If you're a germophobe, best be warned to stop reading now... By Marchelle Abrahams
Germs, there's no getting away from them. And here's a shocking figure for germaphobes: a team of researchers from the University of Georgia made a direct estimate of the total number of bacteria on Earth. They estimated the number to be five million trillion trillion.
But before you go reaching for the hand sanitiser, Dettol recently released stats detailing the top germ hotspots - and it doesn't bode well for the clean freaks among us.
The household brand compared various surfaces and rated them against a germ-O-meter.
Here's what they found:
Germ-O-meter: 4.34 million
Your kitchen chopping board may look harmless enough, but it can house up to 4.34 million germs. A handy solution is to deep clean your wooden or plastic cutting board by scrubbing it with a paste made from 1 tablespoon baking soda, salt and water.
Germ-O-meter: 2.30 million
Research found that your PC or laptop keyboard is 20000 times dirtier than a toilet seat. That's vile! The findings were discovered by CBT Nuggets where the team swabbed typical items found in an office to see how much bacteria they harboured.
Germ-O-meter: 1.54 million
Did you know after playing outdoors, your child's soccer ball can bring nearly 1.54 million germs into the home?
Germ-O-meter: 0.32 million
Your couch is the one piece of furniture that comes into daily contact with your buff, not forgetting dog hairs and grubby little fingers. One way to keep most germs at bay is to vacuum it daily and then scrub down with a solution of mild soap and white vinegar.
Germ-O-meter: 0.12 million
School bags are a breeding ground for bacteria, and experts say these very germs can cause colds and flu. A good rule of thumb is wash it at least once a week and encourage your children to wash their hands before and after eating their school snacks.
Germ-O-meter: 0.09 million
There's more than just sand lurking in the playground sandbox. A new Spanish study found that the bacterium Clostridium difficile, or “C. diff.” was found in sandpits. The bacteria causes an intestinal infection, resulting in severe diarrhoea.
Germ-O-meter: 0.05 million
You wouldn't be fighting over the TV remote if you knew how many germs found a cosy place between those buttons. Even hotels are trying too hard to combat them by protecting them with a germ-resistant coating.
Germ-O-meter: 0.01 million
You hold it against your ear and carry it around in your hands. It's only obvious that your phone is a germ trap. But the problem, according to microbiologists, isn't that they are constantly in use - it's because people share them, and inadvertently share germs.