Do you use Citi Bike regularly? If so, you may want to keep some Purell handy. In fact, if you’re going out in public in New York City at all, you’ll probably want to disinfect every part of your body that touches … well, anything.
A recent Men’s Health video found the mag’s editor-in-chief, Matt Bean, taking to various public spaces in New York City with a handheld germ detector (yes, those exist) to determine exactly how gross they are. Spoiler: most of ‘em are pretty gross.
The most disgusting? Citi Bike handlebars, which rated a 1,500 on the scale used to determine cleanliness—and, as Men’s Health notes, “if something gets a rating of 50, it shouldn’t touch your food.” Hence the need for Purell after taking a ride on one of those bright blue bikes.
Among the other grimy surfaces that Bean tested were a door handle at a Starbucks, which rated 1,090 (no surprise, given that the coffee chain is among the preferred pit-stops of choice when the urge to pee strikes); a LinkNYC kiosk, which rated 807; and a taxi door handle, with a 424 rating. None of this is all that surprising—surfaces that many, many people touch over the course of a day will, naturally, be full of bacteria.
What is surprising is how low subway poles ranked in Men’s Health’s findings: the one tested, which appears to be on the 6 train, rated a mere 45. (Does this mean you should immediately eat something with unwashed hands after riding a packed train? No, absolutely not.)
Of course, this should all be taken with a grain of salt; no one subway pole is representative of the system as a whole, and maybe one Starbucks cleans its door handles more frequently than another. But still, carry that Purell around … just in case.
- We Found the Most Germ-Covered Surfaces in New York City [Men’s Health]