The world is an undeniably germy place. But we're not just talking about doctor's offices and hospitals. Unfortunately, the things we touch every day are teeming with bacteria—according to research from Kimberly-Clarke, 71 percent of gas pump handles, 68 percent of mailbox handles, 41 percent of ATM buttons, 40 percent of parking kiosks, and 35 percent of vending machines tested positive for contamination likely to cause the transmission of illness. Even though COVID is not likely to be transmitted through surfaces, with the virus still spreading like wildfire both stateside and overseas, the thought of coming into contact with shared germy surfaces has become unpalatable.
Fortunately, if you're eager to avoid putting your hands on those germ-laden items you used to touch on a daily basis, there's an unbelievably simple way to keep your hands clean. The Kooty Key is a door-opening hook, a shopping cart handle, an elevator-button-pusher, a keypad-presser, and can be easily attached to your belt or key ring, thanks to its handy carabiner. Better yet, it's made of antimicrobial plastic, which actually helps repel bacteria found on common surfaces.
$10 at Amazon
However, that's far from the only way to keep those nasty germs at arm's length. Read on to discover what you need to steer clear of practically any germy surface you might encounter. And if you want to clean up your act on the home front, This Is the Absolute Germiest Thing in Your Home, Study Says.
Best Life's editors have scoured the internet to bring you the best products out there, and we're hoping you'll love them as much as we do. Full disclosure: we may earn a commission for anything you purchase through links on this page, but that doesn't mean you'll pay more for them (we'd never do that to you!). Pricing and availability are accurate as of the piece's initial publication date, but it's the internet and we can't guarantee that these sweet, sweet deals will last forever, so scoop them up before someone else does!
This shopping cart handle cover
Who knows who touched that shopping cart handle before you, and who knows whose grubby mitts may have been on it before that? If you want to avoid touching a grimy cart handle on your next trip to the store, this shopping cart handle cover has got you, well, covered.
$11 at Amazon
This set of touch screen styluses
We hate to break it to you, but those styluses at your favorite local stores aren't exactly germ-free. If you want to avoid touching that infrequently sanitized stylus, keeping this personal set on hand is the perfect way to do just that.
$14 at Amazon
These shopping cart bags
Sure, you may have wiped the handle down, but it's unlikely you found time to give your whole shopping cart a thorough scrub. If you want your groceries to avoid coming in contact with a questionable cart, a set of these hanging bags can help keep them far away from all that ickiness at the bottom. And for more great stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
$24 at Amazon
This touchless smart lock
According to a study from NSF International, nine percent of house keys sampled tested positive for yeast or mold, and another five percent of tested positive for coliform bacteria, an indication of fecal contamination. If you want to avoid touching those germy keys altogether, a smart lock is a great way to bid them adieu while making it easier than ever to open your door when your hands are full.
200$180 at Amazon
This touch-free infrared thermometer
Whether you're going into the office, school, or even some stores, having your temperature taken regularly is just part of daily life in the world post-COVID. If you want to gauge your own temperature on a regular basis without poking and prodding your mouth or ears (and the inevitable sanitizing routine that follows), this infrared thermometer is the perfect at-home tool.
$70 at Target
This motion-activated trash can
Even if you manage to get your garbage in the trash can most of the time, there are always stray pieces of refuse that hit the rim or the lid and, inevitably, get on your hands. However, with this touch-free trash can, you can avoid a messy ordeal after every meal. And if you want to get your home spotless, check out these 20 Genius Tricks That Will Cut Your Cleaning Time in Half.
$65 at Amazon
These machine-washable gloves
Yes, nitrile gloves can provide a barrier against germy surfaces, but they're also contributing to a rise in global plastic waste. If you want a more eco-friendly pair to wear out and about, score a set of these cut-resistant gloves, which you can simply toss in the washing machine when you're done wearing them.
$12 at Amazon
This automatic soap dispenser
If you're touching your soap dispenser with germy hands, you may not be getting those mitts as clean as you'd hoped. Luckily, with this automatic soap dispenser, you can keep that hand hygiene routine as clean as possible.
50$29 at Walmart
This wipeable desk pad
If your office has shared workspaces, countless hands could be touching your desk over the course of a single day. If you want to make sure you're not touching a potentially contaminated surface, simply lay this wipeable, waterproof desk blotter down before setting down your stuff and wipe it clean when you're done.
$36 at Amazon
This universal keyboard protector
Your keyboard might just be one of the dirtiest things you touch all day. In fact, according to NSF's data, 68 percent of the personal keyboards swabbed were positive for yeast or mold. If you want to keep your computer cleaner—or avoid touching a shared keyboard altogether—this universal keyboard protector can help keep your hands far from those germy keys.
$7 at Amazon
This touch-free hand sanitizer dispenser
Looking for a quick way to sanitize your hands without digging into your bag for your hand sanitizer bottle? This automatic sanitizer dispenser can help distribute product into your hands whenever you need it, touch-free. And if you're stocking your cleaning cabinet, snag these 20 Genius Products That Make Cleaning So Much Easier.
27$20 at Amazon
This dishwasher safe reusable cup
Go green and sidestep those germy paper cups in one fell swoop by bringing this sanitizable, reusable cup on your next coffee run. In addition to reducing paper waste, you can easily wipe down its exterior with an alcohol wipe or toss it in the dishwasher to get it squeaky clean.
$13 at Amazon
This reaching grabber tool
Whether you're cleaning up your neighborhood or picking up around this house, this easy-to-use grabber tool can help you reach anything from a dropped set of keys to trash on the ground.
$10 at Amazon
This Echo Dot smart home device
No budget for a personal assistant? No problem! This Echo Dot can help you turn on lights, appliances, alarm systems, play music, or even help you create a shopping list while your hands are otherwise occupied. And for more great ways to make your space more functional, This Is the Best Way to Upgrade Your Home Under $50.
$60 at Amazon