6 Items You Touch Everyday That Are Filthier Than a Toilet

One person in the office gets the flu, and soon everybody in their row has it. And as paranoid as people think they are about germs these days, with their antibacterial lotions and careful hand-washing after even briefly touching their genitals, the truth is most of us still have no freaking idea where we're picking up these germs.

But if you carried around a microscope everywhere you went, there are a whole lot of everyday things you'd be a lot more hesitant to rub all over your hands.

#6. Soap

The most unpleasant place most of us will visit this week is a nice, fragrant, poorly-maintained public restroom. Now, it's no surprise to find the floor and piss-splattered toilet seat are crawling with germs (how many of you still haven't figured out how to flush the toilet with your foot?) but that's OK, because you still remember to pump that liquid soap onto your hands and wash the hell out of them before you leave.


Or it would be OK, if some of the soap wasn't also full of germs. A study conducted by researcher Jonathon Sexton revealed about a quarter of the of the soap dispensers in public restrooms were pumping out viable bacteria with each glob. Yeah, the stuff that makes you sick was in the soap.

The problem is most of these places were using refillable soap dispensers, so contamination was happening when the filth-ridden employees were doing the refilling (the fancier kind of dispensers with sealed, disposable bags inside were clean).

Designed to kill.

Of course, soap is still soap and it's our number one defense against more harmful forms of bacteria, like whatever you got on your hand after it ripped through that ghetto brand toilet paper public restrooms use that seems to be cobbled together from whispers and recycled Chinese newsprint. So it's kind of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.

So Keep That in Mind When...

...some guy gives you a dirty look if you fail to wash your hands after just peeing. Look, if you showered in the morning it's unlikely your dick is very contaminated. If anything you've probably made your clean dick a little dirtier by touching it with your filthy hands.

And both will wind up cleaner than that guy's hands who, after issuing his disapproval, touches one of the dirtiest surfaces ever invented by man: the handle on a bathroom faucet. Then he compounds the infestation when he touches the handle on the restroom door on his way out. Yet, if you so much as use your dick to open the door just one time, you're the bad guy.

#5. Money

What does your wallet have in common with the local crack den? It's packing nothing but filth and narcotics, that's what.

A 2008 study showed cocaine traces on bills from all over the world, with American money taking the gold. U-S-A! U-S-A!

That's right, some bills tested contained up to 1300 micrograms of pure Bolivian marching powder. If any of you pulled out your wallet and started trying to hitch the reindeer off of a 20, you can put it back. A microgram is about a millionth of a teabag full of cocaine, so unless you've got a million bills to lick you're not going to be getting very high and if you do have a million handy, we assume your army of strippers have already writhed across them all and sanitized them with boob sweat.

The point, however, is that it gives you an idea of the sponge-like ability for money to absorb whatever it comes in contact with, namely drugs and the germs from the hands of everyone who handled it (and whatever else they were handling) before you. So it's not just blow you're carting around; it's everything from chicken guts to common household ball sweat (remember that every dollar bill you touch has potentially been in a Chippendale's dancer's G-string at some point).

Also, that wallet you use to house your cash? The fact that it's stuffed into your pocket close to your warm body helps incubate any germs that were already festering on your two bucks, ensuring it stays as dirty as possible.

So Keep That in Mind When...

...people flip out at Burger King when they see a guy sneeze near the grill, but don't blink when the cashier who has handled thousands of diseased bills that morning is the one who stacks the food on your tray.

#4. Laundry

You probably didn't know there is roughly 0.1 gram of fecal matter in an average pair of underwear. On any given day you and everyone you cross paths with are basically shit Sherpas, carting that stuff to and fro. Granted 0.1 grams doesn't sound like much but that means you can expect up to 100 million E. coli bacteria floating around in a standard wash load containing undies which is, wait for it, a shitload.

Still sexy?

Leading germaphobe, Charles Gerba, conducted a study on washing machines in Tucson and Tampa Bay and found coliform bacteria in 60 percent and E. coli in 10 percent of the machines tested, confirming that either the machines aren't all that great at killing your poop germs, or that people in Tucson and Tampa shit in their washers.

You can wash your first load with bleach and hot water and you'll reduce the amount of bacteria that will survive the wash. Or if you don't like the idea of using bleach you can just wash your drawers separately in their own little poop stew. Otherwise, that nice, fresh-smelling load of laundry has some invisible residue waiting for you.

So Keep That in Mind When...

...you see Snuggles the Fabric Softener bear rubbing his little face all over the newly "clean" laundry. Enjoy our shit, bear.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!