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Cue the Ick Factor! Surprising Scenarios That Are Way Germier Than You Thought

What's more gross: sharing soap or deodorant? Eating food that fell on the floor or in the sink? Here, the final word.

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Is it germier to eat food that has fallen into the sink or on the floor?

Your kitchen sink is one of the germiest places in your home, with about 18,000 bacteria per square inch. In comparison, the kitchen floor in front of the sink has, on average, 830 bacteria per square inch. Answer: The sink

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Is it germier to skip cleaning your bbq or your toilet seat?

The grill, including the preparation area around it, may have more than double the bacteria of the average toilet seat, according to a British survey. Food or utensils placed there could be contaminated by raw meat or animal feces from outdoor exposure. Use an ammonia-based cleaner to sanitize before each use. Answer: BBQ (Don’t make these grilling mistakes even seasoned cooks can fall for.)

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Is it germier to use too little detergent or too much?

Too many suds can actually trap dirt in the fabric or leave residue, allowing bacteria to build up. Too much soap can also promote mold and mildew growth in the washing machine. (Here are other laundry mistakes to avoid.) For the average load, you can get away with using just half the recommended amount of detergent. Answer: Too much

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Is it germier to share deodorant or a bar of soap?

Researchers have discovered bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus on soap bars. The bars usually don’t dry completely between uses, allowing bacteria, yeast, and fungi to accumulate. While bacteria is unlikely to be transferred, skip sharing soap, to be safe. Borrowing deodorant spreads only skin cells and hair and doesn’t put you at risk for infection. Answer: Bar of soap

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Is it germier to reuse a bath towel or a kitchen towel?

Thick bath towels can trap bacteria and harbor odors, but kitchen towels carry nasty microbes. University of Arizona researchers found 89 percent of kitchen rags carried coliform bacteria, and a quarter tested positive for E. coli. Dangerous bacteria from raw meats can build up and spread every time you dry your hands. Launder kitchen towels after each use. Answer: Kitchen towel

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Is it germier to have a cockroach or a fly near your food?

Houseflies are twice as filthy as cockroaches, according to an Orkin entomologist. Both are germy bugs, but flies carry more disease-causing pathogens and spread them quickly by flying from surface to surface (rather than crawling). Flies reproduce in fecal matter, garbage, and animal carcasses and harbor bacteria in the hairs covering their bodies. OK, TMI. Answer: Fly

Sources: menshealth.com, nytimes.com, consumerist.com, wsj.com, webmd.com, realsimple.com

Originally Published in Reader's Digest