Hidden Icks of the Bathroom
Bathrooms are gross. It’s that simple. You can catch anything from the common cold, strep throat, hepatitis A, or the flu through using shared bathrooms!
Germs are lurking everywhere from sink surfaces, to faucets, hand dryers, and door handles. In fact, bathrooms are usually the messiest and germiest place in your entire house or office or movie theater or…you get it! So how can you protect yourself? Follow our simple steps!
- Wash Those Hands! Mom was right. Washing your hands is probably the most researched, clinically proven way to prevent getting sick from icky germs in your bathroom. It’s simple: hot water + soap + 30 seconds. Make sure to get under your fingernails and between your fingers, too. It’s a good way to care for your eyes, too: If you wear contact lenses, you want to make sure to always wash your hands before you handle your contacts. “Your hands come into contact with many surfaces during the day and the bathroom is a breeding ground for bacteria. It’s not hard to see how inserting your contact lenses without washing your hands first can lead to an eye infection,” said our friend and eye expert Dr. Chris Sindt.
- Strengthen from the Inside Out: Pump up your immune system by taking a multivitamin every morning, getting adequate amounts of sleep, exercising, and, of course, eating healthy. When your immune system is strong, you’re more likely to easily fight off bacteria in public spaces. To keep your eyes looking and feeling their best, get your daily fill of omega-3s, dark leafy greens packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, and antioxidants found in bright fruits and veggies.
- Avoid Touching (Mostly) Anything: Use toilet seat covers, flush the toilet with your foot, use elbows to swing open doors, and turn off the faucet (after washing your hands) with the help of a paper towel. No contact = no germs!
- Empty Your Lens Case Every Day: Say it with us – pour it out! Don’t use old lens solution for your precious peepers and contact lenses1. Considering that your lens case and day-old solution sat in the bathroom where it could have been in contact with who knows what is a no-no. Learn why that new solution is necessary at PourThatOut.com.
- Remove Anything From Your Countertops: Toothbrushes, makeup, floss, tissues, or anything else that comes in contact with your face should be removed from bathroom countertops and stored in a cabinet or drawer. All of the aforementioned things are like sponges for germs to multiply on. Remember the watery particles that fly from the toilet when you flush? Guess what they cling to? Exactly.
Following these tips will definitely make your next bathroom run (public or private) a heck of a lot healthier! And remember, whenever you’re in a pinch, always have hand sanitizer nearby. That way the only problem you’ll have is if there’s a line waiting to get into the bathroom. (And there’s always a line isn’t there? Why do guys have it so much easier?)
xx, The FabFitFun Team
- American Optometric Association, Do’s and Don’ts. http://www.aoa.org/x5235.xml. Accessed on June 7, 2013
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