How many times have you had a situation where you wondered how gross something really is? Ironically some of the things you might think would be extremely gross turn out to be not as bad as we think they are.
A few years ago, I had an incident involving my 6-month-old baby and a bowling shoe that still gives me the heebie-jeebies. During a family outing with all of my siblings and their spouses (none of them had kids yet), I mistakenly put my brother-in-law in charge of my baby while I bowled. When I came back, my baby had a bowling shoe in his mouth and he was sucking on it like a lollipop.
Aside from wringing my brother-in-law’s neck, I had nightmares of all the terrible diseases my infant son was now going to contract. Luckily, nothing happened, but it did get me thinking…how gross is some of that stuff that we come in contact with daily?
How Gross Is My…
Image courtesy of Amazon.
It’s ironic to think that your loofa—the item you count on to clean you in the shower may be dirtier than you are. The average person uses the same loofa for a year before replacing it.
Those mesh poof balls give a luxurious lather in the shower, but did you know that with every use, your loofa gathers dead skin cells which build up in the mesh fabric. Those dead cells, combined with the warm, moist atmosphere of your shower can become what the American Society for Microbiology calls “a reservoir of bacterial species.” Gross!
Bottom line: replace your loofa every month or two before microscopic cooties start growing in it.
2. Kid’s toilet
If you’ve got kids, you know that anything goes when it comes to the toilet. On a given day, you can expect to find pee droplets, poop smears, and toys that have been thrown right into the toilet bowl.
How gross is your kid’s toilet? Here’s what science has to say and it’s actually good news!
The world is home to an estimated 1 trillion species of bacteria. These invisible microbes live in the dirt, the air, and on your skin—there’s no way to run from them. Even with all the pee splatters and poop streaks, unless for some reason you have cholera cruising around your household, it’s unlikely you’ll get sick from a toilet. A spoonful of soil has more bacteria in it.
Bottom line: as long as you clean your kid’s toilet regularly, you’re good.
3. Microwave filter
The last time I changed mine was when the Saints won the Super Bowl in 2010.
If you are also guilty, take heart. Not many homeowners are on top of their microwave filter cleaning game. Aside from being gross, a greasy microwave filter can actually drip onto your stovetop and even into your food.
Bottom line: Wash your microwave filter in warm, soapy water at least twice per year.
5. Home air ducts
Another one of those facets of home maintenance that regularly gets overlooked is cleaning those air ducts. Should it be a priority?
Interestingly enough, the EPA finds no correlation between clean air ducts and safer breathing. In fact, pollutants enter the home more easily from outdoors, cooking, and cleaning than they do through your air ducts.
Bottom line: Don’t sweat cleaning those air ducts unless you’ve got rodents, mold, or other items on the EPA’s list.
Who’d have thought you’d have to keep your family safe from your own boogie monster fridge? But in some cases, it can be one of the most dangerous places in your home.
Food poisoning is only a mistake away. Never place raw or defrosting meat on the upper shelves; juices could seep down below and contaminate other food or your fridge shelves. Don’t overstuff your fridge because when you do, cold air can’t circulate and keep the bacteria at bay.
Bottom line: Follow the rules and your fridge and family stays safe.
Kiss sexy goodbye because bras that don’t get washed often enough can cause acne, odors, and bacteria buildup on your skin. It makes sense; after all, a bra hugs you naked all day long.
Bottom line: Wash your bra every 2-5 wears.
Image courtesy of Amazon.
8. Kitchen sponge
Ignorance is bliss on this one, trust me. That sponge you just used to scrub last night’s lasagna pan…it’s covered with enough microbes to populate all of China. All on one little sponge.
And what’s even more interesting—like crazy-interesting—is that sanitizing your kitchen sponge is pretty much the worse thing you can do! According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, sponges that had been sanitized contained a higher percentage of pathogens than kitchen sponges that had never been cleaned!
Bottom line: Don’t sanitize your sponge. Replace it every week and always toss out the old one.
9. Shoe bottoms
This one has to be the grossest of the lot. With all that walking around in other people’s germs, the bottoms of shoes have to be a microorganism theme park.
Good Morning America tested the bottoms of eight different people’s shoes. On one mom’s shoes, they found 66 million organisms! At the University of Arizona, researchers found nine different types of bacteria on people’s shoes—the kinds of bacteria that cause stomach, eye, and lung infections.
Bottom line: I’ll be taking my shoes off at the door from here on out. And I really should kill my brother-in-law for the bowling shoe incident.
*First, last, and featured image via Unsplash.