The Six Common Household Items With the Most Germs

Previous Article Next Article
December 06, 2003 | 80,036 views

By Dr. Joseph Mercola
     with Rachael Droege

Germs in the home can show up where you least expect them, even if you diligently try to keep your home clean. Despite good efforts by most to keep their homes germ free, over 65 percent of colds, 50 percent of all cases of diarrhea and 50 percent to 80 percent of food-borne illnesses are caught in the home, and common household items are often to blame.

So what is the most germ-ridden room in your house? It's not the bathroom--it's the kitchen. In fact, there could be up to 200 times more fecal bacteria on your kitchen cutting board than on your toilet seat. This is likely because people regularly disinfect their bathroom while kitchen items may be overlooked.

Of course, my recommendation is to avoid illness by building up your immune system with a healthy diet, lifestyle and emotional balancing, but it certainly makes sense to decrease your exposure to potentially harmful bacteria when you can. The following household items are commonly overlooked sources of contaminants that can easily be kept clean with a little elbow grease.

Kitchen Sponges and Rags

Cutting Boards

Kitchen Surfaces

Sink Drains



I'd like to mention that I don't recommend going through your home on an antibacterial cleaning frenzy. Doing so will disrupt the balance of bacteria in your home, wiping out both good and bad varieties, which could pave the way for harmful bacteria. You are better off using antibacterial/disinfectant cleaners on an item-by-item basis rather than as an all-purpose cleaner. Also be aware of the ingredients in commercial cleaners as many contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to your health. Your local health food story likely carries a variety of safe cleaning alternatives.

I also urge you to consider getting rid of your existing towels, sponges, rags and other conventional tools you use to clean your home with. Not only are they some of the top sources for illness-causing germs in your home, but also they do a very poor job of cleaning the biological and toxic aspects of dirt in your home.

In their place, I highly recommend the PerfectClean line of cleaning tools, like the PerfectClean terry cloths and dusters. Due to their ultra-microfiber construction, you can use them with only water (so you eliminate the need for cleaning your home with chemicals) and they clean at a deeper level than any other product you could find out there.

And remember, some bacteria are necessary and actually provide health benefits to humans. A good example of this is the good bacteria in your gut.