Random Household Items

I don't want anyone getting the wrong idea and thinking that my house is squeaky clean. Usually only my toilets, food preparation surfaces, and hand towels are super clean. We have a big, hairy, drooly dog and lots of kids running in and out. The rest of my house is pretty dirty. I do have a strict hand washing policy. Everyone including adults and neighbor kids have to wash hands when they come in my house from anywhere. I decided to swab some household items to see how much bacteria there was and if anything was germ free. I was surprised that there are some virtually germ-free items! However, not every kind of bacteria can grow on these agar plates and viruses can't grow on these plates. So, just because a plate looks clean, doesn't necessarily mean that no germs whatsoever were present.


Kitchen Sink


A LOT of bacteria grew. 


As you know, I spray my toilets down with 3% hydrogen peroxide at least once a day. I took a swab of the toilet seat a few hours after the last time I cleaned it. 


No bacteria grew!


Here is a swab of a friend's toilet. This is a "normal" toilet that I see at most people's houses. 

Even though the toilet didn't look too bad, it was full of germs! Disinfect your toilets, people! Every Single Day! I spray my toilets down with 3% hydrogen peroxide and wipe them off at least once a day. I use a solution of 10% chlorine bleach in water to spray down my toilets if anyone in the house is sick with a stomach bug.  

Kitchen Floor

Here is a swab of my kitchen floor that I hadn't washed for at least 2 weeks: 

Bottom of Shoe

Here is a swab of the bottom of my son's shoe after school.


Yuck. We really should always remember to take shoes off.


Door knob

Here is a swab of the highly used door knob leading out to the garage that I hadn't sanitized for at least a month: 


It was surprisingly clean. 



How much bacteria is in a dollar bill? 






Quarters are surprisingly clean. However, I thought it was because silver is known to have anti-microbial properties. However, I've also heard that quarters don't actually contain silver anymore so I'm not sure. 




Pennies are surprisingly clean, too. Copper is also known to have anti-microbial properties. I guess when you find a penny, you CAN pick it up. 


Here is a repeat of the coin experiment using different pennies and quarters. 



I bought a new package of underwear from Walmart. (Yes, those are my underwear, much to my husband's dismay.)

I put 1mL of sterile water onto one pair. 

Then I dabbed that pair of underwear onto an agar plate. 

Nothing grew. Those new underwear were virtually free of bacteria. (Unless there was bacteria present that won't grow on this type of agar plate.)

Kleenex Hand Towels

I also tested some disposable Kleenex Hand Towels

I put 1mL of sterile water onto the hand towel and dabbed it onto the agar plate. 

Nothing grew.

Paper Towel

I also tested some Bounty Paper Towel. 

Nothing grew. 

So, this means that some things are less germy than others. I'll be updating this page with new items frequently.