Most of us have an internal scale of the likely dirtiness of things we touch on an everyday basis. For example, few among us would willingly touch a toilet seat without washing our hands immediately afterward.

However, as little as we’d like to admit it, there are surfaces in our homes that are far dirtier than our kitchen drains or our bathroom surfaces. Fair warning: Keep reading and know that you’re probably going to need to change your cleaning habits a little bit to feel safe in your home.

(Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with a great cleaning tip to instill your confidence in your surroundings at the end.)

First things first: Let’s talk about how much bacteria is actually present on ‘obviously dirty’ surfaces.

How dirty is the average toilet seat?

“Toilet seats are actually quite clean relative to most things,” says David Coil, microbiologist.

Toilet seats do have bacteria on them; it’s just not that much. Another microbiologist, author Jason Tetro, says that a square inch of toilet seat surface area will usually be home to fewer than 1,000 bacteria. This may sound like a lot, but a square inch of skin also contains about 1,000 bacteria. Other places in your home have a lot more. For example, there are hundreds of thousands of bacteria per square inch contaminating your kitchen sink, and your favorite pair of shoes is likely teeming with millions.

We also tend to clean off our toilet seats regularly in our normal home-cleaning routines. So, whether it’s Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica, or Staphylococcus aureus, it likely won’t be on your toilet seat for too long.

Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said of other, even dirtier spaces in your home.

What are places in your home that are likely dirtier than a toilet seat?

Compare the likely bacterial count on each of these surfaces to a toilet seat’s mere 1,000 per square inch:

Your kitchen sponge. Since you use your kitchen sponge to clean up messes regularly, they soak up the soil, grime, and bacteria. A typical sponge will contain approximately 10 million bacteria for each square inch. (Dishcloths aren’t a much better option, as they still have about 1 million bacteria per square inch.) 

Your smartphone. Even if you have relatively healthy screen-time habits, your phone is likely the thing that you touch the most over the course of the day. One study out of the University of Arizona reported that the average phone has about ten times more bacteria than the average toilet seat.

Your cutting boards. It’s a kitchen tool you use all the time, especially if you like to cook. Even if you’re good about washing your cutting board after cutting raw meat, there’s still a good chance that it contains approximately 200 times more bacteria on it than the average toilet seat.

Your remote control. We rarely disinfect our tech, yet we handle things like our remote controls while we eat. They’re far grosser than the average toilet seat.

Your toothbrush holder. One study found that the receptacle in which you place your toothbrush is actually one of the top three most germ-covered places in your home. Clean it frequently to keep yourself safe!

Your computer’s keyboard. You might touch this, on and off, for hours each day—yet you likely haven’t cleaned or disinfected it in a long time. They top this list for the dirtiest items in your home; according to one source, the average computer keyboard may contain as many as 3.5 million units of bacteria in every grimy square inch.

Keep Your Phones, Remote Controls, and Other High-Touch Surfaces Safe for Your Use

Are you in need of one strategic solution that both cleans and disinfects in one fell swoop?

Since your phones, remote controls, and other high-touch surfaces can get alarmingly dirty very quickly, it’s vital to have a quick, efficient, and convenient way to rid them of bacteria so you can use them with confidence. With a trusted all-purpose cleaner, you can be sure that your most germ-ridden objects are safe to use on a regular basis.