An easy fix? Whenever possible, try to use a tissue, glove, etc. when touching a commonly-used surface. Ideally, use an antibacterial cloth to wipe down a surface, such as a grocery cart, before using it.
Your Toothbrush. Germs thrive in moist environments – such as your toothbrush. Add that to the fact that research in the 1970s discovered toilets spew fecal bacteria into the air every time they are flushed, so chances are, your toothbrush is teeming with microbes.
An easy fix? Replace your toothbrush every three to four months and close the toilet lid when flushing. If you want to be extra safe, the Philips Sonicare FlexCare electric toothbrush has a UV sanitizer that kills germs.
Your Pillow. Chances are, you wash your sheets and pillowcases frequently, but when was the last time you threw your actual pillow in the laundry machine? Pillows contain mold, bacteria and dust mites, which can cause allergies. And several studies have demonstrated that they are one of the biggest sources of infection in hospitals.
An easy fix? Wash your pillows. Often.
Your Jewelry. There is a reason that doctors and nurses are required to remove jewelry in the operating room. A 1997 study found that health care professionals wearing rings carry significantly more germs even after hand washing than those who don’t. Those nooks and crannies in our favorite pieces can harbor germs.
An easy fix? Clean your jewelry as often as possible. Also, consider that silver is antimicrobial, so smooth jewelry made from this metal stays relatively germ-free.
Your Gas Pump. A 2011 study by Gerba and Kimberly-Clark Professional, the makers of products such as Kleenex and Scott, found that 71 percent of gas pump handles hosted bacteria in high enough concentrations to cause illness.
An easy fix? After pumping gas, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer.