Phones, Tablets and Electronics
Cell phones contain more bacteria than a toilet seat, according to numerous studies. In fact, more than 94.5 percent of cell phones harbor bacteria which can cause pink eye, the flu or diarrhea, according to a study published in the Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials.
Buttons, Switches and Door Knobs
Buttons, switches and door knobs are also a common place for bacteria to reside. A 2014 study of hospital elevator buttons found 40 times more bacteria than a public toilet seat, according to researchers at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Research including a 2006 University of Arizona study indicates between 20 percent and 40 percent of Americans eat in their cars which contributes to bacteria growth due to food spills and crumbs. Steering wheels are rarely ever disinfected and have about nine times more bacteria than a toilet seat, according to a U.K. study.
Faucets and Bathrooms
While electronics, buttons and steering wheels may harbor more bacteria than a toilet seat, the number of people who don't wash their hands is alarming. In 2013, Michigan State University researchers observed 3,700 people in public restrooms. Of those, 33 percent didn't use soap and 10 percent didn't wash their hands at all. To make it worse, the average wash time was only six seconds, or 14 seconds below the CDC's recommendation for hand washing.
Refrigerators and Microwaves
More than 20 percent of workers indicate their office fridge is rarely or never cleaned, according to the The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Refrigerators and microwaves can harbor bacteria in the inside and on the outside if they are not regularly disinfected and cleaned out. Moldy and spoiled food can be easily avoided by dating lunches and having a cleaning schedule. In addition, the USDA recommends making sure handles and outer surfaces are wiped down.