Meredith Royster

One of the Biggest Public Germ Magnets May Be in Your Wallet

Public toilets are unsurprisingly dirty, but the Consumer Team found something unexpectedly almost as gross.

Armed with sterile swabs and tubes, the Consumer Team swabbed for germs on ride-share door handles, seat belts, toilet seats, kiddie swings and credit cards.

The samples were tested in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey Kaplan, professor of biology at American University.

Master’s student Madeeha Froze Mughal tested the samples for staphylococcus, common bacteria found on skin and mostly harmless.

The toilets each had more than 1,000 colonies of staphylococcus bacteria.

The ride-share door handles and seat belts had anywhere between 0 to 320 colonies of bacteria.

One electric scooter had 40 colonies, while another had 220 colonies.

The baby swing came in at 400 colonies.

But second dirtiest to the toilet seats was a credit card with 600 colonies of bacteria.

So wipe down your credit cards with an antibacterial cloth, and be sure to wash your hands regularly, no matter what time of year it is.

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