Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hidden Germs

I just watched an episode of The Doctors, and the topic today was Hidden Germs. They talked about germs in place that we don't think about or don't see all the time - here is a synopsis of the show, it contains some useful tips regarding germs and how to prevent or take care of them, plus videos of topics. I was particularly interested in these 3 areas that can contain hidden germs are DVD rentals, car rentals, and yoga mats.

Kiosk's for movie rentals have become very popular in recent years. This is what we all do - we select the DVD we want, it comes out, you take it home and you insert it in your player and you watch. But, have you consider the people who watched it before you? They were probably eating snacks, maybe working on projects or whatever and they were touching that DVD, the same one you just inserted in your player. DVD's from kiosk's like these are not maintained or cleaned so you don't know what's on them. Even from a video rental store, do you know if the DVD's are cleaned in between rentals? Wouldn't hurt to ask, but just the same.

When rental cars get returned, in order to get the car ready for another rental, they just do general cleaning - windows, vacuum, and air freshener. Do you know tho, what the previous renter did in that car you just rented? Ate a meal, had sex? Seriously, you never know. The most common places of hidden germs in a rental cars are - the steering wheel, door knobs, locks, radio knobs, gear shifter, the mirrors, and probably the back seat.

Yoga is very popular. Did you know that your yoga mat can harbor germs? After a yoga session, people just roll their mats and throw it in the trunk or back seat till the next session. This is also true for workout mats when doing aerobics. While working out on these mats, you are sweating and getting it all over your mat, and for yoga, you are barefoot so add that into the mix.

So, what can you do about all these hidden germs? Here are some easy solutions to help get rid of those germs:

For the DVD rentals, after inserting the DVD into your player - wash your hands before doing anything else, especially eating. If you have antibacterial wipes, use those to wipe the top surface only of the DVD, and wipe the jacket while you're at it. These wipes will come in handy also for car rentals. Wipe every surface you think might have germs. I keep a bunch of these in my car and now I will keep some in my bag as well.

For your yoga/workout mat, get some vinegar, a spray bottle, and some dish soap and make yourself a solution of half vinegar and half water and a couple of drops of dish soap. After you get home from your workout, open up your mat and spray liberally - if the sun is out, leave it in the sun to dry, if not just leave it to air dry. Also good is to use tea tree oil mixed with some water.

I have one of these pocket sized spritzers and I have it filled with hand sanitizer - I keep in my bag always, never know when I will have germy hands. It comes in real handy at the grocery store when I pick up a package of chicken and there's blood on the bottom of the package. The store only provides paper towels (the hand sanitizer is in the front of the store to use for wiping shopping carts), but I don't want dried chicken blood on my hands, so I whip out this little handy gadget and spritz my hands and let it air dry.

On a separate show, Dr. Oz Show, he had guest chef, Jeffery Saad on, who recommended to never eat in a restaurant after 8pm, because of produce and other foods left out for hours. The chef, who owns a restaurant, also said that one of the dirtiest things in a restaurant is the menu. Think about it, people are sick, they cough and touch the menu, they go to the bathroom, come back and touch the menu- then you come in after them and you touch the menu and possibly get the bacteria on you (or your family member). One of Jeffery's wife's duties is to wipe down the menu daily. Dr. Oz collected 7 random menus and had them tested and all 7 had fecal matter on them. The best solution is to prevent hold the menus high, away from your face.

As you can see, there are a lot of hidden germs that we don't see, but by being prepared, we can alleviate germs and not get sick. So tell me, where other areas of concern that you think harbor hidden germs?

Thanks for reading!!

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Thanks!


Lera said...

Good advice about the yoga mat, I'll try the vinegar. Restaurant menus have always grossed me out. Many should def. print new ones on a regular basis.

Little Me said...

Thanks Lera - I've been using vinegar a lot for cleaning and it works great on lots of stuff. I agree with you about the menus - you never know what the person before you did.