Last Updated JULY 2023

The 5 Dirtiest Places in Your Office Might Surprise You

Dirt can sometimes hide in the most obvious places. Collaboration and teamwork are the norm in today’s modern offices, but as co-workers meet in crowded conference rooms and huddle over computers exchanging ideas, they’re also sharing something else, germs.

Many assume dirt and germs are primarily found in the restroom, but they also lurk in less obvious places. To identify these workplace germ "hot spots," Kimberly-Clark Professional™ collected nearly 5,000 individual swabs from office buildings1. Based on their findings these were the five most contaminated areas:

  1. Break room sink faucet handles
  2. Microwave door handles
  3. Computer keyboards
  4. Refrigerator door handles
  5. Water fountain buttons

Germ-Fighting Game Plan

Break Room

As one of the busiest areas in the office, it's no wonder that break rooms are host to many of the most highly contaminated workplace areas, according to the study. But given that food is often reheated, prepared and consumed in office break rooms, cleanliness is critical. Surface wipers like the dual-performance WetTask System are compatible with solvents for wet wiping and disinfection. When it comes to cleaning tough-to-tackle substances, like food or coffee that may have dried onto the countertop, it will be easy to master every cleaning task.


Focused on the task at hand, computer-bound workers may not be thinking about the other surfaces their fingertips have touched. But using WypAll X60 wipes to spray and wipe surfaces with appropriate disinfectants2 can help kill bacteria on hard surfaces, making them an effective way to keep desks, computers and keyboards sanitary for employees.

Common Areas

An average day for an employee is filled with multiple trips to the water cooler—which means a lot of different fingers touching the water levers. By placing reminders on hand washing near water coolers, it can encourage employees to wash their hands, and in turn reduce the risk of germ transmission. Infographics like this provide steps to proper hand washing and help workers get in the habit of washing their hands throughout the day.

To further reduce up to 77% of bacteria on hands after washing3, using paper towels to dry hands can remove bacteria effectively and cause less contamination of the washroom environment4. Introducing paper towels dispenser, instead of jet air dryers, in the washroom can provide unparalleled hygiene performance and give your employees an ease of mind.

Invisible germs will always be hard to track down, but products like wipers and paper towels can go a long way to reducing the risk of germ exposure and making sure that the only things accumulating at the office are good ideas.




Study sponsored and conducted by KCP in USA office buildings in 2012.

Tested with disinfectants like hydrogen peroxide, bleach and quats. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for chemical application and dwell time. Please test with your preferred solvent(s) before using.

University of Westminster, “Changes in the number of different types of bacteria on the hands before and after drying using paper towel, continuous cloth roller towel, warm air dryer and jet air dryer” (2010)

Huang, C., Ma, W., & Stack, S. (2012). The hygienic efficacy of different hand-drying methods: a review of the evidence. Mayo Clinic proceedings, 87(8), 791–798.


The support of experienced partners is just as important as choosing the right supplies. Contact our experts to help you identify solution to equip your business for the new normal.