Top 10 Germiest Surfaces You Should Know About

You might think to wipe down your buggy handle at the grocery store, but what about your office phone or your seat at a restaurant? Wherever you go, germs are lurking. But being aware of the biggest bacteria hot spots can help you avoid getting sick.

  1. Restaurants

    When researchers investigated the germiest spots in restaurants, they found that chairs topped the list, with 70% containing bad bacteria. Menus and lemon wedges came in second.

  2. Offices

    It’s not your keyboard, mouse or chair that holds the most bacteria in your office — it’s your phone! In one study, researchers found 60 different types of bacteria on an office phone. Desks were also found to be ridden with bacteria.

  3. Grocery stores

    The germiest spot in a supermarket lies in the frozen food isle. Refrigerator doors tend to carry over 300,0000 colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch. That’s 4.5 times more than a shopping cart!

  4. Airports

    It’s no secret that airports are filled with germs. But when researchers swabbed various surfaces, they found that the trays in the security line contain the most bacteria — even more than airport toilets and handrails!

  5. Airplanes

    Airplanes are another common offender when it comes to bad bacteria. Seat headrests top the list of the germiest spots, followed closely by fold-down tray tables and seat pockets.

  6. Doctors’ offices

    You might go to the doctor’s when you’re sick, but it turns out you can pick up even more harmful bacteria while you’re there. Researchers found that clipboard pens carry 8 million CFU per square inch. To put that into perspective, it’s 46,000 times more than what a toilet seat might contain.

  7. Dentist offices

    Before you cancel your next trip to the dentist, rest assured that the tools and equipment used inside your mouth contain the lowest amounts of bacteria. Armrests on patient chairs and office phones take the cake for germiest spots!

  8. Your own home

    If you think the germiest room in your home is the bathroom, guess again. Researchers found that 77% of sponges and rags in the kitchen contain bacteria that often include Salmonella and E. coli. Time to replace yours?

  9. Bathrooms

    The kitchen might be the germiest room in your home, but the bathroom is also a hot spot. Surprisingly, the worst offender isn’t the toilet seat. Toothbrush holders carry the most germs.

  10. Hotels

Don’t let a mint on the pillow fool you: There are plenty of spots in hotel rooms that housekeeping tends to miss. At the top of the list — light switches. They contain 112.7 CFU of bacteria per square inch — the majority being fecal bacteria. TV remotes came in second.