In an episode of Gross by Men’s Health, the magazine’s editor in chief Matt Bean uses a handheld device to measure the germ-count on some of New York City’s dirtiest surfaces. Test results show that the most bacteria lives on Citi Bike handlebars, which prove to be 45 times more germy than subway train hold-bars. The second most disgusting surface turned out to be Starbucks door handles — ahead of a self-help internet kiosk, taxicab door handles, and a doorknob at Grand Central Station.
While most of the bacteria found on these surfaces are harmless, nothing above a germ count of 50 should touch your food. The Citi Bike handle scored a 1,512 and Starbucks received a 1,090 in contrast to subway trains, which measured in at a mere 35.
“These things are consistently among the most disgusting surfaces that we’ve tested in all of New York City,” Bean said. Forget public bathrooms and escalator railings — Bean warns the dirtiest surfaces exist on everyday household items.
“The thick nature of bath towels helps them trap moisture and dead skin cells,” he said, advising shower-goers clean their towels every three uses. Even 89 percent of dish towels are covered in coliform bacteria, which is common in the fecal matter of all warm-blooded animals. While this bacteria is unlikely to cause illness, it is an indicator that disease-causing organisms may also be present. Bean recommends washing dish towels between every use.
Before you panic about how gross items are both inside and outside your house, know that most bacteria won’t actually harm you. The native bacteria in your gut aid in digestion, and the bacteria living on your skin can help fight off infections. But for those who wish to keep clean in the name of good hygiene — check out these tips that will help you keep your kitchen germ-free.