Hidden Germs In Your Home Are Not Where You Would Expect Them

If you are anything like me, you can’t help but wipe the bathroom down almost every time you are in there – especially if you go after a eight-year-old boy.

There are only so many hours in a day to get the house in order, so naturally picking and choosing the “dirtiest” places first seems logical.

Well, you are about to have your mind blown, because in an effort to hit the highlights we have neglected some of the most filth-ridden areas of the home – and they aren’t what you would expect.

The term germaphobe is tossed around a lot in mommy circles. It denotes the individual who wipes down everything before letting their child touch it, and cringes when they see their toddler eat a cheerio off the ground. 

If you would consider yourself a germaphobe then be forewarned that you are not going to like what you it about to be revealed. 

Contrary to popular belief, the toilet is actually one of the least germ-infested areas in your home, according to microbiologist Charles Gerba, of the University of Arizona.

Gerba said in an interview on CNN where you are more likely to find disgusting bacteria:

There’s more fecal bacteria in your kitchen sink than there is in a toilet after you flush it. That’s why your dog drinks out of the toilet. He’s smarter than you think.”

Constantly focusing on the bathrooms in our cleaning regimen has caused other areas to be neglected and fester with bacteria. 

Our own bacteria generally doesn’t make us ill, but cleaning after a guest uses the bathroom isn’t a bad idea. 

Germs like hanging out on the hand towels more than the toilet seat, according to Gerba. He says on CNN:

“E. coli grows quite well on towels. Within about three or four days, you’ll get fecal bacteria in the towel easily because it’s wet, it’s moist.”

Eww! Theoretically, a hand towel would stay clean because it is used after a user washes their hands- but theories don’t always pan out.

To drive the point home further, Gerba gave a lively comparison of your towels and toilet:

You’ll get more E. coli in your face when you dry your face with a towel at home than if you stuck your head in a toilet and flushed. You’ve got to use hot water wash and dry towels really well.”

Even more contaminated than our hand towels is the place we would least expect germs to be hiding – our kitchen.

Our kitchen is where we prepare foods that could be harboring bacteria such as salmonella and E. Coli, according to Gerba, and we don’t sanitize our sinks and counters near enough.

Recent surveys of homes found more fecal bacteria on a cutting board in the average home than a toilet seat,” disclosed Gerba.


A quick wipe down of the kitchen is not enough, you need to sanitize cutting boards and any other area you prepare food.

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Sponges are also a hot spot for salmonella, with as many as 15% infected as we sit here in shock, warns Gerba.

Other areas of neglect are the refrigerator handles and the water reservoirs of the coffee pot (yes, you are supposed to be cleaning those).

No need to cancel your lunch plans to hot wash all the towels and bleach the kitchen from ceiling to floor, but being more cautious of how you maintain a clean home would be advisable for the future. 

On the other hand, don’t neglect your bathroom to get militant on your kitchen sink. 

Strike a healthy balance of sanitization and sanity, creating a sustainable schedule to stay on top of the “hot spots” and keep harmful bacteria and virus’ at bay.

Please let us know in the comments section if you regularly clean your water reservoir of your coffee maker.