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6 Surprisingly Dirty Places in Your Home

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Dirty Places: Your TV Remote Control continued...

“Anything people touch a lot has germs on it,” Abruzzo tells WebMD. A University of Virginia study of cold viruses on household surfaces showed the remote control’s surface is among the germiest. Researchers found that half of the remote controls tested were positive for cold viruses.

Quick fix to banish bacteria:

Abruzzo wipes her remote with a bleach or alcohol wipe -- “that is, if I can ever find it or get it out my husband’s hands,” she says. Aside from that, regular hand-washing is the best way to protect yourself against these germs.

Dirty Places: Your Computer Keyboard

If you eat at your computer, sneeze on your keyboard, or sit down to surf the Internet without first washing your hands, your computer keyboard could be a health hazard. In a recent study by a British consumer group, researchers swabbed keyboards for germs and found a host of potentially harmful bacteria, including E. coli and staph. Four of 33 sampled keyboards had enough germs to be considered health hazards. One had levels of germs five times higher than that found on a toilet seat.

Quick fix to banish bacteria:

Wash your hands before and after using your computer. If you must eat at your desk, don't drop crumbs into your keyboard. To clean your keyboard, gently shake out the crumbs or vacuum it. Abruzzo recommends wiping the keys with alcohol or bleach wipes, but “nothing too wet,” she says. “And don’t forget to wipe the mouse.”

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