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Bright Ideas · 13 Grimy Things You Need To Wash Your Hands After Touching

13 Grimy Things You Need To Wash Your Hands After Touching

One of the easiest ways to keep yourself healthy is to wash your hands often. And you'll definitely want to wash your hands after touching these 13 germ-ridden items!

Back in January, our entire household came down with what I suspect was the flu, and it was not pretty. My husband Dave and oldest son Erik even ended up with pneumonia too (but I’m happy to report we’re all feeling much better now!)

After a couple weeks of being quarantined inside our house, with little to do but shiver and cough and feel terrible, I’m highly motivated to avoid getting sick again! My bottle of Defend Essential Oil Blend has been getting a workout, as I’ve been adding it to my foaming hand soap and homemade hand sanitizer, as well as applying it topically!

And since staying healthy has been on my mind lately, I thought I’d share some information that can help all of us do just that. Here are 13 dirty things that we ought to wash our hands after touching!

13 Dirty Things You Should Wash Your Hands After Touching

1. Cutting Board

Both plastic and wooden cutting boards can harbor all sorts of bacteria, especially if they aren’t getting cleaned properly. Plastic cutting boards can go right in the dishwasher, but wooden ones need to be cleaned more carefully.

Scrub your wood cutting boards with soapy water regularly, and wipe them down with white vinegar to kill germs and neutralize lingering odors. It’s also a good idea to place a thin plastic cutting board over your wooden one when handling raw meat!

2. Hand Towels

Unfortunately, not everyone who dries their hands on your hand towels has perfect hand-washing technique. That means those towels are get dirty over time, so be sure to switch them out with clean ones every few days!

3. Keys

Think about it—have you ever sat down and actually cleaned your car or house keys? (I haven’t either!) But with how frequently we handle them, there’s no doubt they’re covered in all sorts of bacteria!

So break out the disinfecting wipes every once in a while and keep those keys clean.

4. Shopping Carts

Many grocery stores now offer disinfecting wipes near the grocery carts, and for good reason! Shopping cart handles can be hot spots for bacteria, both from other people’s hands and from foods like raw meat.

So take advantage of those free wipes and wipe down your cart handle before you shop!

5. Reusable Grocery Bags

And speaking of groceries, don’t forget about your reusable grocery bags! Between shopping carts, checkout conveyor belts, and other grimy surfaces, bacteria have plenty of opportunities to hitch a ride on those bags.

To clean reusable bags made of vinyl or plastic, wipe them down with hydrogen peroxide to eliminate germs. For bags that are more cloth-like, just toss them in your washer!

6. Sponges

According to a 2017 study, used kitchen sponges can house hundreds of millions of bacteria per square centimeter! That’s why it’s important to replace your kitchen sponge regularly, and toss it in the dishwasher to keep it clean between uses. (You can also boil or microwave a wet sponge to kill germs.)

7. Cell Phones

Cell phones are notoriously germ-y, because our hands and faces are constantly transferring germs onto our phones! Wipe down your phone (both front and back) with a disinfecting wipe a few times a week to keep it clean and sanitary.

8. Eyeglasses

Between all the times you touch them and set them down every day, eyeglasses can get surprisingly dirty! Gently clean the lenses with a soft microfiber cloth, and wipe the frames with an alcohol wipe to eliminate germs and greasy smudges.

9. Buttons

Think of all the different buttons you touch during an average day, like the buttons on AMTs, crosswalks, parking meters, elevators, and more! Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag or briefcase to keep germs at bay when you’re out and about.

10. Cash

With as often as money changes hands, it should come as no surprise that cash made this list! A 2017 study of $1 bills in New York City identified hundreds of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and even animal DNA.

However, as long as you’re washing your hands regularly throughout the day, handling cash and coins shouldn’t present a serious threat to your health.

11. Handles & Handrails

Any surface that multiple people touch throughout the day is likely to carry germs, including handrails, handles, and doorknobs. Wash your hands after touching surfaces like these in public locations, and especially after using public transportation.

12. Menus

Everyone handles the menu at a restaurant, and that makes them a magnet for germs! Paper menus aren’t as much of an issue, but plastic menus have plenty of nooks and crannies for bacteria to hide.

13. Waiting Room Items

Considering the amount of sick people who pass through it, the waiting room at any doctor’s office or hospital can be full of germs. From the sign-in pen to the armrests on the chairs, there are dozens of places where bacteria can end up after being handled by someone with a cold (or worse!)

Take a minute after your visit to swing by the restroom to wash your hands!

What do you always wash your hands after handling?


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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