9 Seemingly Innocent Hygienic Habits That Secretly Ruin Our Health

Most of us are usually sure that we do everything right. We use an air dryer to dry our hands, we soak dishes in the sink, and we can’t get through a day at work without at least one cup of coffee. But the truth is that dryers spread infections, a wet sink is more dangerous than a toilet seat, and a clean cup won’t save you from the germs in a coffee machine.

Below are 9 scientifically-proven facts about how certain everyday habits can actually harm us: this information will help you protect your health.

Bright Side collected a few habits that may seem completely innocent but they are actually extremely unhygienic from a scientific point of view and this has been proven by research.

1. Soaking dishes in a sink

A sink is a perfect environment for bacteria: there you can find salmonella, colon bacillus or staphylococcus. In order to avoid a stomach and intestines disorder, it is necessary to wash the sink not only after washing dishes but also after it contacted food such as fish, raw meat, milk products, and vegetables. A pile of soaked dishes is an easy but an unsafe solution.

2. Washing hands with hot water

Some researchers say that water temperature doesn’t influence the killing of germs. The time spent washing hands is more important in this case: in 5 seconds you wouldn’t clean anything but in 30 seconds you could kill all the bacteria on your hands. By washing hands in hot water often, you decrease the protective functions of your skin and irritation or dermatitis may occur.

3. Working out with makeup on

Sometimes we rush from the office to the gym and we think that spending time on removing makeup is pointless since we’ll end up taking a shower after the workout anyway. However, during the workout, our skin needs to breathe and to clean itself. If you wear makeup, it may clog the pores. As a result, you can become prone to skin problems. Remove your makeup before a workout.

4. Using a hand dryer

The fact that we don’t touch a dryer with our hands is just an illusion of cleanness. In fact, electric dryers are pretty unhygienic: they catch a lot of bacteria and spread them with an airflow and they may get into one’s lungs, skin, or body. Paper towels are more efficient and cleaner than electric hand dryers.

5. Using a food bag more than once

If you bought raw meat in a bag (even if it was wrapped up), chances are that bacteria will spread onto other products, especially fruits and vegetables. The solution here is to use a disposable bag or a tote bag that you’ll have to wash every time.

6. Cutting meat and vegetables on the same board

Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist, claims that a cutting board contains 200 times more bacteria than a toilet seat, that’s why it is not safe to cut salad on it. After cutting raw meat, a board is contaminated with salmonella and campylobacter — the two most well-spread reasons of food poisoning. The solution is to use 2 different cutting boards for meat and vegetables and choose glass boards over wooden ones.

7. Using an office coffee machine

A coffee machine reservoir is an appropriate environment for different types of bacteria. There are more germs on an office coffee machine than on a bathroom doorknob in your home. In order to protect your health, wash the reservoir as often as possible using very hot water and dishwashing soap. It’s safer to make one portion of coffee.

8. Keeping your phone in your purse

It may seem that your purse or backpack is a nice and clean place where your gadget is completely protected from the surrounding environment, but this isn’t true. It’s better to keep your phone in a pocket and put it in a case — this is how it gets less contaminated with germs. An average phone is 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat. It’s better to wipe your phone with a wet wipe every day.

9. Cleaning winter clothes in spring

How often do you decide to leave gloves and a scarf into a laundry basket? Specialists recommend washing hats, scarves, and gloves once every 1-2 weeks. These articles of clothing contact our mouths and noses quite often. They accumulate germs and our immune system can weaken if there’s constant contact.

Bonus: share your food with your friends — it’s good for your health.

Your immune system will be thankful if you feel free to eat dessert from the same plate as your beloved or if you share French fries with your friends. Specialists say that this is how we exchange good bacteria. However, this doesn’t apply to those who are sick — it’s not healthy to share food with someone who is ill.

How to remain healthy with all those threats that are waiting for us in public places, at work, and at home? Do you have some tricks of your own? Share them with us in the comments!

Please note: This article was updated in July 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit Depositphotos.com, Depositphotos.com


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