Hygienic Mistakes We Unknowingly Do All The Time But Really Shouldn’t
Everyone has their own self-care routines, however, we all understand the importance of good hygiene habits. From something as simple as brushing our teeth to washing our hands after using the bathroom, we tend to think we’re doing all the right steps. Little do we know, we can do some pretty gross and unhygienic things unknowingly. Do you flush with the lid down? Are you taking lunch breaks at your desk? Check out these hygiene no no’s you definitely do not want to make anymore.
We start to brush our teeth in the same place, so the teeth we brush last don’t get much attention.
Brushing our teeth is one of the most important things we do. Not only is it good hygiene, but essential for overall health. However, when you think about, we automatically start brushing our teeth in the exact same where everyday. Remember to switch it up a bit so the more neglected teeth get a good brush too.
We usually wash our face after a workout because of sweat. But, cleaning your face before the gym won’t clog pores from any makeup or dirt residue.
It only seems natural to wash our face after a sweaty workout, but have you ever thought to wash your face before the gym? Start making this a habit in order to prevent pores from getting clogged. A gentle wash or wipe is all you need.
We sometimes cut our toenails when they are wet because it’s easier, but can cause tears and uneven edges.
Cutting toenails should be done carefully, and preferably when your feet are dry and not wet. It’s definitely easier to cut toenails right after a shower and we do it during a pedicure, and because to nails get softer in water, they may tear or bend.
We use scented pads and tampons because they smell good, but the scented chemicals can alter your vagina’s pH balance and give you a bad odor.
Dealing with menstrual cycles is never easy and we try and stay as clean as possible down there during that time of the month. Some of us prefer pads while other like using tampons. However, using scented products should be off limits if you want to maintain a healthy pH balance.
We take lunch breaks at our desks, and a study from the University of Arizona found that the average desktop has more than 400 times the germs compared to an office toilet seat.
Maybe it’s a busy day at the office and you have a load of work to do before the deadline. You think eating at your desk will save you time because you’re multitasking, but have you ever thought about how unhygienic it is? The germs and bacteria that have accumulated on your keypad and computer mouse is a lot more than you think. According to a study, your desktop is dirtier than the office toilet. Yikes!
We feel the urge to bring our phones with us into the bathroom, which is why cellphones are covered in more fecal matter than a toilet seat.
Everyone is attached to their phones these days and it’s gotten to the point where people can even use the bathroom without their device. Are you guilty of this? No matter how badly you feel the urge to bring your phone with you to pass some time on the toilet, don’t. You’re unknowingly exposing your phone to salmonella, E. coli, and other harmful bacteria.
We spend way too much time lingering in the shower which dries out our skin, and the recommended shower time is about 5 to 10 minutes.
There really is nothing like taking a hot shower after a long day. Are you the type that’s in and out in less than five minutes? Or a person that takes their time and lingers around the shower because it just feels so good? Well, the average time we should spend in the shower is no longer than 10 minutes. Any extra time in the shower can dry out your skin.
We don’t always put the lid down before we flush the toilet, and microscopic bacteria such as E. coli sprays into the air and your skin.
What type of flusher are you? The one who keeps the lid open or closes it? It seems like common sense to always close the lid after using the toilet, especially considering your toothbrush is probably a foot away from the toilet. Leaving the lid open while flushing allows particles carrying bacteria and to spray in the air, into your face, and on your skin. Just let that sink in and you’ll never leave the lid open again.
We spray deodorant or perfume on our underwear for some extra sweet fragrance, however, it’s harmful and can cause irritation and infections.
There are several areas to put perfume so you smell extra fresh, but your underwear should definitely not be one of those places. This one is especially for the ladies who want to add a little extra fragrance, but direct contact to perfume or sprays and your private area is a bad idea. It can cause irritations and infections and we absolutely don’t want that.
We don’t replace our toothbrushes frequently enough and should swap them out every 3 to 4 months.
When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? Yes, you really need to start making this a habit. When the bristles start to spread out and look funky, you know it’s time. The American Dental Association recommends replacing toothbrushes every three months to maintain good oral health.
We don’t disinfect our phones, door knobs, light switches, or remote controls, and they contain the most bacteria.
Rumor has it that the dirtiest object in a hotel room is the remote control. There’s a reason for that, and if you think your TV remote at home is safe from germs, it’s probably not. We don’t spend enough time disinfecting some of the things we use the most and on a daily basis. From your phone to your doorknob, or even the office computer, disinfecting commonly touched areas is essential for good hygiene.
We dry our bodies too much after showering and we are removing dead cells that protect our skin.
It seems pretty obvious to dry ourselves completely off after a shower. Having wet skin isn’t a comfortable feeling, so must of us try and get as dry as possible before getting dressed, but some experts say otherwise. By drying our skin too much, we actually remove dead cells that help protect our skin, so it’s advised to to gently pat yourself dry.
We tend to reuse clothes we’ve already worn without washing them, which collects sweat and bacteria that can be transferred on different parts of our body.
Unless it’s sweaty gym clothes, we’ve all wanted to re-wear an outfit from the previous night. Although there is nothing wrong with reusing clothes if we think they’re still clean, there can still be a plethora of bacteria and particles hiding in your clothes.
We don’t regularly wash our facial hair even though 2 to 3 times a week is recommended. A European study found that a man’s beard carries more bacteria than dog fur.
If you wanted an unfun fact of the day, here it is, folks. Men, it’s time to start washing your beards regularly because according to a small European study published in 2019, researchers discovered that the average man’s beard has more bacteria than the dirtiest part of a dogs fur. Yikes! Guys, start scrubbin!
We use bath bombs, but the ingredients may affect a woman’s vaginal pH balance and can cause a rash or irritation.
Bath bombs have become super popular and can actually make a pretty cute gift for someone who enjoys their bubble baths. They may look cool and relaxing, but can have a negative effect on the skin if you’re sensitive. Not to mention, they can disrupt the bacteria and pH balance of your vagina.
We use hand dryers in public bathrooms and they actually spread germs instead of remove them.
Are you one of those people who use the electric air dryer or the one who walks by it and just wipes your wet hands on your pants? Your pants might actually be the more sanitary option because air dryers do very little when it comes to ridding bacteria. In reality, these dryers blow and spread bacteria back on to your hands.
We can’t help but use Q-Tips to clean the inside of our ears, but it pushes wax further into the ear canal causing impaction.
Cleaning your wet ears after getting out of the shower is a must. The first thing we might do is reach for a Q- Tip to clean out any excess ear wax we might have. It might feel good in the moment, but we are doing more harm than good. Q-Tips actually push earwax further into your ear drums which can cause pain and impaction.
We wash ourselves with soap everyday in the shower, but should limit how much soap we use because we are removing healthy oil and bacteria from our bodies.
Taking a daily shower is routine to most people, even if you’ve been inside all day. It’s just a part of routine, and to those of you who don’t shower daily, it’s actually not such a bad thing. Unless you’re extremely sweaty and smelly, bathing only a few times a week is necessary and using too much soap on your body allows bad bacteria to enter through cracked skin
We may brush our teeth right after drinking coffee to feel fresher, but should wait at least 30-60 minutes before brushing because you can damage the enamel on your teeth.
There’s nothing like starting your morning with a cup of joe. However, the coffee drinkers out there know about the infamous ‘coffee breath.’ No body wants a smelly mouth, so brushing our teeth seems like the next move to make. But, you should wait at least 30 to 60 minutes until after consuming beverages that are acidic like coffee, or eating, so your chances of cavities or tooth decay can be avoided.
We use the same towel way too often and should be washed after 3 to 5 uses.
Who’s guilty of this? Don’t worry, we definitely are, and yeah it’s pretty gross when you think about it. Even though we use towels on clean hands or washed bodies after a shower, they absorb a lot of water and is the perfect breeding ground for unwanted germs.
We pile our hair on top of our head when we shampoo it, but it’s a recipe for tangled knots.
If you have long hair, you’ve probably done this at least once or twice in your lifetime. Probably much more, but we’re not judging. Placing your hair up on top of your head while it’s full of shampoo can actually cause tangles and knots, and that’s something we don’t want to deal it.
We don’t wash our hands long enough and it requires at least 20 seconds to remove unwanted bacteria.
If you’re not scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds, you’re doing it wrong. This picture will show you all the perspective you need of how much bacteria we have on our hands at any given time. Always, always, wash your hands!
We reuse the same loofah for months, but it should be replaced every 3 weeks in order to avoid mold or a smelly odor.
Are you a loofah or a bar of soap type of person? Well, to any of the loofah users, how often are you actually replacing them? Do you know what’s really growing inside them? If these questions are freaking you out, then you need to replace your loofah immediately.
We wear sanitary pads for too many hours between changing them and it can cause yeast infections, rashes, and foul odors.
Staying clean and hygienic during that time of the month is important. No matter how heavy or light your flow might be, changing your pad about every 4 hours is ideal. Many of us might forget or think we don’t need to change them, but if you want to prevent bad odors or bacteria build-up, this is the best thing to do.
We keep our toothbrushes way too close to the toilet.
From what we previously mentioned in the article, we all know that we need to start flushing the toilet with the lid down. No exceptions. Just think of your toothbrush and how you use it in your mouth everyday. If you can help it, keep your toothbrushes far, far, away from the toilet.
We sit on the toilet for too long and the seated position places a lot of pressure on your veins and can cause hemorrhoids.
How many of you have taken an electronic device with you to sit on the porcelain throne? After reading this, you might want to stop doing that. Sitting on the toilet for too long is harmful to your health, and if you don’t want to risk getting hemorrhoids, go do your business and get up.
We don’t rinse the bar of soap between uses and bacteria and skin flakes can transfer to the bar.
Yep, even a bar of soap that’s sole purpose is to keep our hands clean, also needs to stay clean. Make sense? How many times have you used a bar of soap and let the suds just marinate on the bar? That’s bacteria from your hands and to keep the soap sanitary, it should be rinsed off afterwards.
We may wipe from back to front after urinating or making a bowel movement. Always wipe front to back to prevent urinary tract infections.
This is a major no no. Even if you’re super careful, just don’t do it. Always, always, wipe from front to back. Nobody wants feces or harmful bacteria in places where it doesn’t belong.
We sneeze into our hands and that’s exactly how a cold and flu are spread.
As much as we hate to admit it, we’ve all sneezed into our hands at some point or another. Most of the time, we probably don’t even realize it. However, it’s probably one of the most unhygienic things we can do. If a tissue is not available, always sneeze into your inner elbow. Respiratory illnesses such as the cold or flu can spread through sneezing and we definitely don’t want to be sick.
We may get cuts, burns, and rashes while grooming our pubic hairs. Always shave in the same direction of the hair growth, not against it.
Did you know that a quarter of people who groom their pubic hairs have injured themselves? If you want to get a close shave without any ingrown hairs, cuts, burns, or rashes, make sure you have a clean razor. Also, it’s super important to shave with the grain and never against it.
We don’t always wash off our makeup before bed and this makes your skin look older and causes acne.
After a long night our with friends we just want to crash into bed, and sometimes that means not washing our face. Who’s been there done that? As tired or lazy as you might be, it’s causing more harm than good. To avoid pimples or aging, wash your face!
We wear the same pajamas night after night, however, dead skin cells, bacteria, and fecal matter collect in your clothing.
Wearing the same pair of pajamas over and over again doesn’t seem all that bad, right? Usually we put them on after a shower so we think they’re kept pretty clean. However, night after night, even if we’re asleep, bacteria and even fecal matter can collect in your pj’s. No thanks!
We shake hands to be polite when meeting someone, but your hands transmit more germs than kissing.
We shake hands often with people we just meet for the first time because it’s a polite gesture. But, when we think about it, it’s pretty unhygienic. Did they wash their hands throughout the day? Did they sneeze or cough into their hands? There is so much bacteria on our hands and we never stop to think about it. If you need to shake some ones hand, try and sanitize after.
We don’t floss enough or at all, and this can cause inflamed gums and gingivitis.
If you go regularly to the dentist then you know one of the questions they ask is if you floss regularly. How many times have you said no? Brushing a few times a day isn’t enough to keep our mouths clean and healthy and flossing is important to prevent bleeding gums and disease.
We clean the toilet with toilet brushes, but the holder not only has bacteria from toilet water, but can also trap fecal matter.
Do you clean your toilet with a toilet brush? Is there a small puddle of liquid that marinates in the holder? If yes, then just know that all the bacteria you’re cleaning from the toilet is now on the brush. Even though it’s for toilets, it should be kept clean and replaced every few months.
We shower barefoot in the gym shower and this causes ringworm, athletes foot, and fungal infections. Always wear flip flops.
If you’re heading to the gym and need a quick rinse off after, always wear sandals or flip flops. Public showers are dirty and full of bacteria that can cause a number fungal infections.
We share makeup with friends, but lending your eyeliner or lipstick can lead to pink eye or even herpes.
Getting ready with friends for a night out is all part of the fun. You can help each other choose outfits and put on makeup. But, using your besties makeup brushes or mascara should absolutely be avoided. Styes, pink eye and even eyelash lice can be transferred through sharing makeup. Ew!
We don’t wash our bed sheets often enough, and should be cleaned at least once a week in hot water to get rid of mites.
Your bed sheets are a lot dirtier than you think. They accumulate dead skin cells, dust, bugs, and many other germs you don’t want to lay in on a daily basis. Washing your sheets at least once a week is recommended.
We reuse socks without washing them and they are saturated in sweat, smell, and prevent your feet from breathing properly.
We’ve all been there a time or two when there are no clean socks available so we re-wear a pair from the previous day. Maybe they can get another use and aren’t so smelly, but, it’s still not a good idea. Throughout the day your socks still collect sweat and bacteria.
We take steaming hot showers that feel good in the moment, but can dry out your skin and cause extra damage to your face.
Who loves a steaming hot shower? Guilty! It really does feel good and relaxing, but prolonged exposure to super hot water can not only dry out your skin, but dry out your hair as well and strip natural oils from your scalp.
We use makeup that’s expired, but the dates actually matter. Throw away expired products to avoid a bad reaction.
Checking the expiration on your makeup every now and then is important because the dates matter. Liquid foundations and eyeliner can last up to a year, but mascara should be tossed out after 4 to 6 months. The kind of makeup determines how long it lasts. Rule of thumb, if you don’t remember when you bought it, throw it away.
We don’t regularly wash our bras. If you know, you know. However, unwashed bras can trap oils and bacteria that cause acne.
Dermatologists recommend washing bras after 2 to 3 wears. Well, most of us absolutely do not do that. In fact, it’s a woman’s best kept secret that we rarely wash our bras. Out of 200 women who were surveyed, one third said they wash their bras every two weeks.
We drink from reusable water bottles without washing them first. A study found that reusable water bottles contained 60% more bacteria than what’s allowed in public drinking water.
Reusable water bottles are good for the environment and helps you save money by not buying plastic ones every other week. However, they still need to be cleaned on a daily basis.
We leave tampons in too long and should be changed every 4 to 8 hours to avoid getting toxic shock syndrome.
If you use tampons during that time of the month, than you know the importance of regularly changing them throughout the day. Leaving a tampon in for too long can be life-threatening so it’s recommended to replace a tampon every 4-8 hours to avoid any infections.
We blow out birthday candles and essentially we are spitting all over the cake. A study from Clemson University concluded that a cake with blown-out candles can hold up to 120 times the amount of germs.
Blowing out birthday candles is a tradition going back hundreds of years. It’s also one of the best parts of the party. However, have you thought about how gross it really is? All of the spit and germs that are flying from your friends mouth onto the cake that you’ve been eyeing all night. It’ll give you something to think about at your next birthday gathering.
We don’t regularly wash bath mats and ironically, it’s one of the dirtiest places in your bathroom even though it’s the first place we step after cleaning ourselves.
How is it that a bath mat that is literally stepped on by clean feet straight from the shower is actually one of the dirtiest places in a bathroom? Well, when the mat gets wet, it harbors a ton of bacteria and mold. Always remember to hang up your bath mat after every use so it can dry.
We apply lip balm with our fingers and put it directly on our lips. We’re not only contaminating the lip balm, we are transferring millions of bacteria onto our mouth.
It’s easy to just pull out your lip balm and apply it when you have chapped lips. But, did you wash your hands really good before the application? If you didn’t, then the bacteria of all the things you’ve touched through out the day is now being transferred onto your mouth. Yikes!
We use our fingers to type in our PIN numbers, and they are rarely disinfected. It’s actually one of the germiest places to touch in a supermarket.
If you didn’t know this already, PIN pads are a breeding ground for germs. Gross! Just think of all the fingers that touched the numbers before you did. PIN pads are actually one of germiest thigs to touch at the store. Make sure you have your hand sanitizer handy!
We place our backpacks or purses on the kitchen table, but just think of all the dirty places you leave your bag throughout the day.
We’ve always been told not to put our bags on the table because it’s rude, but have you ever been told not do it because it’s just plain gross? A study from the UK claims that women’s handbags hosted more bacteria than the average toilet flush.
We believe in the 5 second rule and eat food off the floor, but food can become contaminated with bacteria almost immediately.
The infamous 5 second rule. Are you one of the believers or the type that gags at the thought of eating food from the floor? Well, studies have shown that this rule is actually a myth and Rutgers University found that bacteria from the floor almost instantaneously contaminates food. Think really hard the next time you feel like eating food that fell on the floor.
We use shopping carts without wiping down the handle first, and a study from the University of Arizona found that 72% of cart handles had traces of feces on them.
More and more we see disinfecting wipes in front of supermarkets to wipe down the handles on the cart which is great. But, if you forget to grab one you might be touching traces of feces.
We use public swimming pools, but a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that 80% of public pools had some kind of violation and a few were so serious they needed to be closed.
On a hot summer day people like to cool off in the pool. That’s all part of the summer fun, right? Not so fast, public pools aren’t the most sanitary places so blowing up a kiddie pool in your backyard might be a better alternative.
We share headphones which means we’re also sharing ear wax and bacteria.
We’ve always been told that sharing is caring, but in some cases it’s just not caring at all. Sharing headphones might seem innocent and cute, but can cause ear infections and transfer germs from ear to ear.
We reuse old kitchen sponges without cleaning them every other day. Ideally, they should be replaced at lease once a week.
Did you know that dangerous bacteria lingers in the sponges you use to clean your forks, plates, and cups? Not a fun thought to think about, but there are over 300 species of bacteria found on sponges and should always be cleaned between uses or replaced once a week.
We like to relax in hot tubs for fun, but they are pools of invisible bacteria and the water should be drained every 4 to 6 months.
Relaxing in a hot tub seems like perfection, but in reality, can actually be a total unhygienic nightmare. Hot tubs are filled with germs and bacteria that can be harmful if not sanitized properly.
We touch cash throughout the day and money can carry more germs than the toilet in your house.
We like money, but it sure is dirty…literally. Not only is money dirtier than a toilet, viruses and bacteria can live on money for up to 17 days! That’s a bit nauseating. Maybe you’ll want to switch to credit or Apple Pay.
We touch the gas pump handle, then get into our cars and touch the steering wheel. Gas pumps are among the dirtiest touched areas in public.
So, how dirty is a gas pump handle? Answer is, unimaginably dirty. Gas pump handles are 10,000 times dirtier than toilet seats and the dirtiest thing to touch at a gas station. Before touching anything else in your car, remember to wash your hands!
We drink directly from a soda can without washing it first.
When you’re taking a refreshing sip of your favorite soda, you’re probably not thinking about where the can came from before it touched your lips. Perhaps now you should because these cans are disgusting. From bacteria that causes staph infections to poop that’s been found on them, we can confidently say don’t ever drink straight from the can.
We may share our toothbrush, but it’s not a good idea. A toothbrush can easily spread blood-borne illnesses.
Not sharing your toothbrush with someone should be pretty self explanatory. It doesn’t matter if it’s your significant other or your child, just don’t let them use your toothbrush. Sharing is not caring.
We share nail clippers without disinfecting them first, and it’s possible to spread fungal infections or warts from person to person.
Even if you’re not getting a professional manicure, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be sterilizing your nail clippers. If you’re sharing nail clippers with a friend or your partner, you could be transmitting fungi and be at risk of infections.