The Dirtiest Part Of Your Body Isn't What You Think

We've all been taught the importance of hand-washing. Because of this, it's easy to assume that the hands are the dirtiest part of the body. After all, germs live on common, everyday items we touch regularly such as our phone, money, or doorknobs, just to name a few.

Believe it or not, however, there's a different part of the body that outranks the hands when it comes to uncleanliness.

It's your belly button.

According to Global News, your belly button is the part of your body where the highest volume of bacteria likes to hang out. While it looks like there isn't a whole lot of room in there, a study published in the scientific journal, PLOS ONE, discovered over 2,300 species of bacteria that call the navel home.

So why is the belly button such a hot piece of real estate? 

"Any fold where it's warm and moist is where bacteria can breed," says Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett. "People who are very overweight and people with diabetes, especially Type 2, are at a higher risk of accumulating bacteria and getting infections to those areas," she adds. Kellett also cautions people about getting their belly button pierced because this can create a new portal for even more unwanted bacterial guests. She also recommends being mindful about regularly keeping the belly button area clean and dry.

The cleanest part of your body

With all this talk of dirt, you might be wondering — if the belly button is the dirtiest part of the body, then what's the cleanest? 

The cleanest part of your body is actually right in front of your face — it's your eye

According to Reference, the eye is considered to be the cleanest part of the body due to its natural cleaning and protective functions. Each time you blink, you keep the eye moist, and tears help to protect the eye by washing away dirt and germs. Your eyelids also act as a protective barrier between your eye and any outside elements, keeping your eye further protected.

Another part of the body that does a pretty good job of staying clean is the ear. You may think earwax is gross and needs to be routinely cleaned out, but the wax actually provides protection (via You should also be careful about excessive hair washing. Washing hair less frequently will allow your hair to build up its natural oils and will give your scalp a break.

As far as cleaning your hands goes, while the hands aren't the dirtiest part of the body, regular hand-washing with soap and water will help to prevent the spread of germs and illness.