dirty flip flops

Dirty flip-flops can carry potentially harmful bacteria and germs. Photo: Getty Images

Here's one for the that's-just-so-gross files.

The New York Daily News sent two reporters out around NYC wearing $3.50 flip-flops for four days.

They hit bars and a baseball game. They rode the train. They dared to enter a public restroom at the Coney Island subway station. The rubber sandals were then sent to a lab -- and, guess what? They were riddled with icky, nasty and potentially deadly germs.

The one that makes a flip-flop-lovin' gal shudder? Analysts found Staphylococcus aureus -- a bacteria that can kill you if left untreated.

"If you wear shoes for three months, 93 percent have fecal bacteria and 20 percent have E. coli," the News quotes Dr. Charles P. Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, as saying.

Other germs -- Tempted to toss your well-worn flips? Here are some cleaning tips. But today, we'll be wearing shoes. With socks.