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Hygiene tips you don’t think about (but should)

We can all recall the time our health teachers introduced to us the concept of deodorant. When our parents taught us to wash between our fingers and toes and not to eat food that’s been on the floor for five seconds or more. These ed­ucational moments are staples in our childhood.

As an adult, can you recall the last con­versation you had about cleanliness? And for all the discussions about personal well­ness that have been held, how many have included the simple concept of hygiene?

Maintaining proper hygiene is one of those things that everyone is expected to know how to do but no one ever talks about in the post-adolescent world, yet there’s so much more to it than washing our hands and using tissues when we sneeze.

Sure, those well-known habits are im­portant – but what about the lesser known hygiene hacks we aren’t thinking about?

Maybe after reading this week’s blog, you will.

Close your toilet seat

The average person flushes the toilet five times a day. When you pull the le­ver, your toilet releases something called “toilet plume” into the air — which is basically a spray filled with microscopic bacteria, including E. coli. According to research from 1975, the germs emitted in the spray can linger in the air for up to six hours, and disperse themselves all over your bathroom … including on your toothbrush, towels, beauty products, etc… Need we say more?

Wash your hairbrush

Hairbrushes absorb dirt like a sponge. Every time you use a comb, it’s collect­ing more and more oil, dust and various products in your hair. All sorts of residue in its bristles, both from your hair and from the environment (and, apparently, your toilet). Without regular cleaning, all this residue can get deposited in your hair each time you use your hairbrush. So wash the dang thing every now and then.

Keep your cell phone clean

The average smartphone owner un­locks his or her phone 150 times daily. We click on our phones 2,617 times per day, and 87% of millennials say their smart­phone never leaves their side. Our gad­gets have become an extra appendage, and like with all other body parts, they need to be cleaned often. Maybe more. Ac­cording to a recent study, cell phones are 10 times dirtier than toilet seats. So clean your phone, and while you’re at it…

Check the phone at the door

We’re all guilty of it taking a phone into the bathroom, but we assure you that texts, emails and tweets can wait.

Don’t use loofah more than once

Better yet, stop using them altogether. Fun fact: Loofahs are made from a gourd in the cucumber family, and as it turns out, that material is a haven for bacteria to thrive. According to Gretchen Frieling, a board-certified dermatopathologist in Boston, mold, germs, dead skin cells and remnants of dirt, oil and grime can har­bor in loofahs. This bacterial collection can cause infection if used to wash an open cut, can trap bacteria inside your pores and can prevent you from really cleansing yourself from any germs. Stop buying loofahs. Use your hands instead.

Regular soap is just as effective

There’s no need to spend more money on antibacterial soap. According to mul­tiple studies, antibacterial soaps show no health benefits over plain soaps. They may even render some common antibiot­ics less effective, according to a Univer­sity of Michigan public health professor.

In short, keep washing your hands. Bathe regularly and scrub your vegeta­bles. Chances are you’re already doing a good job at keeping yourself clean and hygienic––these tips will just help you go the extra mile.

And for the love of God, shut your toilet seat before you flush.