Where to Avoid Lurking Germs
Germs are everywhere. We can’t entirely remove them from our lives but we can try our best to limit our exposure and keep ourselves from getting sick. Here are six places that germs hide out and how you can avoid catching them.
1. Public bathroom door handles
Most people wouldn’t suspect it, but the dirtiest spot in a public bathroom is the handle on the door. The interior of a public bathroom is usually cleaned pretty well (albeit with some nasty chemicals, but it’s better than nothing), but the door handles are often overlooked. Use a square of toilet paper to open the door or, if it’s push-able, push it open with your toe.
2. Grocery carts
Shopping carts are handled by a lot of people, including store associates wearing gloves that touched who-knows-what-else. Plus, they spend a lot of time sitting outside where they could pick up anything from the ground or road. Many stores these days are offering disinfectant wipes at the entrance so you can wipe down the handle bar.
3. The doctor’s office
It’s understandable if you need to visit a doctor, but the waiting rooms are often petri dishes of disease. Don’t forget: sick people have been sitting in those chairs, reading those magazines, and playing with those toys. This is especially true if you’re in a pediatrician’s office (as kids are prone to touch everything). If you have to wait, bring hand sanitizer and sit away from others.
4. Soap dispensers
Sounds ironic, doesn’t it? The outside of the soap dispenser is often the first thing people touch after using the bathroom. If there’s any bacteria or waste matter on their hands, this is often where it ends up. Fortunately, if you’re hitting the dispenser, you’re about to wash your hands. Make sure to wash well.
5. Restaurant menus
Cold and flu viruses can live outside the body on some surfaces for up to eighteen hours. That means that the guy who held your menu this morning could get you sick at dinner time. Even if those menus are wiped down with sanitizer every night (which probably doesn’t happen that often), a lot of people have touched them in between cleanings. Avoid letting your menu touch your plate or silverware.
6. Cutting boards
Every home has a series of cutting boards, but they can house colonies of bacteria. As you slice on a cutting board, tiny scars in the material are inevitable, even if you use a plastic board. Bacteria hides in these places and reproduces uncontested. Make sure to wash your cutting boards in near boiling water (the dishwasher will do).
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