Filth is everywhere. It's inescapable, even on things we'd assume are clean and healthy to use - like weights at the gym, or soda fountain spigots, or even your own belt. Maybe carrying around some Purell isn't such a bad idea after all...
CSMaNa asked: What is dirtier than people realize?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
10. Next time I'm wearing gloves.
The holes in bowling balls. The shoes are disinfected after each use, but no one disinfects those holes
I'm a germaphobe who very briefly worked at a bowling alley. Sprayed a large amount of disinfectant in all the holes in the balls one day, and the liquid that dripped back out of each ball was either yellow or brown.
9. Back in my day kids played in filth. We turned out alright... ish.
Hey all—microbiology research aid here to remind you of some good news before we go full freak-out about all this. Just because something has a lot of bacteria doesn't mean it's bad for you! In fact, the majority of bacteria by far (~99%) doesn't harm us at all; a lot of it has actually been shown to help us.
A normal human adult has approximately one non-harmful bacterial cell in their body for each human one, and that's a fine thing! Our microbiota is incredibly diverse, and it's this diversity that helps our immune system develop further. Even seemingly unrelated things like allergies, metabolism, and tolerance to specific foods can be traced back to a healthy balance of bacteria within your body.
While I'm not saying to go around licking door handles, keep in mind that an abundance of sterility can be harmful in some ways too. A little dirt can help us!
8. Dirty face.
Bacteria thrives in such environments.
I would say individuals who don't wash their brushes are a bigger issue but when your see these "haul" videos that is going to be a lot of expired makeup. Mascara is kept at most 6 months from when opened. You can spritz down palettes and such with alcohol. Let them sit out and dry. On the note of makeup brushes, wash them! I prefer mine in closed containers. Don't put them uncovered on the sink next to the toilet. On that note, shut the toilet lid before flushing. I believe the last study was an open toilet when flushed spreads feces 6 feet away.
7. Or anything else.
TV remote controls in hotel rooms. It's touched by almost every person who has stayed in the hotel room. Yet, it is rarely, if ever, cleaned by staff.
I've done my fair share of hotel bouncing for my traveling job, and I always have a bottle of Clorox wipes with me. All the surfaces I touch get wiped down first. Lightswitches, doorknobs, faucets, toilet handle, remote, nitestand, etc.
If you've got a strange curiosity like myself, bring a blacklight the next time you go to a hotel.
EDIT: Yes, I know a blacklight doesn't show bodily fluids without luminol. It doesn't, however, make some stains more visible than with the naked eye. Some places get cleaned better than others, and that's one way to tell.
EDIT 2: No, I am not Monk.
6. They're supposed to be cleaned.
I used to work at a Mexican restaurant and they would serve chips and salsa to every table right away. Those menus would get salsa all over them. That and the sugar and salt from the margaritas.
So you are telling me the menus are flavored.
5. Mmmm, MRSA.
Dumbbells and barbells at the gym. I clean those at the gym where I work and you would gag at the amount of nastiness that comes off on the rags.
That's why I have an alcohol hand-gel permanently in my gym bag for immediately after workouts!
4. An unexpected horror.
Doctors' neckties. The rest of their clothes get washed, the white coats are swapped each day, they pump their hands full of sanitizing foam as they enter and exit a room...but that necktie hasn't seen detergent in years.
Thats why they are banned in clinical environments in the NHS. White coats too.
And why they should be banned in clinical environments in the US.
3. Yeah, no.
Ice in food service.
Any sort of fountain machine too. The store I used to work out cleaned the nozzles 2x daily, and it still spewed out some of the nastiest sh*t I've ever seen. Never again.
Health inspector here, can confirm the filth in ice machines. Most places are not allotted time to completely disassemble and properly clean all of the lines and tubing inside the machine.
2. Must be legit.
An episode of Mythbusters revealed that air dryers are actually worse than paper towels, so I guess that could be one.
Yep, nothing like blowing drying your clean hands with warm fecal matter infested air.
1. You're welcome.
I saw a meme that read "we never wash belts, but they're the first thing we touch after we wipe our butts."
That meme haunts me.
Edit: Wow, this blew up. You grab your pants by the waist when you pull them up, that's where your belt is so therefore, you touch your belt at the same time. Also, the button and zipper get washed with the pants in the laundry. The underwear comment though.... good point.
What will you never touch again?
We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."
This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.