This Is the Dirtiest Thing at a Gas Station–and It’s Not in the Bathroom

You may be touching this germ-ridden object way more than you think.

Gas-stationvytautas kielaitis/ShutterstockWhile some gas station restrooms are pleasantly cleaner and more modern than others, we’ve all come across the ones that just… aren’t. Without question, most people would assume that the restroom’s toilet seat is the dirtiest place in the station. Surprisingly, there are a lot of everyday things that are dirtier than a toilet seat—and this one thing is definitely one of them. (These kitchen items are also surprising breeding grounds for germs.)

As it turns out, the dirtiest thing at a gas station is the pump handle. According to cleantechnica.com, the research was conducted by “Dr. Germ,” or more commonly known as University of Arizona microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba. “The findings of the new work are pretty clear—71 percent of all the gas-pump handles that were sampled were ‘highly contaminated’ with sorts of microbes most highly associated with illness and disease.” (You shouldn’t be using bar soap, either.)

Depending on what kind of car you have, you might be touching this germ-ridden handle way more than you’d like to admit. Fortunately, we have some good news. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself healthy while still running your weekly errands—like learning how you’re washing your hands wrong and staying on top of cleaning all of these things in your house.

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Brittany Gibson
Brittany Gibson is a regular contributor to RD.com’s culture, food, health, and travel sections. She was previously an editorial intern for RD.com and Westchester Magazine. Her articles have appeared on Buzzfeed, Business Insider, AOL, Yahoo, and MSN, among other sites. She earned a BA in English from the University of Connecticut