Did you ever see the 2011 movie “Contagion?” It was really good, and apparently scientifically well done, too. Anyhow, the movie claims that we, on average, touch our faces between two and three thousand times daily. Even though there are 86,400 seconds in the day, and it only takes a couple of seconds for one to touch his or her face, I still think that this estimate is really high. Regardless, wondering about this has made me one hundred times more aware of any habits of touching my face I might have.
Now, assume I’m dumb, and this movie was right the whole time; what germs, over the course of the two to three thousand times you’ll be touching your face will be transferred? This is pretty gross, but necessary information! What ten common items do you touch that are full of germs and bacteria? (Thanks, Ranker.com!)
Money – Always wash hands after a transfer of money; the Health Commissioner of New York found anywhere from 126,000 to 135,000 bacteria on a single bill in an experiment.
Light Switch – In a public restroom, always try and shut the light switch off (if even necessary) with a paper towel so that you don’t have to touch this germ-infested area.
Computer Keyboard - Unless you are cleaning your keyboard grime with a compressed air can, it isn’t too unlikely that it has more bacteria than your average toilet.
Cell Phone – Besides the fact that we’re constantly messing around on our cell phones, the generated heat serves as incubation for bacteria and germs.
Toilet Seat – Every square inch of a toilet is believed to have 295 bacteria hosting on the surface. The toilet bowl itself is said to have 3.2 million bacteria infesting its porcelain cover.
Shopping Cart - People go shopping after living their lives, during which who knows how many times they wash their hands? In fact, shopping carts were found to be full of more bacteria, saliva, and fecal matter than escalators, public telephones, and even some public bathrooms.
Remote Control - This object can host many diseases, such as MRSA, VRE, and SARS, and make them easy to transfer between people. How often do you clean your television remote?
Bath tub – Don’t neglect your bath tub; as it is not self-cleaning! Make sure you clean it with a bathroom cleaner at least once per week to minimize unwanted germs and bacteria.
Kitchen Sink - There has been noted to be 500,000 bacteria per square inch in the kitchen sink drain alone, nevermind the handles and faucets. Now you see why cleaning the house is such a project all of a sudden!
Kitchen Sponge - Sponges transfer bacteria, not disinfect surfaces. Microwaving the sponge for sixty seconds kills a lot of the germs and bacteria, and removes much of the odor, as well.
Because I have frequent run-ins with these common objects, I have decided to closely attempt to avoid touching my face at all times. I am doing this in order to keep these germs and bacteria out of my body.
Learning that these common objects I touch harbor so much bacteria makes me want to sanitize my whole house. Until then, I want to keep my hands away from my face; maybe being careful with what touches my acne-prone areas will reduce my current number of blemishes. Hopefully you’re skeeved out enough to pay attention to what you are cross-contaminating on the same hands that touch your face, possibly two to three thousand times per day. I only tell you because I don’t want to hear any pesky pimple complaints (this applies to myself, as well).
Now go get some Purell!