Everyone knows that public restrooms are coated in germs – there’s a reason good places provide with protective sheets! However, there are much less obvious places that are infested with germs. Anything that is touched often but cleaned sparingly will invariably be coated in germs. When going out, be wary of such public places – and consider using wipes on these spots before putting them to use, as well as washing your hands after!
Libraries, museums, schools and other places often have public computers out and available so that patrons and visitors can check their e-mail, look up current events, or otherwise get quick answers without having to turn to staff. However, these places rarely, if ever, have time to clean these surfaces. While the use of germ-resistant plastics is increasing, such keyboards cost extra and don’t always work. Plus, keyboards are notoriously hard to clean due to all the nooks, crannies, and crevices surrounding the keys. All the more reason for you to rely on your own device!
This is obvious, and many people are already aware of it, but it bears repeating. Door handles are gross. There’s a reason that so many modern architects and builders are doing everything they can to get rid of them, replacing them with automatic doors, push-bars, or maze-style entrances. Not only does getting rid of a door improve traffic flow, but it also ensures that you don’t have everyone grabbing a filthy handle over and over again. Not that push bars are much better – if you have the option, use your elbow, shoulder, or just tap the handicap automatic open button with your knee on the way in.
When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Have you ever seen anyone clean a restaurant menu? Each one has, in all likelihood, been poured over thousands of times by thousands of pairs of hands, many of which were not washed before eating. Add to that the fact that menus often sit at a table when not in use, where food and drink are spilled on them, not to mention the occasional sneeze. All the more reason to decide what you want before you go out and call in advance.
Again, the culprit is a surface that has regular human contact yet does not have any regular cleaning. PIN pads are rarely, if ever cleaned, and most are physically difficult to clean. Many can’t withstand contact with water, and even if they can, cleaning inside the guard that keeps one’s PIN from being stolen is difficult at best. Maybe CHIP cards aren’t so bad since the only part you need to touch is your own card!
The familiar “chlorine” smell of a public pool is, in fact, the smell of human excreta being broken down by the bleach placed in the pool. Despite this, many germs can survive for hours within the pool before they are destroyed by the chemicals, lasting even longer in poorly treated or overcrowded pools. As such, it’s a good idea to check up on your local pool’s cleaning policies, or just go there during off hours, when the chemicals have more time to work.
Again, this makes sense when you think about it. The lemon slices for your water, tea, or other beverage are cut in the morning, and then touched all day by waiters (not cook staff) who prepare your drinks. Waiters rarely have time to clean their hands, and spend a lot of time touching dirty menus, tables, patrons, washrags, plates, and other surfaces. All those germs then get to the lemons, which you may want to skip next time you get a water.
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