What everyday object is dirtier than your toilet seat – and how often should you clean it?

Did you know that your phone can be dirtier than your toilet seat?

Some people may not know how long some of the everyday items we have in our homes last on average and how exactly to keep them clean.

A microbiologist has revealed the truth behind the cleanliness of everything from where we lay our heads at night to the way we clean our dishes.

When you think of germs in the house, you might automatically think of the trash can or the toilet, but some of the dirtiest items can be the most surprising, and in fact, according to Dr. Jose Bengoechea one of the cleanest rooms in the house – Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Center Director of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast.

His interest in antibiotic resistance to infection provides him with a broad knowledge of how simple household items can be dangerous to our health.

While we occasionally venture into a full spring cleaning, Dr. Bengoechea points out that cleaning our homes is often one of the most important things we can do to stay healthy and prevent dangerous microbes from growing in places we least suspect.

The expert said while these microbes wouldn’t be immediately dangerous to a fit and healthy person, they could become so over time.

“For example, if someone cuts their hand and is near the perfect environment for microbes to grow, they could get a very bad infection,” he said.

Toothbrush – replace every month

Toothbrushes unknowingly contain millions of bacteria and while most microbes in your mouth cannot survive outside in the air, some can and risk multiplying over time.

One way to prevent this is to change your toothbrush every month and rinse well with water after each use and let it air dry in an upright position. It’s also good practice to keep your toothbrush away from your toilet — for obvious reasons.

Kitchen surfaces – clean after each use

dr Bengoechea explained that the kitchen is the ideal environment for dangerous microbes to grow. “The normal temperature of a kitchen in this country is the ideal environment for microbes, generally around 20 degrees Celsius or higher,” he said.

“Heat and humidity are the two factors required considering how dangerous microbes can multiply, so maintaining clean surfaces with antibacterial cleaning products is crucial to protecting the kitchen environment.”

Kitchen sponge – wash weekly, change monthly

The kitchen sponge is ideal for microbes to survive and multiply. dr Bengoechea said that although everyone has microbes on their skin and it’s normal, they can only multiply when they touch other surfaces and food particles, when they’re wet, and if they’re not changed regularly, both yourself and can contaminate other surfaces. “It’s good practice to wash sponges weekly with hot water and change your sponge every month or month and a half,” he said.

Kitchen Utensils – Clean after each use

The dishwasher is the safest choice when it comes to disinfecting your kitchen utensils. Because the water temperature can reach up to 70 degrees, which is ideal for killing germs.

Can openers and rubber spatulas should be put in the dishwasher after each use as they can pick up most germs. If you don’t have a dishwasher, hand wash the utensils in hot, soapy water. You can also sanitize your can opener by cleaning it in water with bleach.

Mobile phone – disinfect monthly

Did you know that your phone can be as dirty as your toilet seat? Just like your TV remote control. Every surface that you touch regularly and daily is at risk of dangerous microbes and needs to be disinfected regularly. A good practice would be to thoroughly clean these surfaces with an alcohol swab every month to ensure all harmful germs are killed.


File photo dated 09/24/21 of an Apple iPhone 13

Coffee machine – descale twice a year

As with most kitchen appliances, heat will kill any harmful germs, but over time – and with regular use – these can multiply.

With coffee machines, it is important to clean them twice a year with a descaler to prevent the growth of microorganisms. Also remember to change the water after each use.

Sometimes equipment that is not of high quality needs to be replaced every two years.

Fridge – Clean surfaces every three months

While microbes generally don’t grow well in temperatures below four degrees – the average temperature of a fridge – it’s still important to clean it regularly.

Interior surfaces should be cleaned every three months and remember to check the date and condition of the food you have in your fridge before adding fresh food.

Pug – clean once a week

Mops are both wet and damp, which are perfect conditions for bacteria and microbes to grow. You could be at risk of spreading bad bacteria on your floors instead of cleaning them if your mop is just as dirty.

It’s best to clean your mop once a week—or more often if you use it more frequently—with a few drops of bleach to kill any bad germs. Make sure your mop is stored in a clean and dry place after cleaning.

Tap handles – clean every day

When cleaning kitchen surfaces, it is also important to regularly wipe down the faucet handles – both in the kitchen and in the bathroom.

People generally use their dirty hands to turn on the faucet, so it makes sense that there’s going to be a lot more bacteria there, so try to make a habit of wiping down faucets when cleaning other surfaces with sanitizer spray.

Cutting board – clean after each use

If you use your chopping board to cut meat and vegetables, it’s clear that it needs to be cleaned after each use, be it for small or large batches.

Sometimes grooved cutting boards can accumulate more food debris and be dangerous if they collect harmful bacteria.

After cleaning with hot soapy water, make sure your cutting board stays dry.

Keyboard – disinfect regularly

Much like how many bacteria can accumulate on your phone or TV remote control, your keyboard that you use for work every day can also be a hotspot for germs.

Apparently, researchers have found that your keyboard contains 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. So remember to regularly disinfect carefully with an alcohol wipe.

https://www.independent.ie/life/which-everyday-item-is-dirtier-than-your-toilet-seat-and-how-often-should-you-be-cleaning-41862303.html What everyday object is dirtier than your toilet seat – and how often should you clean it?

Fry Electronics Team

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