Healthy Living

The 8 Germiest Things You Touch Every Day

Sep 1 2020

In addition to wearing a face mask in public and practicing physical distancing from others, one of the best ways to stay healthy during this COVID-19 pandemic is by washing your hands. Perform this task before and after eating, after using the restroom, after sneezing or coughing, and after taking care of a child or animal can help keep germs at bay.

Also, be sure to wash your hands after handling any of the following items. Why? It turns out some of the most common things that you touch the most every day are also the germiest.


The average smartphone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day. Whether you carry it around or just send a ton of texts, you probably don’t realize how many germs you come across when you touch it. Smartphones can even carry fecal matter. Handwashing can help keep your phone clean. It’s also best to wipe your phone with a disinfectant wet wipe daily.

Dish sponges

That sponge beside your sink is packed with germs. It’s usually the germiest thing in your entire house! You can keep some bacteria at bay by sticking the sponge in the microwave for a minute every day. Toss it out every other week or when it starts to smell bad. Washing your hands after washing dishes is the best way to avoid spreading those germs around the house.


You can’t clean money, but you can wash your hands after you touch it. When you think about all the other people who have handled those bills, you’ll probably want to. Studies have shown that most cash in circulation has about 3,000 types of bacteria on it.

Shopping carts

There’s something else thousands of other people touch that you touch too: shopping carts. Every time you buy groceries, you might expose yourself to E. coli. That’s because most shoppers handle raw meat. Handwashing after you grocery shop is a must.

Toothbrush holder

If you think the toilet is the dirtiest thing in your bathroom, guess again. It’s actually your toothbrush holder. That’s because the germs in your mouth stick to your toothbrush. Once you put your toothbrush in the holder, those germs travel down inside of it and stay there. Wash your holder frequently in your dishwasher to keep it clean.


What’s the next dirtiest thing in your bathroom? Probably your towels. No matter how clean you think you are, you still have germs that transfer to those towels after you shower or wash your hands. Wash your towels after two days or two uses to keep germs at bay. Use bleach and hot water whenever possible.

Your purse

If you carry a purse, you probably think it’s pretty clean. Sadly, it’s not. Your hands are frequently in it, whether you’ve washed them or not. If you have kids or a partner, their hands may even reach into it frequently. Don’t forget that you set your purse down in dirty places too, whether it’s in a public restroom or just driving in your car.

Remote control

Just like your smartphone, your TV remote is something you probably touch every day along with everyone else in your house. The remote falls on the floor, too. You can wipe it down daily to help kill some germs.

Stay updated on what Mercy Health is doing related to COVID-19.

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