Hitting the ATM machine for cash is commonplace these days, and most of us probably don’t think twice when we touch the screen or punch in our codes. But a new report suggests we should maybe have our hand sanitizers ready following our next ATM trip because those machines are downright gross.
A recent report finds that the typical Manhattan ATM is just riddled with bacteria, and there’s no reason to think that’s not true for every other ATM out there. In fact, they were so gross they had more bacteria than a subway pole, and even a handle of a public toilet at Penn Station.
Mike Brown of financial product marketplace LendEDU tested 20 different ATMs in the city with a device that measures bacteria on surfaces, testing areas like the keypad, touch screen and card-reader of each cash machine, and the results were astounding.
Overall he found that the card reader is the dirtiest part of the ATM, getting a 427 RLU reading, which was double the levels for the keypads and touch screens. When comparing it to other gross things in the city, that number is pretty bad. For example a subway pole only got a 68 RLU reading, while the Penn Station toilet handle got a 163 and a park bench got a 370 RLU.