While the majority of us are incredibly house proud and feel rewarded by cleaning our homes within an inch of their lives, we probably don’t put the same amount of effort into the other place we spend up to 40 hours each week – the office.
Which might be why Hassle.com, the UK and Ireland’s leading marketplace for booking a trusted cleaner online, have compiled the 10 dirtiest items in your desk space, just to give you an idea about where to spray the disinfectant asap.
1. Water Cooler/Dispenser
2. Office fridge
Bacteria thrives in an environment of slightly gone-off sandwiches and 12 day-old milk. An office fridge should be cleared out every two days, especially when the average fridge contains 7,850 bacteria colony-forming units per square centimeter.
Depending on the size of your office, the microwave can be used up to 30 times each day, harboring a combination of meat and vegetable particles, and creating a nest for bacteria. Germs need warmth, food and moisture to multiply, and allowing the internal top to be splattered with food particles can cause a potential health risk.
4. Soap dispenser
You’ve downed your morning coffee, gone for a bathroom break and wash your hands with the soap dispenser. However, you would be wise to be wary of just how dirty the dispensers can be. A study by the University of Arizona found that a quarter of office dispensers are contaminated with fecal bacteria. If you wash your hands thoroughly, that’s fine, but be wary of the amount of germs you gain just before you wash ’em.
5. Your desk
With more than 10 million germs to be found on the average work desk, it accommodates 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. To keep your work space clean and healthy, wipe down weekly with an antibacterial wipe or vinegar-based solution.
6. Your keyboard
Keyboards are notorious for harboring bacteria, especially as we press every single key continuously for up to 8 hours each day. Skin cells, food residue and sweat mature and spread in such a small space comparatively. with more than 3,295 bacteria per square inch, shake and wipe down your keyboard weekly with a slightly damp cloth.
7. Your mouse
Given that your hand can also be placed on a mouse for up to 8 hours each day, they are heavily exposed to bacteria generated from sweat, food particles and dust. With 10% of office workers admitting to never cleaning their mouse, a study found that they can contain up to 1,676 microbes per square inch. A toilet seat has only a fraction of that number!
8. The printer and copier
With everyone battling it out to get their copies printed on time, the average printer and copier machine is touched up to 300 times a day – especially the interface and touch pad. This makes it a key nesting ground for nasty bacteria. Simply wipe over the surface and keypad with a PC wipe before each use.
9. Your headset or headphones
It’s common to see colleagues sharing headsets, but before each use, but it would be wise to find your own and store them for future use. Bacteria spreads like wildfire thanks to hair fibers, sweat and earwax, potentially causing facial and ear rashes as well as lice. After one hour of use, bacteria and germs can increase 700 times!