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Germs are everywhere, it’s true. Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t present. Here are six more common places germs like to hide.
- Soap dispensers. Just when you think you’re safe… Even though it contains the product that removes bacteria from your hands, soap dispensers are a breeding ground for bacteria. It would shock you just how many germs you come into contact with while making your way from the restroom stall to the sink. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and keep a hand sanitizer in your bag or in your pocket for extra cleanliness. Before grabbing the door handle, remember to apply sanitizer once you leave – there are so many who touch the door handle without washing their hands after using the restroom.
- Grocery/shopping carts. Have you ever entered a store and spotted a hand sanitizer stand by the carts? There is a reason for this – the cart you choose could be housing up to 11 million microorganisms, especially if raw meat has been handled. Dirty diapers can also come into contact with the cart’s seat, which may be where you place your produce. Take advantage of the store’s sanitizer wipe to stand and clean before shopping.
- Elevator buttons. If you’re aware of the germs present on door handles, know that the same caution should be used with elevator buttons. Try to push them with your elbow, take the stairs, or apply sanitizer after pressing with your hands.
- Hotel/motel rooms. The room may look clean, but just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. The TV remote is typically the dirtiest item in the room; bring some sanitizer wipes with you to clean it before handling. Some other dirty items include the bedside lamp switch, the bedspread, hair dryer, telephone, and drinking glasses that don’t have a protective plastic wrap around them.
- Children come into contact with so many germs on a daily basis, especially while at the playground. If their hands are dirty, they only become dirtier by grabbing slides and swings used by other children. The dirtiest area in the playground is the sandbox, which has 36 times more germs than a cafeteria food tray. Why? Because it’s the perfect environment for bacteria – they love hiding in warm, moist places. When packing a bag for a trip to the playground, take some hand sanitizer and wipes along with you.
- ATM Machines. Germs are everywhere on these, from the keypad to the money that is dispensed. If bacteria from a flu virus should come into contact with a dollar bill, it can live on the surface for up to 17 days. No one uses gloves while handling money, so imagine the number of germs that come into contact while the ATM is being restocked. There are future plans for ATM machines to have antimicrobial glass touchscreens, but until then it is best to press the buttons with a pen and/or use hand sanitizer afterward.