these five everyday objects aren’t as clean as you think

If cell phones, toilet seats, keys or handbags have a justifiable reputation for harboring their share of bacteria, so are certain everyday items, no matter how unexpected.

Illustrative photo Ralphs_Fotos/Pixabay

kitchen sponge

We use it to clean so you would think it is clean. But it is precisely use on the surfaces to be cleaned (table, worktop or dirty dishes) that makes it a real bacterial incubator. The latter make short work of food scraps or traces of sauce that they pick up to develop, especially because the sponge is regularly wet (humidity also promotes the spread of germs).

A 2002 study conducted for the Japanese chemical company Kao (1) revealed that after the siphons, the kitchen sponge has the second highest load of coliforms (bacteria that live in the gut of warm-blooded animals) in the entire house.

A new study, published in 2017 in the Scientific Reports (2), showed that it is indeed use that gives the sponge its bacterial load, the latter being close to zero when the sponge is new. After a single use, the presence of proteobacteria (especially E. coli and salmonella) is 68%.

Faced with this risk of intense proliferation, it is recommended to wash your sponge two to three times a week, preferably at 60°C. If these washes make it possible to partially eliminate the bacteria, the maximum useful life of a sponge should in principle not exceed two weeks.



The remote control

You may have made a habit of sanitizing your phone regularly, but you’d better apply the same routine to your remote. It passes from hand to hand at any time of the day, becoming a receptacle for all kinds of germs and bacteria.

It even goes beyond the toilet seat: In a 2012 study conducted by the American Society for Microbiology (3), researchers found 290 potentially pathogenic microorganisms per square centimeter, 20 times more than toilet equipment.-C. A cloth with a disinfectant is therefore essential!

Photo illustration manbob86/Pixabay

Photo illustration manbob86/Pixabay

The hidden side of your pillow

Whether you spend a quiet or restless night, these few hours in your bed are certainly not easy for your pillow. Dust mites and germs settle there at night, despite the presence of a pillowcase, which reaches more than a third of the pillow’s weight, according to a study conducted by the British Public Health Authority on equipment at St Bartholomew’s University Hospital (London) ) .

The times even reports that the research director hypothesized that pillows are potential carriers of healthcare-associated infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus.

To remedy this, changing the pillowcase is not enough. For synthetic pillows, a washing machine spin at 60°C is recommended every three months, when down pillows have to be dry-cleaned. The latter still offer superior protection thanks to their tighter weave to hold the springs.

It is recommended to air the room daily, as the mites dry out when exposed to sunlight.

Succo/Pixabay illustration photo

Succo/Pixabay illustration photo


After scaling at your dentist, he may have advised you to replace your toothbrush to avoid further contamination. Yes, a recent study from the University of Manchester (4) found that the toothbrush harbors as many as ten million bacteria, more than the seat or floor of public toilets.

Illustrative photo YouComMedia/Pixabay

Illustrative photo YouComMedia/Pixabay

the mat

There are those who rush to take off their shoes as soon as they walk in the door, and there are those who feel completely comfortable and can even keep them on at home. In addition to the fact that the soles of your shoes have collected a number of types of bacteria on the streets, including fecal bacteria, an article published on March 16 at The conversation† To avoid any presence, even microscopic ones, of feces on the floor of your home, take off your shoes as soon as possible.

And if a passage on the doormat allows you to remove a large part of the bacteria on the soles of your shoes through friction, it can necessarily have the opposite effect, because over time it becomes the receptacle of amount of of bacteria. Just like the sponge, it should also benefit from good regular cleaning.

Living room, kitchen, bathroom and even bed… bacteria and germs are indeed ubiquitous in our daily lives. If the objects described above need careful maintenance, it will never be possible to remove all the dirt and all the better! Exposure to bacteria actually helps develop an effective immune system and reduces the risk of allergies.

(1) Ojima, M., Toshima, Y., Koya, E., Ara, K., Tokuda, H., Kawai, S., Kasuga, F. and Ueda, N. (2002), Hygiene measures considering the actual distribution of microorganisms in Japanese households. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 93: 800-809.

(2) Cardinale, M., Kaiser, D., Lueders, T. et al. Microbiome analysis and confocal microscopy of spent kitchen sponges reveal massive colonization by Acinetobacter, Moraxella and Chryseobacterium species. Sci Rep 7, 5791 (2017).

(3) American Society of Microbiology. “Remotes are one of the most contaminated objects in hotel rooms.” ScienceDaily, June 17, 2012.

(4) “A single toothbrush can contain more than 10 million bacteria.” The Free Library. 2017 Asianet-Pakistan 09 May. 2022

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