In general, we all try to be as hygienic as possible. We also try to teach these habits to our children. But there are a number of common practices that are less then hygienic. Here’s a list of the nine most common unhealthy habits.
- Keeping your toothbrush within 24 inches of your toilet. Every time you flush the toilet you send small particles of bacteria into the air. Studies have shown that they land on anything within 24 inches. So you should either put your toothbrush inside the medicine cabinet or at least two feet away.
- Using the same kitchen towel to clean your counters and dry your dishes. Lots of people don’t realize just how dirty their counter tops get in a give day and if you wipe them down and then use that towel to dry your dishes you are just transferring those germs from the towel to your clean dishes.
- Not cleaning your steering wheel. This is one that very few people do on a regular basis. When you consider all of the things we touch and use while driving, it might occur to you just how icky your steering wheel gets – think of the buttons on the drive-up ATM or the cash handed over and back from the drive-thru or the gas pump or any number of other things. You should wipe down your steering wheel every few days.
- Always look before you drink. When eating out, you should always look in your beverage as well as at the glass before you take a sip, and use a straw whenever available. For some reason, drinking glasses are the most common “unclean” items distributed in restaurants (followed by utensils) so always give it a once over before drinking.
- Watch how your groceries are bagged. You should always be sure that your raw foods (meats, mainly) are not bagged next to other foods, because cross contamination can occur. This also goes for cleaning products and food items – keep them separate just in case a minor spillage occurs.
- Under heating leftovers. When reheating leftovers, you do not want to just “warm it up” you want to get it back up to the temperature you cooked it at. This will help insure that any microbes that might have begun to form are killed before you eat the food item.
- Using the same spatula during the process of cooking raw meat and stirring something else. You want to prevent cross-contamination, so you must use a different cooking utensil for your raw meats and the rest of your meal.
- Not cleaning your cleaning supplies/tools. You should clean the brushes on your dishbrushes, mops, brooms and vacuums on a regular basis (in relation to how often you use them). Germs can get stuck in them and then you are just spreading them around your home while you are trying to clean it.
- “Over” Cleaning things. While many germs are harmful to our health, there are still forms of bacteria that are not only good but necessary for our survival. So “bleaching” your entire world is too far on the other end of the spectrum. For example, washing your hands too often can actually remove the extra layers of skin we need to prevent infection when we do come in contact with containments.