We're in the middle of cold and flu season, which means germs abound this time of year. In an effort to help stop the spread of germs, CityMD released a list of the five dirtiest, germiest items we touch in our day-to-day lives. CityMD refers to these items as the "Filthy Five" and reveals exactly what makes them so, well, filthy. Not only did they reveal which everyday items are most packed with germs, they also shared some tips on how to prevent them from getting even dirtier. So, without further ado, here are CityMD's "Filthy Five":
5.Let's talk about your cellphone. Or let's not; because one in six cellphones hold a dirty, little secret: they're contaminated by fecal matter. ’Nuff said. Just swab yours down every so often with a disinfectant wipe to be safe, and too keep it from being one of the dirtiest things in the house.
4. Bathroom hand towels. Yes, you wash your hands after going to the bathroom. The problem is most of us don't wash them too thoroughly. We then wipe them off on a hand towel, which remains damp and serves as a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Compound that with the fact that most people only wash their towels once a week or so, and you have an even bigger problem.
3.Your toothbrush holder. The chances are it's one of the dirtiest things in the house. In fact, a 2011 public health organization report found that 27 percent of toothbrush holders tested positive for coliform bacteria, which includes Salmonella and E. coli.
2.Your kitchen cutting board. You've probably heard about this bacteria breeding ground before, so we can't stress the importance of thoroughly cleaning and scrubbing this surface enough. In fact, a run through the dishwasher occasionally is ideal.
1. And finally the winner (or loser) is – “ding!” “ding!” “ding!” – your kitchen sink sponge. This household item is home to hundreds of millions of potentially harmful bacteria. In fact, a whopping 75 percent of kitchen sponges are teeming with coliform bacteria.
In order to keep these items as clean as possible, CityMD recommends disinfecting and washing these common items – and your hands – frequently. Another way to avoid spreading germs and grime from these items? Toss them. According to CityMD, if something gets too grungy to clean properly you shouldn't "take a chance" on them. The motto they recommend following is simple: when in doubt, throw it out.