It might sound gross, but germs are everywhere. You know to cough into your elbow and keep a few feet away from symptom-showing coworkers, but what else can you do to avoid germs while doing the things you do everyday? There are some easy things you might not have heard of that you can do every day to keep the bacteria away.
1. Wash Your Hands Using Alcohol-based Sanitizer as Well as Soap.
You’re always told to wash your hands, but washing with soap will only get dirt off your hands — using a few drops of alcohol-based sanitizer will kill any harmful bacteria that might have been accumulating. You can find pocket-sized sanitizer bottles at any grocery or drug store, so you can have it on you at all times.
2. Don’t Just Wash Your Sponges or Brushes — Microwave Them.
Dish sponges and brushes are breeding grounds for bacteria. Instead of just washing them after each use, rinse them with warm water then microwave them for two minute. This will kill harmful bacteria — significantly more so than just using soap and warm water.
3. Instead of Paying by Swiping or Inserting Your Card, Tap to Pay.
Hundreds of people touch the card reader at your favourite coffee shop every day, and it’s very easy for germs to transfer to its surface. You can avoid touching card readers by “tapping” — hovering your debit or credit card over the terminal to pay. It keeps your cards and hands germ-free, and it’s fast, easy and secure. You can also pay with your smartphone using apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
4. Clean Your Electronic Devices.
Your smartphone or tablet screen, laptop trackpad and any other electronic device that you regularly touch can carry a ton of bacteria. You can buy individually-wrapped screen cleaning wipes that will disinfect your electronic device when you’re on the go, or if you want to cut down on packaging, use an alcohol-free cleaning spray and a clean microfibre cloth. Clean the screen, but be sure to also clean the edges of the device and any part that comes into contact with your face, like the microphone on a smartphone.
5. Have Your Groceries Delivered to Your Door.
Grocery stores can carry more germs than you might think (and certainly more than you want). Luckily, select Loblaws and Walmart locations offer delivery services for groceries. Just pick what you need online, and they’ll deliver it. There are also services like Amazon Prime, Instacart, Cartly and Grocery Gate that let you buy your groceries online and have them delivered. If you want a fully-sanitary food experience, meal subscription services like GoodFood and HelloFresh offer partially-prepared meals delivered to you weekly with recipes and preparation instructions.
6. Boil Your Toothbrush.
That’s something you don’t read every day. Your mouth is home to millions of kinds of bacteria, and that’s why you brush your teeth — but some bacteria can stay on your toothbrush. The easiest way to avoid germs on your toothbrush is to soak your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash and then thoroughly rinse it, or you can run it through the dishwasher every few days to prevent any bacteria from multiplying.
7. Pay People Back with Interac E-transfer.
It’s impossible to know who has touched your cash before it was yours, and coins and bills can carry hundreds of different kinds of bacteria. You can avoid handling cash altogether by paying your friends or family back with e-Transfer on your smartphone or computer. You can also use the Interac e-Transfer Request Money feature to send them a notification requesting they pay you back, making it easy for them.
8. Open Doors with Your Sleeve over Your Hand.
People always have to open doors, even if they’re sick, so door handles often have everybody’s germs on them. While germs don’t survive more than a few minutes on most door handles, covering your hand with your sleeve or another layer may help you avoid taking any chances.
9. Keep a Healthy Immune System.
It may sound obvious, but a healthy immune system is both important and extremely helpful for fighting germs. No matter how hard you work to avoid them, some germs will inevitably get by. You can help keep them at bay by eating a healthy diet, doing your best to get enough sleep and exercising regularly.
While it’s impossible to guarantee you won’t get sick, following these tips will have you well on your way to avoid bad germs and keep healthy doing the things you do every day.
This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.