Office Germs Facts: 7 Dirtiest Things you Touch Every day in the Office

Do you know what the dirtiest things in your office are? You probably touch them thousands of times a day! With a mass migration back to communal spaces in wake of Covid-19, we need to be more germ-conscious than ever.  

A messy office desk with full of germs

Unfortunately, offices aren’t the cleanest places. It might surprise you to know that the bacteria levels of an office are 400 times greater than a toilet!

Workers spend an average of 8 hours a day in the office, so it’s important to make sure the space is hygienic and pleasant. To help your office stay free  

of nasty bugs, make sure you know the 7 dirtiest areas you should be cleaning regularly.  

Once read these office germs facts, you might want to reach for the hand sanitiser by the end of the article!

Your Keyboard and Computer Mouse

A Computer keyboard

This one likely comes as no surprise. Your fingers are practically attached to them for hours a day, but how often are you cleaning them?

Keyboards are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, with warmth and moisture from your fingertips and plenty of cracks and crevices to hide in. Any germs you pick up around your office will likely be transferred onto your keyboard at some point.

It’s no wonder that according to Forbes, the average keyboard has three times the bacteria of a toilet seat! There could be as much as 3,000 bacteria per square inch of a keyboard and 1,600 on a computer mouse. That’s a lot of germs under your fingertips.

To tackle this bacteria, give your keyboard and computer a regular wipe clean with an anti bac wipe, and wash your hands regularly.

Kitchen Sponge

A dirty sponge in an office kitchen

Unfortunately, one of the products you use to clean is actually covered in bacteria. Not exactly what you want rubbed all over your eating utensils!

If you’re washing dishes in your office, there’s a good chance the sponge isn’t as clean as it looks. Their warm, moist, porous nature makes them perfect for germs to live in, especially when they come into contact with food scraps.  

The best solution is to simply replace your sponges regularly or when they start to smell. Dishcloths and surfaces should also be thoroughly cleaned. It’s easy to get ill when certain bacteria are growing in your eating space.

Microwaves

Woman placing a dish in a microwave in an office kitchen

The gadget all office goers look forward to using! Microwaves are wonderful machines when it comes to a speedy lunch, but they can also be teeming with germs.

They’re likely used countless times to heat up all kinds of foods, meaning they’ll have residue of meat, fish, and other food scraps. These can remain inside even after the microwave is wiped down. Bacteria grows quickly in warm areas, and with microwaves’ heat, it’s unsurprising the bacteria count is high on microwave handles. It’s worth giving it a good deep clean as often as you can to keep lunchtimes hygienic.

The Coffee Machine

A coffee machine

Another frequently used office favourite. But is it frequently cleaned?  

Shared equipment may be a grey area for cleaning responsibilities, but for the sake of good coffee, it’s worth organising.

Bacteria love the damp, warm insides of dark machines, and moist coffee grounds can be particularly bad for growing mould.  

If you’re on the cleaning rota, try this for a good coffee machine cleaning method. Pour in 4 cups of plain white vinegar and stand for 30 minutes. Then, let the machine run the vinegar through, followed by three refills of water, until there’s no trace of the vinegar.

Lift Buttons

woman pushing lift buttons in an office building

You might be more keen to take the stairs after reading this. Elevator buttons have been found to have 40 times more bacteria than a public toilet seat. Potentially harmful germs are also discovered on these surfaces, such as E. coli and MRSA, not to mention the potential for covid 19.

The regular use of these buttons means that there’s a potential for a large bacterial build up even if cleaned regularly. If you’re not keen on sharing whatever your fellow office-goers have on their fingers, be sure to use soap or hand sanitiser after pressing buttons. You might also want to use your finger knuckle, or your elbow instead to minimise transmission.

Count yourself luckily if you work on the ground floor!

Office Desks

A dirty desk in an office

It’s your home away from home. You work, eat, sneeze, and maybe spill coffee here. It’s no wonder bacteria love your desk!

SWNS Digital claims the average office desk can hold up to 10 million germs, and shockingly, 11% of office workers have never cleaned their space!  

Everything you touch has the potential to pass hands between everyone who uses the office, so it's worth taking disinfection seriously to avoid illness. Hard services like a desk are easy to spray down with an antibacterial cleaner and wipe off to keep your space sanitised. It’s a small chore which could have a big impact on your health.

Toilets

Office toilets with germs

Another no-brainer-- your toilets can be home to a whole host of germs.

In smaller office spaces, it’s likely there’ll be more people using the same facilities. This can make it hard to keep on top of much needed workplace hygiene.  

Office toilets are used many times a day, but the facilities we use to wash also have the potential to transfer bacteria. Soap dispensers can hold nasty bugs on their buttons, and bar soap is even worse for sharing toilet germs. Air dryers should also be cleaned off to avoid blowing bacteria onto freshly washed hands.

Also be wary of doors. All your hand-washing efforts could be going down the drain if you use a contaminated handle on your way out of the loos! Disinfecting these communal spaces is essential, but you can also help by using hand sanitiser and opening doors with a tissue or your elbow.  

Thoroughly Grossed Out?

Us too. Hopefully you’re convinced to keep up your office cleaning efforts and help keep everyone safe.  

The recent pandemic is motivation enough to be vigilant in keeping surfaces wiped, keyboards sanitised, and buttons disinfected. The consequences of bacteria and dirt in a shared office space are not pleasant to think about.  

What to do now?

Cleaning can be an issue in offices since understandably, everyone is busy at work.

It’s not often considered a priority, despite how important it is for staying safe. It’s a good idea to hire a professional cleaning service to make sure the job gets done, and to a good standard. Their knowledge and specialist tools can make a huge difference, and a clean office makes for happy workers.

How A Cleaning Service can help you

Hiring an office cleaner is easy. Be sure to ask the right questions and provide a list of services you need to ensure the providers are suitable.  

A Cleaning Service offers both domestic and commercial cleaning services to make sure no area of your office is left unclean, with minimal disruption to your workday. This includes carpet and hard floor cleaning, fogging and disinfection services, and more to keep an office healthy and pleasant. We’ll also give you a 100% satisfaction guarantee!

We pride ourselves on our 15 years of experience providing trustworthy and expert-quality cleaning. All staff are fully trained and certified, and utilise some great equipment for your office cleaning requirements.

If you’re interested in knowing more, you can contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote.