7 Everyday Items that are Dirtier Than Your Toilet Seat

Do you usually place piles of toilet paper on the office toilet seat before using it? Well, it turns out that doesn’t help prevent the transfer of bacteria.

What’s more surprising is that the toilet seat is cleaner than many of the items you use every day. Don’t believe me? Here are seven items researchers say are dirtier than a toilet seat.

7 Everyday Items that are Dirtier Than Your Toilet Seat

1. Your Phone and Tablets

Research shows that phones and tablets can contain up to 30 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. While most of the pathogens on the phone are not harmful, researchers say some could make you sick.

You can reduce exposure to germs by regularly wiping your gadget’s screen with screen wipe or soft cloth.

2. Office Desktop

You might be contaminating your meals, if you usually eat at your office desk. Research from the University of Arizona shows that the average office desktop has 400 times more bacteria than an office toilet seat.

In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspect that desk dirt might have caused stomach flu that affected 100 people at a Washington D.C. elementary school.

Cleaning and disinfecting the gadgets on your desk regularly can help reduce the dirt.

3. Elevator Buttons

Hundreds of people press the elevator buttons every day, each one of them leaving germs. A study carried out on banks, restaurants, hotels, and airports found that an elevator button has 40 times more bacteria than a public toilet seat.

Let other people press the buttons first, and hope you’re going to the same floor. If you end up pressing the button, remember to wash your hands.

4. Pet’s Food Bowl

Pet food bowls contain dangerous germs that could make you sick, according to research. The bacteria in pet bowls—which include E.coli, salmonella and MRSA—can be transferred from the pet to the owner.

Keep your pet’s food bowl clean by washing it after every meal with hot water and baking soda or soap.

5. Cutting Board

Charles P. Gerba, a professor at the University of Arizona found that cutting boards contain 200 times more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat. Most of the bacteria come from chopping raw meat on the board. The good news is the bacteria die, if you cook your meal properly.

Check out these tips for how to clean your cutting board for a healthier kitchen.

6. The Kitchen Sponge

Arizona researchers say that the kitchen sponge is the most contaminated item in the kitchen. And just like the chopping board, most of the bacteria comes from raw meat. This goes to show that vegans are safer, since they are not exposed to fecal bacteria.

Learn more about how to keep your kitchen sponge from harboring bacteria.

7. Your Handbag

Research from the U.K shows that handbags are three times dirtier than a toilet seat. Most of these germs attach themselves to your handbag when you carry it with you to the bathroom.

Clearly, we can’t avoid using some of these items, but you can lower your risk of infections by reducing the use of antibiotics. Gerba explains that unnecessary use of antibiotics leads to an increase in drug-resistant bacteria.

Cleaning and disinfecting these items helps reduce germs by 10 to 37 percent.

Images via Thinkstock


Paula A
Paula A24 days ago

thank you for sharing

Emma L
Emma Labout a month ago

thank you

Greta L
Greta L2 months ago


Frances G
Frances G2 months ago

thank you

Louise R
Past Member 2 months ago

thanks for sharing

J Wells
J Wells4 months ago

I won't use sponges. I can't even stand the thought of touching one after it's been used just once

Peggy B
Peggy B4 months ago


Janis K
Janis K4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Kathy G
Kathy G4 months ago

Thank you

Kathy G
Kathy G4 months ago

Thank you