Your keyboard is Dirtier than your toilet

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 19, 2006
Updated • May 1, 2013

If this topic did not catch your attention at once then none will. Dr. Charles Gerba from the university of Arizona found out in a study that measured normal bacterial levels inside offices across America that the average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat.

He suggests that everyone cleans their workspace on a daily basis with disinfecting wipes which decreases bacteria level tremendously (99,9%). People who did not use wipes caused an bacteria increase on other devices as well. An interesting study if you ask me, I will buy some disinfection wipe at once.

The study, funded by a grant from The Clorox Company, found that surfaces in personal work areas such as offices and cubes, had higher bacteria levels than surfaces in common areas. Telephones came in as the #1 home for office germs, followed by desks, water fountain handles, microwave door handles and computer keyboards.

Surprisingly, toilet seats consistently had the lowest bacteria levels of the 12 surfaces tested in the study.

Update: Lets Take a look at some of the highlights of the study

  • Toilet seats had the lowest bacteria levels of the 12 surfaces tested in the study (desktop, phone, mouse, keyboard, microwave door handle, elevator button, photocopier start button, photocopier surface, toilet seat, fax machine, refrigerator handle, water fountain handle.
  • The top 5 gem-contaminated spots where: Phone, Desktop, Water fountain handle, Microwave door handle, keyboard
  • Bacteria level decreased by up to 99.9% if surfaces were treated with disinfecting wipes once a day
  • Bacteria level increased by up to 31% per day on surfaces among people who did not use wipes

Update 2: It appears that mobile phones, cash machines and other devices that are used by humans regularly, often by multiple humans, are dirtier than lavatory seats as they are not as regularly cleaned as the latter.


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