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Germaphobes, Avoid These Five Things

Germs definitely freak me out because I hate getting sick, especially in the Spring and Summer. If you feel the same way, then you may want to disinfect these five things, or avoid touching them altogether:

  • Your vacuum. Since you're sucking up germs, dirt, and other nasty things, vacuums aren't exactly clean. Actually, scientists found that 50 percent of vacuum brushes contained fecal bacteria and 13 percent had E. coli. All contained mold. Since the brush is so gross, to avoid contaminating clean surfaces, spray the brush with a disinfectant spray after you're done with it.
  • Your weightlifting gloves. Staph infections bind strongly to the polyester, which is often used to make gloves. It's best to ditch the gloves altogether, since not only will you avoid bacteria, but you'll also strengthen your grip.
  • Gym Equipment. If you belong to a gym, you might want to know that a 2006 study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found rhinoviruses (what cause colds) on 63 percent of the gym equipment at the fitness centers they tested. To avoid the germs, try not to touch your face, nose, or eyes while working out, and as soon as you're finished, wash your hands and face thoroughly to prevent getting sick.

What else contains tons of germs? To find out

.

  • The grocery cart and basket. Think of all the hands that grip those handles. Eww. A 2007 University of Arizona study discovered that two-thirds were contaminated with fecal bacteria. More eww. Definitely pack disinfectant wipes with you and wipe the handles down before touching.
  • The restaurant menu, doctor's office magazines, and other public reading material. You think these are ever cleaned? Since cold and flu viruses can survive up to 18 hours on a surface, there's a good chance those germs can get passed on to you. Don't let the menu touch your plate or silverware, and wash your hands thoroughly before your food comes. Remember that the bathroom door handle isn't the cleanest thing in the world, so when leaving the bathroom, open it while holding a clean paper towel.

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