Public Places That Attract The Most Germs

If the last two years have taught us anything, it is that viruses and bacteria can spread pretty effectively under the right circumstances. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way that we view personal hygiene, with regular hand washing, face masks and staying away from others when feeling ill becoming normalised throughout society. 

While we’re now much more conscious about personal hygiene, it’s still a good idea to be aware of the places where germs and bacteria thrive when out and about. By understanding the public places that most attract germs, you can minimise the spread of bacteria and the risk to yourself and others. 

We’ve put together a list of the top ten germ hotspots in society.


From sweating over the various machines to sharing equipment with strangers, it’s no surprise that gyms are among the biggest germ hotspots out there. Germs spread in this environment fairly easily, because bacteria jump from our skin onto anything we touch – including weights, machines, punchbags and all gym equipment.

Since gyms reopened in the UK, wiping down machines and equipment before and after use has become a common courtesy. And this etiquette is the best way to prevent the spread of germs.


We’ve all been in an office environment when a cold or sickness bug has spread, and while working from home has transformed many businesses’ approach to work, many people have started returning to office environments in recent months, meaning germs will start to become more commonplace again.   

Office desks, computers, lift buttons and more, can serve as breeding grounds for all types of nasty bacteria, in fact, it’s estimated that office desktops contain more bacteria than toilet seats!  

To stop the spread of germs, it’s always important to regularly wipe down and clean your desk after use, especially if hot desking. Another great way of ensuring a hygienic environment is calling upon the services of a commercial office cleaning company.

Public toilets

It’s no surprise that public toilets are one of the biggest germ hotspots. A whole host of germs can be found in these places, and they’re easier to spread in public toilets. This is because when the toilet is flushed, a spray of bacteria-filled droplets is distributed into the air and throughout the room. The same effect is achieved by hand dryers, meaning you should be extra careful in these places. 

Soap dispensers and taps can also be contaminated, as people tend to touch them before they’ve had the chance to wash their hands. So, the best way to reduce the spread of germs is to always practise good hand hygiene whenever you use the toilet.


According to data conducted by the University of Arizona, over two-thirds of American supermarket trolley handles had been contaminated by faecal matter. While some supermarkets here in the UK have introduced antimicrobial trolley handles, where bacteria cannot survive as easily, there are lots of other places in supermarkets where germs can be found.

Refrigerator and freezer doors, supermarket shelves and even fresh fruit and vegetables can house germs and bacteria. The best way to combat this spread is to make sure you properly wash and sanitise your hands after visiting the supermarket, and always wash fresh ingredients before use.


While all food and drink establishments have certain health and safety hygiene standards that they must meet, restaurants are still among the biggest germ hotspots.  

The biggest culprits are food menus, because even though they’re touched by countless people throughout the day, they’re not always diligently wiped down by staff until the end of the day. This means that germs and bacteria may be present, so before getting stuck into your meal it’s always worth a trip to the toilets to give your hands a good wash.

If you’re in the hospitality industry, making use of commercial restaurant cleaning services is a great way to keep your customers safe.


When jetting off on holiday, you’re probably not thinking too much about germs and bacteria at the airport and on the plane, but they can be pretty grimy places. Airport and plane toilets, communal areas and fold-up tables are the biggest offenders where germs and bacteria can be found. 

Many airports now provide hand sanitiser, and the best way to minimise the risk to yourself and fellow passengers is to practice good hygiene throughout your journey.


While hotels have regular cleaning services before you check-in to your room, they can never eradicate absolutely every germ. Some hotels are also not as thorough as you’d hope, with light switches and TV remotes containing the most germs. 

That’s why we’d always recommend bringing along some disinfectant wipes to wipe these things down with when you arrive.

Healthcare settings

You might be surprised to see healthcare settings on this list, as doctor surgeries and dental practices need to be clinically cleaned to ensure hygiene on a regular basis. While you’re unlikely to need to worry about the condition of the areas where medical procedures take place, waiting rooms could be harbouring germs.  

Bacteria may be rife on chair handles, magazines and doors, so make sure to wash and sanitise your hands when you leave. At Scott & Sons, we also offer our commercial cleaning services to medical centres, helping to meet the high standards expected in the healthcare industry.


An environment that brings together dirty clothes from countless strangers is bound to bring with it a fair few germs – which is why laundrettes are on the list of top germ hotspots.  

Despite the washing machines getting rid of dirt, bacteria is not always so easy to get rid of, and can linger in the machines, in their handles and can also be airborne. 

If you need to use a laundrette, make sure to wash your hands between every load and give them a good scrub when you get home, too.


Children have no concept of hygiene, which is why playgrounds can be a hotbed for germs. Slides, swings, climbing frames can house all kinds of bacteria from children, so it’s important to make sure you wash their hands when you leave. 

Also, encourage good hygiene for your children and keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not constantly putting their hands in their mouths after touching unclean surfaces while they’re playing. 

At Scott & Sons, we’re always helping commercial clients throughout St. Albans, Watford, Hemel Hempstead and beyond with their hygiene needs. With a whole host of cleaning services available, get in touch with our team today to find out more.  

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