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Find out where germs like to lurk.
Find out where germs like to lurk. / Don Bayley/Getty Images

Before you sit down at your desk or rummage through your purse or book bag, know what’s there. Don Voorhees, author of Disgusting Things: A Miscellany, says some of the objects Americans touch multiple times a day are the germiest places.

Here are some tips for knowing where the germs like to lurk and when you should bring out the sanitizing wipes.

Handbags: Purses and backpacks love to collect bacteria. About 25% of pocketbooks contain E. coli, which can cause nausea or severe abdominal pains if exposed, according to Disgusting Things. Handbags touch many unsanitary surfaces such as the floors of public restrooms and subway cars. “Use sanitary wipes once a day and/or just be more careful where you plop your bag,” Voorhees says.

Desks: Your desk can host as many as 10,000,000 bacteria in the spot where you rest your hands — that’s 400 times more than the average toilet seat. “About 57% of workers eat at their desk,” Voorhees says. “Unlike your kitchen table at home, which you probably wipe clean after each use, 75% of office workers say they only occasionally clean their desktops; 20% say they never do.” Sanitize!

Shopping carts: Carts are wheeled around by a new person every half-hour or so, and hold babies with possibly leaky diapers. Both New Jersey and Arkansas have introduced legislation for cleaner shopping carts to minimize bacteria, Voorhees says. Your grocery list and sanitizing wipes should go hand-in-hand.

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