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18 July, 2008

How To-63: "How to Disinfect Public Surfaces"

How to Disinfect Public Surfaces

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Humans, being the rather revolting creatures they are, constantly shed, secrete, and transfer various distasteful substances onto the surfaces they touch and approach. Contact with such surfaces are often unavoidable, but to reduce personal contamination to some degree, here are some methods to consider.
The truth is, the effectiveness of disinfectant on public surfaces is limited. Thus, keeping clean implies limiting exposure to filth.


  1. Don't directly touch surfaces.
    • Cars, buses, subways, and the like are particularly dirty places, often housing upholstered seatings, scarcely-mopped flooring, and railings which thousands of human hands cling to and ooze upon.
    • Consider standing whenever possible, or sitting on a newspaper or other disposable object.
    • Instead of grabbing onto handrails with one's hands, wrapping a clothing-clad arm around the pole can provide security and keep hands clean.
    • When traveling, wear shoes at all times, even in hotels. Also for hotels, bring a blanket from home to sleep upon to limit exposure to hotel sheets.
    • Note on airplanes: Forget it, there is no hope. Airplanes are concentrated misery. Embrace the filth.


The public bathroom is necessary, but likely the most vile facility on the planet

    • Never place personal items on the floor. After using the restroom, do not pick up personal items with dirty hands.
    • Flush toilets with feet.
    • Wash hands thoroughly and dry with a paper towel, turning off the water faucet with the paper towel.
    • Use paper towel to open bathroom doors, prop open the door with foot, and toss paper towel into trash bin.


  1. Visually inspect. Always do a visual inspection of potential eateries.
    • Scanning the room for rats, cockroaches, and raw sewage might save one the time attempting to develop a filth-avoiding strategy.
    • Select a seat at the most obviously hygienically sound table/booth/bar stool available (after a through search for leftover food particles, dead animals [aside from the organisms one intends to consume]).
    • Ensure silverware and dishes are clean, and that one never utilizes the napkins or other disposable wear that has already contacted a public surface or previously inhaled atmosphere.
      • For example, the napkins in the middle of the stack are more desirable than those at the top or bottom.
    • Avoid sitting too close to others, finger-slurping, double dipping, consuming comestibles from public eating dishes, and sharing in general.

Other Locations

  1. Consider all locations. Even a benign location such as a library houses innumerable bacteria and immeasurable squalor. Thus, a few precautions can aid in making a public experience a somewhat less repugnant one.
    • Any object, such as a keyboard, that has experienced constant fondling by unwashed hands, can be a potential dirt-magnet.
      • Using the keyboard example to represent such objects, one may begin the use process with a disinfectant wipe. The wipe alone, however, cannot remove years of accumulated oils and dander on the keys, so wearing a pair of gloves is an excellent means by which to avoid personal contamination.
    • If one wishes to reduce breathing in the horrible particulates located in previously inhaled atmosphere, such as pathogens and airborne saliva particles, a surgical mask is a lightweight and practical option.
  2. General: Finally, the best step is simply to remain at home, which one should clean. Often.


  • Always wear long sleeves. An over-sized jacket or long sleeved over-shirt that one can remove in hot weather or after contamination is particularly useful. Whenever contact with a public surface seems imminent, such as when opening doors or shaking hands, one may covertly shake the sleeves over their hands to avoid direct contact.
  • Always bathe regularly and wash hands after contact with filth.
  • Using a personal object, such as an mp3 player or laptop in a public place transfers filth to that object. Disinfect those items after exposure to germs and grime, especially before using them again at home.


  • Following these tips may cause social isolation, dirty looks, and obsessive compulsiveness.
  • Current science advocates tolerance to germ exposure, as it aids in building the immune system.

Things You'll Need

  • Essential items include long sleeves, hand sanitizer, wipes, some sort of disinfectant spray, gloves, surgical masks, a bar of soap, and a packet of tissues.

Related wikiHows

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