of when you consider bacteria but the area around the drain can have up to 19,468 bacteria per square inch. This warm and moist bathtub environment is a place where bacteria thrives, especially bacteria that is washed off the human body or off of toys and other objects placed in the tub. The dirty water contaminates the entire tub, making the tub not as clean a place as you think when you get in to wash yourself off.


Microbiologists in Albuquerque, N.M. recently found that men's facial hair can contain as much bacteria as your average toilet seat, according to Action 7 News. John Golobic, a microbiologist with Quest Diagnostics, swabbed a group of bearded men and analyzed the results to see how dirty the beards were. Golobic said that some of the men's facial hair contained bacteria that you would commonly find in a toilet.


With 200,000 bacteria per square inch, carpets are 4,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat, or 200,000 bacteria per square inch. Humans shed 1.5 million skin cells every hour which helps feed the bacteria in carpets. That, combined with whatever is brought in on your shoes or pets makes for quite a petri dish of bacteria. How often do you clean your carpets. more than just vacuuming?

Cell Phones/Mobile Devices

Mobile devices can have 10 times more bacteria than toilet seats…and they’re always touching our faces. Would you wipe the inside of your toilet bowl with your cheek? (Yahoo) In fact, 16% of all cellphones actually have traces of fecal matter on them. A recent study discovered that 9 out of 10 cellphones have disease carrying germs, so think twice before you put your phone to your ear next time. Also, did you know 19% of people drop their phones in their toilets?

Cutting Boards

These babies actually have a lot more poop smeared on them than your toilet does. Raw meat carries a very high level of fecal bacteria, and can hold up to 200 times more bacteria than a toilet. (Food & Wine)

Door Knobs

Hands are one of the dirtiest parts of the body, and most people use them to open their doors. So it's pretty obvious these would be bad, when doorknobs get touched over and over again by hands that are officially the dirtiest part of the human body. A study was done where viruses were put onto doorknobs in a workplace, and then it was discovered that 40 to 60 percent of the people inside the office picked up the virus after.


Magnets for pet fur, mold, dander, debris, and dust mites, these things just sit there unsuspectingly soaking it all up.

Elevator Buttons

These are found to carry 40 times more bacteria. (Reader's Digest)In your kitchen, there are 44 times more! Faucet handles are crawling with germs considering you normally turn them on with dirty hands. In the kitchen, there are 13,000 bacteria per square inch of faucet handle.

Gas Pumps

You know those pumps you use to put gas into your car every week or so? Well, they have 70% more germs than your toilet seat. Makes sense when you consider how many different people touch them during the day without any cleaning going on whatsoever. Right now, full serve sounds a lot better.


Your outdoor grill is brimming with bacteria, because microbes get transferred from the food placed on the grill, then put onto other foods, which is then ingested and could lead to gastrointestinal infections. In a survey, 71% of people claimed they clean their toilet seats every day, but only 36% said they cleaned their grills more than twice a year.


Notoriously dirty, they usually contain your phone, money, and other things that after reading this list should give you an idea of why you want to clean your handbag. A 2013 study showed that one out of every five handbags has enough bacteria in it to be a health risk. Leather handbags are the worst offenders here because the spongy texture is a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Hand cream is the most offensive of all objects found in handbags. This is all because our hands come in contact with the bag so much that bacteria is easily transported onto it. Use coconut oil to moisturize your hands ladies! It's antiviral, antibacterial & anti-fungal!


A study of fast food restaurants in the US found that 70% of the ice served had more bacteria than the toilet water. The average person's ice from their freezer contains 70% more germs than their toilet water. Crushed or cubed, bacteria accumulates inside ice makers, and when mixed with the mold that often forms inside them, ice becomes a germ haven.


Keyboards can have up to 200 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. I bet you sneezed at work today and kept typing without washing your hands, or maybe you share a keyboard with your entire family, including a teenager with all sorts of things under his fingernails. Well, that is now smeared all over your keyboard, spreading germs and bacteria with each and every keystroke.

Kitchen Sink

Forget the toilet, TODAY reported that your sink could easily be dirtier than your entire bathroom. While you may think your kitchen sink is clean due to all of the sanitizing that happens there, it’s still a pretty unsanitary place in your house. Most kitchen sinks are full of germs such as Salmonella and E. Coli, while the drain may carry 500,000 bacteria per square inch.

Kitchen Sponges

These precious gems get reused over and over and over again, gaining more germs after each use. In nearly every part of the world this is notoriously the dirtiest thing in the house, with 456 times more bacteria then a toilet. (Reader's Digest). With 10 million bacteria per square inch your kitchen sponge is nearly a quarter of a million times dirtier than your toilet seat. One out of every three sponges contain Staphylococcus (or staph) bacteria, and have absorbed the fecal matter of everything from humans to cows, as well as a multitude of other much more terrifying bacteria, so I would highly recommend that you change your sponge…like right now.


Your laundry may get clean in the washing machine, but germs and bacteria stay there and thrive. Undergarments are the biggest problem considering they have traces of fecal matter. Your average wash load will transfer 100 million e. coli into the wash water which can be transferred to the next load. By the way, detergent does nothing to fight these bacteria, you must use bleach! 100 times more E. Coli bacteria. (WCVB-TV)

You may have been relying on your detergent to get rid of all the dirt and germs, but if you're not using bleach or very hot water, you're not killing the bacteria. Most of the hot water people use is not hot enough, as you need it to be between 140 and 150 degrees to kill germs. If you're using cold water, wash your hands after you handle wet clothes, especially if you're washing children's clothes, as they tend to carry a lot more things.

Using the right concentration of bleach will kill the bacteria, but using bleach isn't always appropriate. so if you can't use chlorine bleach, you may want to resort to something like Clorox 2 because it has peroxide. Another option is to periodically clean your washing machine with bleach and water without any clothing in it -- just let the machine go through its regular cycle.

One of the most effective and natural germ-killers is the sun, so scientists say avoid the dryer altogether and let your clothes dry outside as the ultraviolet radiation kills germs, and is just as effective as bleach.

Light Switches

These can have up to 217 bacteria per square inch. Forget the comforter, light switches in hotel rooms are said to be one of the germiest spots in your room.


Did you know that after 8-10 years your mattress will nearly double in weight thanks to the number of dust mites and dust mite poop that it has collected? Aside from that fact, mattresses are a breeding ground for bacteria, specifically norovirus, staphylococcus, and campylobacter. These bacteria can lead to diarrhea, skin infections, and even death.


It’s a good idea to wash your hands after directly handling cash. Bank notes can have up to 6.4 times more bacteria. (Herald Sun) Did you know money can carry the flu virus for up to 17 days after coming in contact with it? Another solid case for credit cards.

Office Desks

The average desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet. While some people are lucky enough to have a cleaning service wash down their desks every day (or so they say), but what about your home office desk? On average, the area where you rest your hand on a desk probably has about 10 million bacteria on it.

Pet Food Bowls

The inside rim alone contains 2,110 bacteria per square inch. Bacteria from your pet's mouth remain in the bowl after they're done eating. If left unwashed, they begin to teem with bacteria. Think about that the next time your dog licks your cheek!


How often do you change your pillows? Pillows contain dust mites, skin cells, dead bugs, body secretions, fungal spores, pollens, and other body secretions are all floating around on this item that you lay your head on at night. They also come to make up a third of the weight of your pillow. Pillows are breeding grounds for MRSA, c. diff, flu bugs and even leprosy. It's recommended to change out your pillows every six months or so.


Most every refrigerator in the world has traces of E. coli, salmonella, and listeria which lead to 48 million sicknesses a year. 3,000 of these people die due to the sickness. The vegetable and meat containers are the biggest problems, considering their contents are usually unwashed or raw and contain live bacteria.

Restaurant Menus

There are on average 100 times more bacteria on restaurant menus than on restroom toilet seat. We all know menus are never cleaned, and just how many people touch these menus each day, week, month? It's been researched, and restaurant menus have 185,000 bacteria per square centimeter. Children and those with weaker immune systems are very likely to get sick from touching menus.

Reusable Shopping Bags

Nobody washes their reusable shopping bags, but after hearing this, you will probably start. Traces of fecal matter and other bacteria transported from unwashed food stay in the bags and transfer to the next week's groceries. This can lead to stomach flu among other sicknesses.

Shopping Carts

Much like restaurant menus, grocery carts fall prey to being touched by lots of hands and receiving little cleaning. Throw in the germs that may come off raw food and the likelihood that a snotty kid was chewing on that handle and you’re not likely to visit the grocery store again without some latex gloves.

Shower Head

You’d think the water coming out of the spicket designed to clean your body would actually be clean right? Well apparently the warm, dark, and moist insides of shower heads are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria

Soap Dispensers

One out of every four hand soap dispensers in public bathrooms are contaminated with germs that could lead to illness. Air dryers will blow away 45 % of germs left on hands, but that still leaves plenty to infect you. Hands free soap dispensers greatly reduce your chance of becoming ill.

Steering Wheels

Although you may not think of it, your car is actually a breeding ground for all types of bacteria. Think about how often you touch something public before driving like a grocery cart, an ATM keypad, a gas were paying attention earlier right? Add to all that the occasional cough or sneeze…and you’ve "up-ed" the gross factor. In fact, an average steering wheel may have up to 700 bacteria per square inch.

Television Remotes

In many households this is one of the dirtiest items you can handle in your entire house. It's never cleaned, and it's touched daily after God knows what else everyone living there has touched during that day. Over 50% of remotes in a recent study tested positive for rhinovirus, which can live there a few days, and becomes the predominant cause of the common cold.


Absorbs all sorts of nasty bacteria looming in your bathroom. When you flush your toilet the germs can travel up to 6 feet and linger for up to 2 hours. A lot of them end up on toothbrushes. (Men's Health)


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