11 of the “Germ-iest” Things You Own and Didn’t Know: and How to Properly Sanitize Them

We all have our to-do list when it comes to cleaning germs.

You clean the toilet, the floor, your clothes, but you may be overlooking the germiest things of all — your everyday household items like your cell phone, wallet, keys, or remote control.

Contrary to popular belief, what you don’t know can, in fact, hurt you. No, this is not a conspiracy or opinion — the following list has been scientifically confirmed (and some of the items might shock you).

Here is a list of the germiest household items you touch every day, followed by the proper way to actually sanitize them: UVC light.

11 of the Germ-iest Household and Personal Items

While we always think of toilets as the germiest thing in our home, it’s often our smaller everyday objects that in fact have the most germs. While most toilets are cleaned regularly, we overlook the small things that are constantly picking up nasty germs.

1. Cell Phones

Nowadays, your phone goes everywhere with you, even the bathroom. Therefore it is very likely that you are transferring germs to your phone.

Remember that your phone can’t ask you to eat a breath mint, but it would ask to be cleaned if it could. Even after washing your hands, you may be contracting these germs again from your phone. While you can’t clean your phone with soap and water, there are other ways to disinfect.

Yucky Statistics About Our Digital Companions

You may be thinking, how gross can my cell phone really be? Well, studies have found that one in six phones is contaminated with fecal matter.

Fecal matter can contain E. Coli, an illness-causing bacteria. While some strains aren’t too harmful, others can cause stomach issues and a low-grade fever. Bugs like campylobacter, norovirus, and salmonella, which are more likely to cause illness, can also be passed through feces.

82% of phones showed some type of bacterial contamination while a quarter of phones contained Staphylococcus aureus, a common bacteria that lives on the skin but can cause illness if they enter the bloodstream.

2. Wallet & Purses

Our hidden germ nests. It is not just about what you put in your wallet or purse but about where you put it down. Your purse/wallet is often left on the floor of your car, restroom, or restaurant that hasn’t been cleaned. You then carry these germs around with you wherever you go.

3. Money

Have you ever thought about how many people have touched that dollar bill before you? Now ask yourself how many of them do you believe wash their hands often? You may be carrying money that has been infected without even knowing.

sanitize money from germs

4. Remote Controls

Your unwashed hands have been all over every button and crevice on your remote controller. When it’s not being used, it lives in your couch cushions, home to mold, bugs, and bacteria. While you may think your remote is protected from any outside germs, you’d be surprised how many you bring to the party and don’t even know!

5. Keys

Even though your keys are small, they can have a big impact on our health. Being handled by you daily means they are covered in all kinds of germs.

6. Towels

While you may only use the towel to dry your hands after they are clean, they still can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Not only are you transferring any bacteria on your skin to the towel, but they also can contract bacteria on their own because they are often damp and warm.

sanitize towels from germs

7. Reusable Grocery Bags

More like gross-ery bags! Sitting your reusable bag in a shopping cart, your reusable bags pick up bacteria from past users. Your bag may also be handling raw meat leading to food-borne viruses.

8. Sponges

This may come as a surprise, but the thing you use to clean all of your dishes is actually the dirtiest thing in your house. Used sponges carry bacteria that you then spread across the dishes that you use to eat food.

Shocking Sponge Statistics

It is hard to believe that something you use to clean can be the germiest thing in your home.
Studies show the presence of specific pathogenic bacteria in kitchen sponges, including Campylobacter spp., Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp., Proteus spp., Salmonella spp., and Staphylococcus spp.

While boiling or putting the sponge in a microwave can help, they found it couldn’t reduce bacteria by more than about 60% percent.

9. Toothbrush Holders

These seemingly innocent bathroom staples are veritable cesspools of bacteria.

While you may replace your toothbrush often, it’s the holder you should be worried about when it comes to bacteria. The residue of your toothpaste drips down the brush and into your holder collecting all of the germs covering the handle of the brush.

sanitize bathroom

10. Keyboards

The cracks between your keys are filled with crumbs, and the letter P is sticky. While you may overlook this as an inconvenience, it can be leading to a build-up of items that make you sick.

11. Laundry

Fresh laundry? Possibly not. Even after making its way through the washer and dryer, your laundry may still have some nasty viruses. Laundry has been found to contain rotavirus, which causes severe stomach troubles.

Now let’s go into more detail about how you can sanitize your personal items.

The Proper Way to Sanitize Your Germiest Items: Ditch the Harsh Chemicals for UVC Light

There are many misconceptions when it comes to sanitizing your items. The truth is that many common household cleaners are harmful to your family and the environment.

The Overuse of Household Cleaners Can Increase the Spread of Harmful Microorganisms

In many cases, standard household cleaners will not clean your home thoroughly. While they often clean the typical items like toilets, countertops, and floors, they likely won’t clean any of the items listed above.

bad house cleaners

The over-use of cleaners has also led to a rise in antibiotic-resistant microorganisms. Some soaps even encourage the spread and strength of some bacteria by killing off others that are neutral or positive.

Household Cleaners Can Seriously Affect Your Health (and the Environment)

Another reason to avoid commercial cleaners is that many household staples contain substances that are linked to cancer, among other serious health allegations, including collateral damage to human hormones.

Not only do artificial cleaners affect our internal gut flora, they also affect the environment, with millions of tons accumulating in landfills and regrettably ending up in the ocean.

So if you can’t use everyday cleaners to sanitize your germiest items, what should you use?

UVC Light is Scientifically-Proven to Remove 99.9% of Bacteria, Without the Use of Harsh Chemicals



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UVC light is the secret sanitization tool in a growing number of households all across the country. This technology has rapidly grown in popularity over the last several years due to its efficiency, effectiveness, and environmentally conscious approach to sanitization.

3B Medical is one of the leaders in the UVC light technology space, creating innovative at-home devices that eradicate 99.9% of harmful germs. Extensive U.S.-based lab research is poured into their line of UVC products, including the powerful Lumin and new Lumin Wand.

lumin wand kills germs

How UVC Sanitizing Works Against Germs

UVC sanitizing devices, like the Lumin, work by emitting high-energy light referred to as UVC, which is focused narrowly on the wavelength that is most effective in reducing bacteria and viruses.

This UVC light can even kill off E. coli strains and other deadly viruses, and has even been used to clean N-95 respirator masks in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UVC Light Sanitizes Electronics That Water-Based Substances Can’t Tackle


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Simply put, there are some items that you cannot safely sanitize with water-based cleaners on a regular basis. For example, your cellphone, remote, or key fob, or any other electronic device.

That’s where UVC light comes in. No water or harsh chemicals are used in the sanitizing process, so you do not have to worry about compromising the well-being of your electronics.

The Lumin, for example, can completely sanitize your cell phone in a quick 5-minute cycle, removing any germs.

Safely Sanitize Your High-Touch Items With Lumin

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of your germiest household items, it’s time to arm you with the tools. Protect yourself and your family from dangerous unseen bacteria with the Lumin and Lumin Wand.
The Lumin items are the perfect addition to your household cleaning routine because not only are they fast and easy to use, but they leave no filmy residue or harsh fragrance. Simply place a Lumin device in an area of your home that harbors the germiest items to remember to sanitize daily.

Want to learn more? Check out these frequently asked questions for more information on UV light and Lumin products.


July 22, 2021 3