We have some of the best hygiene in the world--yet in some ways, we're still absolutely filthy.
A new study of household cleanliness puts the United States right near the top of the list in most categories... but don't stop cleaning just yet, because it also finds that we still have plenty of germs crawling around our homes.
And that's especially true in our kitchens, bathrooms and computer keyboards.
That's right--computer keyboards, and I hope you've cleaned yours recently, because the researchers found staphylococcus aureus (the "staph" in "staph infection") on 11 percent of U.S. keyboards and computer mice.
In fact, 25 percent of households say they've never cleaned their computers--ever.
And if you haven't been cleaning yours, you might want to rethink that--alcohol swabs and a little compressed air can help keep the real bugs out of your machine and off your fingertips.
Researchers from the Hygiene Council visited homes in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Australia, and India, and then swabbed for germs and mold everywhere.
They found that the dirtiest places in U.S. homes are in our bathrooms--but it's not where you think, because it's not the toilet... it's the bathtub.
And if you didn't know that you were supposed to clean the seal where the tub meets the tile, you're not alone: Forty percent of the samples from that little strip came back unsatisfactory or heavily contaminated.
Maybe it's time to replace the caulking and start all over.
The researchers say the second-filthiest spot in U.S. homes was in the kitchen--and again, it's probably not where you think.
While just 5 percent of U.S. refrigerators flunked the cleanliness test, 15 percent of kitchen towels ranked unsatisfactory or heavily contaminated.
Strangely enough, while our dishrags and keyboards may be filthy, our coffeepots are practically pristine. Researchers say 100 percent of all U.S. coffeepot and teapot handles tested were either satisfactory or spotless.
All told, 89 percent of surfaces tested in the United States were satisfactory or spotless... but the 11 percent leftover represents more than enough to make anyone sick, especially if you've got a potential staph infection sitting just below your inbox.
So next time you're cleaning up, take another look around-- especially at your kitchen, bathroom and keyboard--and see if you missed a spot or two.
And don't forget to throw your dishrag into the laundry.