Toilets are not the worst place.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 million sick days are taken each year due to the common cold alone.

The National Sanitation Foundation, now NSF International conducted an experiment using two elementary schools from Michigan, to determine what the germiest things/places are at your child's school.

Here's a list of the germiest places at your child's school measured in Total Aerobic Bacteria per Square Inch.


  • 1

    Water Fountain

    But it's so refreshing! Water fountains both in classrooms and cafeterias combined for 2,763,000 CFU/in sq (Colony Forming Units / in sq)

  • 2

    Cafeteria Tray / Plate

    Makes sense. A plastic reusable cafeteria tray measured 33,800 CFU/in sq while cafeteria plate measured 15,800 CFU/in sq.

  • 3


    Yup, still dirtier than the toilet. The faucets were measured by cold water handle and hot water handle. The cold water handle had more germs with 32,000 CFU/in sq. The hot water handle measured 18,000 CFU/in sq.

  • 4

    Computer Keyboard

    Seems the toilet is pretty clean, but the's full of germs. Not as bad as the water fountain, or faucets, but still measured 3,300 CFU/in sq.

  • 5


    At least it made the list, but the toilet managed to be cleaner than many other things. The toilets in the experiment measured 3,200 CFU/in sq.

    Henryk Sadura