The dirtiest spot on an airplane is actually not the toilet

These Are the Dirtiest Areas on the Airplane
These Are the Dirtiest Areas on the Airplane

Planes are not the cleanest place on earth. Hundreds of passengers spend their time in a very confined space, eating, sleeping, sneezing, using the bathroom and spreading their bacteria all over the inside of the aircrafts, which are not always sanitized between flights. Surprisingly enough, while the airplane's bathroom, or more specifically the lavatory flush button, is one of the dirtiest spots on board, it does not take the throne of the dirtiest place par excellence.

Travelmath sent a microbiologist to explore both airports and airplanes, testing a variety of items that we normally use to come up with a list of the dirtiest ones of all, based on "colony-forming units." Here are the findings:

1. Tray table
Stay away from it as much as you can! This thing is a hive of bacteria ready to jump on you. Some people even change their babies' diapers on them, so you might want to wipe it very well before your next in-flight meal.

2. Overhead air vent
The toilet is not even at number two. That little vent that everybody pokes around with to get some breeze on their faces is even dirtier.

3. Lavatory flush button
Finally, the bathroom. The flush button in particular is what you want to be really careful before touching. Use tissue paper, or whatever else is in your reach to avoid direct contact.

4. Seatbelt buckle
You touch it during the flight, but most disgustingly after the flight is over and you spent hours touching other bacteria infected areas of the plane, your food, your face and who knows what else. As a final goodbye you leave all that on your seatbelt buckle and pick up whatever the person before you left there.

Just take a bus.

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Originally published