Busted! 7 Places You Didn’t Know Were Germ Bombs

Did you know that your currency notes have more germs than the toilet seat? 

Updated14 Aug 2015, 06:23 AM IST
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4 min read

You avoid touching toilet seats and stay away from garbage cans. You’re paranoid about germs. You wash your hands, use sanitisers, fancy lotions and think you’re living in a germ-free environment?

Let me break your bubble.

A germ free zone is not only absurd but also pointless. You have no idea that the dirty surfaces which you touch on a daily basis are germ bombs! And no, we aren’t talking toilet seats. Read on.

1. Money

Scientists in Delhi found that Indian currency notes carry more than 78 types of bacteria and 18 antibiotic-resistant germs! (Photo: The Quint)
Scientists in Delhi found that Indian currency notes carry more than 78 types of bacteria and 18 antibiotic-resistant germs! (Photo: The Quint)

A group of scientists from the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) in the National Capital have just found that your wallet has a lot in common with the local crack den! It’s packing nothing but filth and diseases, that’s what!

The phrase “dirty money” is for real. Delhi scientists collected currency notes from the all over the city; street vendors, grocery stores, hardware shops, snack bars, chemists etc, and found that the notes carry more than 78 disease causing bacteria, fungus, and even antibiotic resistant germs.

Creepy right?

Maybe the secret to stop the spread of all this bacteria and fungus from getting on our cash is by installing a tiny-money-size disinfectant in ATM machines. So the money gets wiped spotless clean before it comes out ? I am sorry. It sounds stupid. I touched a lot of cash today, and I’m all itchy and getting tons of crazy ideas!

2. Cell Phones

What’s on your smartphone? Probably fecal matter! (Photo: iStock)
What’s on your smartphone? Probably fecal matter! (Photo: iStock)

It goes with you everywhere, gets set on dirty counters, tables, dropped who-knows-where, and everything your fingers touch goes on your screen.

A 2012 Purdue University investigation found cell phones had 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat! YIKES.

Not surprising, considering no one gets off the toilet seat till they pass another level of candy crush!

3. TV / AC Remote

Remotes are difficult to clean and touched by everyone in the house. Clean it regularly with an alcohol sanitiser. (Photo: iStock)
Remotes are difficult to clean and touched by everyone in the house. Clean it regularly with an alcohol sanitiser. (Photo: iStock)

It may never make it beyond the living room, but your TV remote is covered with germs. It’s held by dirty hands, tossed under cushions, falls on the floor, coughed on, sneezed at. The thing is, the most innocent looking TV and AC remotes are heavily contaminated with bacteria.

If you are a hygiene freak, don’t even think about touching hotel remotes without cleaning them with an alcohol based wipe.

4. Soap Dispensers in Public Loos

In public loos, soap dispensers that are repeatedly refilled with liquid soap, and rarely ever cleaned (Photo: iStock)
In public loos, soap dispensers that are repeatedly refilled with liquid soap, and rarely ever cleaned (Photo: iStock)

Public loos give me the goosebumps. When in a mall, I will do anything to not touch the loo door. But it’s not just the seat or the door, the wacky thing is, the soap dispensers are also germ hubs!

You grow up thinking soap is the holy grail of hygiene but did you know that something which removes germs can also be a big source of infection?

Now washing your hands after touching the germ-infested dispenser increases the concentration of bacteria which will go only if you scrub for more than a minute.

5. Keys

Keys are common hotspots for bacteria and mold (Photo: iStock)
Keys are common hotspots for bacteria and mold (Photo: iStock)

They jiggle in your pockets, purses and hang around with loose change which has been touched by a gazillion people! Your keys are little germ treasure islands.

Clean them regularly with soap and warm water. Ignore if you love thousands of germs floating in your pockets and handbags.

6. Door Handles

Not everyone washes their hands after using the loo and you touch the same public door knob which is dirtier than the potty seat? Ewwww. (Photo: The Quint)
Not everyone washes their hands after using the loo and you touch the same public door knob which is dirtier than the potty seat? Ewwww. (Photo: The Quint)

It makes sense. Lots of hands, lots of touches, lots of germs!

There are two kinds of people in the world: The normal ones, who wash their hands after using the loo and others who don’t; clearly indicating they were raised in a jungle (forgive me!). Exactly why I use tissue paper to touch door knobs all the time.

7. Restaurant Menus

The biggest germ traps found in restaurants have nothing to do with undercooked food or reused oil (Photo: iStock)
The biggest germ traps found in restaurants have nothing to do with undercooked food or reused oil (Photo: iStock)

It’s the menu and the seats you should be worried about when eating out. A 2012 New York University study found that restaurant menus are germier than toilet seats. Yech! Menus touch your plate, the cutlery, your hands and they are rarely ever cleaned. Be wary if your little ones put them in their mouths!

(Photo: The Quint)
(Photo: The Quint)

Now that you’re more aware, don’t forget to share this information on Facebook, Twitter or whatever the cool kids are using.

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

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Published: 01 Jul 2015, 12:32 PM IST

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