Your steering wheel could be the dirtiest thing you encounter in a typical day


Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV) – What’s the dirtiest thing in your house?

One is your kitchen sink. Other candidates on that list include your kitchen sponge, smart phone, computer keyboard and dog toys — but what about your car?

The steering wheel is the worst.

We spend an average of 17,600 minutes (or about 293 hours) behind the wheel every year, but not nearly enough time cleaning the inside of that car.

A survey from found 32% of car owners clean the inside their car just once a year, and 12% never clean inside the car at all.

Ever. Despite that, 20% of drivers eat and drink while on the road.

The inside of our cars contain about 700 different strains of bacteria, and the eating and drinking makes things worse.

The crumbs you drop, the drops you spill create the perfect environment: dark, confined and exposed to plenty of temperature changes for breeding more bacteria.

Your car’s steering wheel is six times dirtier than your smart phone screen, four times filthier than the seat of a public toilet and twice as germy as the buttons in an elevator.

The CarRentals study says that when we fill up, that pump handle is 12,000 times dirtier than a public toilet seat.

Those germs jump to your door handles, gearshift and steering wheel.

So from time to time, grab a sanitizer wipe and wipe down the steering wheel, gearshift, door handles and audio controls — don’t forget those keys.

You can also spray a disinfectant such as Lysol into your air filter’s vent the next time you change it to prevent germs from building up and recycling through your car every time you turn on the heat or A/C.

Vacuum the carpets and clean the floor mats.

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