- Your Dishwasher
While you might think the appliances high temperatures and rigorous cycles might be enough to thoroughly clean the dishwasher itself, a recent study found the extreme environment supports microbial survival. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia and Ghent University in Belgium found various bacteria and fungi after studying the rubber seals of 24 washers.
- Your Kids’ Bath Toys
In a study published online this month, a team of researchers in the U.S. and Switzerland studied 19 bath toys “used under real conditions.” Researchers found fungi in 58 percent of them.
They suggested the plastic material of the toy, the quality of the tap water, and the “nutrients from care products and human body fluids” could be the culprits.
- Your Toothbrush Holder
For a 2011 study on the “germiest places in the home” by NSF International, which develops public health standards for consumer goods, the organization had 22 families swab 30 items around their homes. After researchers tested the swabs for coliform bacteria such as E. coli, they found the germs on more than one-quarter of the toothbrush holders.
- Your Cellphone
That thing you hold up to your face every day likely needs a good cleaning, too. In a study published online last year, researchers in Estonia looked at students’ cellphones and found a high level of contamination with potentially pathogenic bacteria. In 2012, researchers at the University of Arizona said cellphones can “carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats,” and in 2011, neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta tested CNN host Anderson Cooper’s phone for bacteria and found fecal strep.