When it comes to your health, it pays to be a bit neurotic. If you think you’re paying enough attention to your cleanliness, think again. There are three things in particular that people do without even realizing it, and it could be spreading some serious germs around.
1. 1.) Are You Washing Your Hands as Well as You Think?
Probably not. First of all, please, please, PLEASE always (ALWAYS) wash your hands after using the restroom—even if you can somehow explain that it just isn’t necessary. Believe us: It is.
Secondly, you need to use hot water. Now, we’re not telling you to go fry the skin off your hands, but cold water isn’t going to cut it. If washing up to your elbows (which is recommended) seems a little excessive to you, at least go a little past your wrists. Don’t forget your palms, your individual fingers, the pads of your fingers, and in between them all.
Avoid using a cloth towel to dry your hands, as they quickly start to harbor a lot of bacteria. Paper towel is best. Dry yourself off and throw it out!
1. 2.) Look More Closely at Your Toothbrush
Do you know that some people will go months before replacing their toothbrush? We understand that it sort of seems silly to think that a toothbrush can harbor bacteria, since it’s cleaned every day with the same thing you use to clean the inside of your mouth: toothpaste. But the germs ARE there, and you’re putting them in your mouth!
Stock up on toothbrushes so you always have a supply on hand. It’s not a bad idea to replace yours once a month, more frequently if you’re sick, since the bacteria are probably raging out of control. And try not to drink directly out of the bottle of mouthwash. Using a disposable paper cup (or a cup that you wash) is safer.
1. 3.) Pillowcases: They’re Soft, They’re Cozy…
They’re full of GERMS! Okay, they’re probably fine right after you’ve washed them; but many people will go weeks without washing their pillowcases, and who KNOWS what kind of germs are growing and lingering on the material? Making this even scarier is the fact that your face is all over that thing—your mouth, eyes, nose. One wrong germ and you could end up sick!
So, how can you avoid this? Obviously, you need to wash your pillowcases (and all your sheets)—once a week is good. You can also help reduce the spreading of germs by always going to bed with a clean face and clean hair. Whatever gross bacteria are on you are going to end up on your pillowcases. Who knows where it’ll go next?
If you look at your surroundings through a magnifying glass, you will find all sorts of germy vacation spots—your cellphone, the TV remote controller, your keyboard, doorknobs, headphones…Grab a sanitizing wipe and start disinfecting your world! You’ll be so glad you did.
Angela George writes for education blogs where you can learn more about the Best RN to BSN Programs.