Awfully Dirty Office Spots No One Cleans

Let’s say you and some colleagues have agreed on working towards making your office a second home (what a horrifying thought!). You’ve been tirelessly hounding everyone into wiping off every surface in communal use areas they use, or doing their dishes the minute they’ve hit the bottom of their lunch bowl. Not bad!

Only, did you know that your noble efforts of keeping the office germ-free may not be as fruitful as you first thought, as it is still full of extremely bacterial areas no one would even think of cleaning? Here they are – five dirty little secrets of every office.
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Image by Luke Andrews

1. Sink tap handles. So your mother has taught you well and you wash your hands diligently after every bathroom visit. Well done? Well, not really, as research has shown that the sink tap handles in order to do so may even be dirtier than the toilet seat itself. Gives a completely different meaning to ‘keeping your hands dirty’ doesn’t it?

2. Microwave door handles. Not cleaning up your soup disaster in the office microwave is quite likely to be seen as a serious breach of your office etiquette, yet here’s something your nose-wrinkling workmates probably don’t know – microwave doors, touched by half of the office workers are germier than any of your soup spillages, curry explosions or both. Same applies to fridge handles, I’m sorry to say.

3. Vending Machine Buttons. As if the calories in a Mars bar wasn’t a punishment enough! Turns out that by vigorously pressing the vending machine buttons, not only do we gain a naughty afternoon treat, but also a fingerful of bacteria from everyone who has touched it. Eww.

4. Keyboards. Even if you’re the quickest typer in the whole office, it still won’t keep the germs sticking to your fingers from the keyboard which, as you can imagine, doesn’t miraculously clean itself overnight and contains more bacteria than a toilet seat. What makes the deal even dirtier is the habit of eating at your desk. Still not convinced? Turn your keyboard over and give it a good shake!

5. Water Fountain. If you’re a regular visitor to the office bathroom, you’re probably frequenting the office water fountain, too. Sometimes even straight afterwards with those unwashed or, even worse, freshly rinsed (see above) hands of yours, passing the bacteria on and pouring that pure mountain goodness in your mug (or your mouth) in one go.

So, what’s next? Don’t go overboard trying to impose even stricter cleaning rules on communal use areas as, firstly, it’s not going to happen and, secondly, there’s no reason to obsess over it, as long as there are no office-germ related casualties in your workplace (not that I’ve ever heard of any).

But if, like me, you are extremely repulsed by the thought of touching anything in the office ever again, carry disinfectant wipes with you to clean your hands and all the filthy surfaces at least once a day and use hand sanitizer yourself. Or, if your workplace is using professional services for office cleaning London, you can always ask them to do the job.

So, have you started turning off those taps with a paper towel already?

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Susannah Perez is a fashion journalist who doesn’t mind a creative mess but takes issue with ‘creative’ sloppiness! In her spare time she blogs for Evo Cleaning and walks around spritzing antibacterial spray.