You grew up being told to “not touch this” and “don’t touch that” in public places. Littered with bacteria and germs, there many gross items that never get cleaned.
A simple solution is to carry a travel pack of sanitizing wipes or and sanitizer and some tissues. If you prefer to travel light, here’s a list of some of the dirtiest things to avoid:
1. Fast Food Trays
People are in a hurry, I get it. But have you ever seen someone at a fast food restaurant wipe down the stack of trays sitting above the garbage can before returning them to the pile? I didn’t think so.
2. The Floor Of A Movie Theater
The floors of a movie theater hardly get mopped- just think about all the shoes and boots tromping in every day. You may want to think twice about setting your purse on the floor next time you catch a flick.
3. Light Switches
Light switches are most likely the first (and last) thing you touch when entering and leaving a room. One study found that light switches are some of the dirtiest things in hotel rooms. When in doubt, use your elbow to turn a light on and off.
4. Conveyor Belts At The Grocery Store
Yahoo reports on a 2009 study that 100 belts at 42 different stores were analyzed. It was determined that all contained microbial germs on them. Make sure to wrap your fresh produce before laying on the belt because…eww.
5. Public Cup Holders
In a cab, on a bus, or in a movie theater, cup holders rarely get cleaned. Before you stick your drink in one, consider wiping it down with a cleaning wipe or hand-sanitizer and tissue.
6. Cup Lids
How many times have you gone to grab a lid and two got stuck together? If you’re like me, you throw the other one away. But many just fumble around with the other lid and put it back on the stack. Next time, go green – and bring your own mug.
7. Refrigerator Handles
We all know that grocery cart handles are laden with germs. But what about the fridges at the supermarket? Yes, those are dirty too.
8. Glasses In A Store
Unless you’re seriously considering purchasing a pair of shades or glasses, refrain from putting a pair of opticals right up to your eyes. A study by The Good Housekeeping Institute tested glasses and found bacteria on all samples. If you must try them on, wipe with an antibacterial cloth first.
9. Condiment Containers At A Restaurant
Having worked in the food service industry, I personally saw containers and bottles (accidentally) get tipped over and knocked on the floor. Also, when wait staff set-up and break-down tables for the day, they often don’t wash their hands before grabbing the containers. This includes the salt & pepper shakers too.
10. Remotes – In The Office, In A Hotel, Everywhere
Think of all the places there’s a tv or electronic gadget that’s operated by a remote. The TVs at the gym, the bar or confernce rooms in your office..shall I keep going? These aren’t cleaned frequently. If you need to use it, wipe it down first, or immediately wash your hands afterwards.
11. Window Shades On A Plane
A study from Auburn University found that MRSA can live on a plane shade (and tray table) for up to 120 hours. Gross.