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  • You’re probably not cleaning these 11 very germy spots - Washington Post, 10/24/22 - "Toothbrush holder ... The disposal flange ... Sponges and dish towels ... Coffee reservoir ... Knobs and buttons on kitchen appliances ... Soft-sided lunchboxes ... Pet bowls ... Purses, wallets and keys"
  • Here Are the Best Ways to Sanitize Your Phone’s Surface - didyouknowfacts - "An NIH study found that both methods are effective at reducing aerobic bacterial colony count, but UV light is slightly more so ... The UV light device that performed best in the study is called the Flashbox Mini, “an easily transportable, small chamber designed for use in any healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, laboratory, or research setting.” ... There are other devices that aren’t quite as fancy and effective, but that are aimed at consumers. Check out the PhoneSoap and the Verilux Cleanwave Portable Sanitizing Wand, and others like them." - Note:  Last week, the local news said that the average cell phone had 18 times as many germs as the average toilet handle.  See smartphone UV sanitizers at Amazon.com and UV sanitizers at Amazon.com.
  • Can’t find hand sanitizer? Make your own! - CBS8, 3/3/20 - "Ingredients ... Alcohol (Forbes recommends 91 percent isopropyl, but cheap Vodka will work in a pinch) ... Aloe vera gel ... Essential oils (if you want to be fancy. This is what Good Housekeeping suggests) ... Instructions ... Pour the alcohol into a small bottle until it’s between a quarter and third full ... Fill the rest of the bottle with aloe vera gel ... Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils ... Mix together" - See aloe vera gel at Amazon.com.  Note: I used to used cheap Vodka from the commissary because I worried about the detrimental affects of rubbing alcohol being absorbed into the skin. If you bought a case of 6 you got 10% off. It came to $8 or $9 per half gallon. People thought I was crazy. That said, hand sanitizer is a lot more than $9 for a half gallon.

    Some articles argue that the CDC guidelines are for hand sanitizer to be at least 60% alcohol. Purell says that the active ingredient is 70% alcohol. But Purell is diluted with a lot of other ingredients. The main ingredient is water. I would think that would bring it down to a lot lower than 60% alcohol.

    If you’re worried about having at least 60% alcohol, buy 120 proof vodka and use it straight. They sell the Everclear brand at BevMo. It’s $22 for 750 ml, about what hand sanitizer cost if you could get it. I just worry about using the rubbing alcohol in Purell every day. It gets into your bloodstream and rubbing alcohol is poison. Plus I don't like the sticky felling it leaves on your hands. Carry it in a small container. If you go to a restaurant, after you touch to door, read the menu, etc., use the alcohol when you get served.

    • Why you shouldn't make your own hand sanitizer - CNET, 3/5/20 - "The key is to get the right ratio of ingredients. The Centers for Disease Control recommends using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, which store-bought hand sanitizers have. But trying to replicate that on your own can be tricky ... Most of the countless recipes out there use a mix of 91% or 99% isopropyl alcohol (or rubbing alcohol) and aloe vera gel, which is necessary to add moisture to your skin because alcohol will dry it out. The typical ratio is 60% alcohol to 40% aloe vera gel by volume, or 2/3 rubbing alcohol to 1/3 cup aloe vera gel."
    • Fight COVID-19 on the go with homemade hand sanitizer - Popular Science, 3/5/20 - "Instructions for the WHO formulation ... Ingredients ... 1 cup of 99% isopropyl alcohol ... 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide ... 1 teaspoon of 98% glycerin ... ¼ cup, 1 tablespoon, and 1 teaspoon (or 85 milliliters) of sterile distilled or boiled cold water" - Note:  Someone on the local news in San Diego said you could replace the glycerin with aloe vera gel.
  • Plain Water Better Than Hand Sanitizer for Influenza A - Medscape, 9/13/19 - "The researchers say the key factor that determines the effectiveness of ethanol-based disinfectants (EBDs) is whether there is wet mucus surrounding the virus. Wet mucus prevents the disinfectant from reaching the virus, which means the virus remained active after 120 seconds of EBD exposure ... By contrast, washing hands under plain water for 30 seconds inactivated the virus, regardless of whether it was initially surrounded by wet or dry mucus"
  • The Germiest Place in Your Bathroom Isn’t Your Toilet - Time, 4/25/19 - "It’s actually the toothbrush holder"
  • The 5 Most Germ-Filled Places In Your Office—And How to Protect Yourself - Time, 10/19/18 - "Elevator buttons and escalator railings ... Office door ... Keyboard ... Conference room phone ... Break room coffee cups"
  • Here's Why You Should Always Wash New Clothes Before Wearing Them - wimp.com - "A news report from Huff Post Live shows how clothes that what we think might be new and clean are actually hiding germs from being handled by a countless amount of people. Think about it, when you shop for clothes, you always rummage through everything on the rack, and maybe even pick something up and try it on yourself. Now imagine everyone else in the store doing that every day. That's a lot of hands on your new clothes"
  • The most germ-infested places you encounter every day — and how to avoid getting sick - Science Daily, 12/14/17 - "You might be surprised to hear that your clothes can harbor salmonella, hepatitis and other viruses. Gerba found those germs and others can survive our laundry efforts because most Americans don’t wash clothes in hot water or use bleach anymore ... If you wash your hands thoroughly and then grab your purse or cellphone, you are probably defeating the purpose"
  • One in four seniors have superbugs on their hands after a hospital stay, new research finds - Science Daily, 3/14/16 - "Researchers tested the same patients' hands after two weeks and then monthly, for up to six months or until their discharge home from the post-acute care facility. During the follow-up visits, they found not only did these organisms persist, but even more seniors acquired superbugs on their hands -- up from one in four (24.1 percent) to more than one in three (34.2 percent) ... A high level of MDROs on patient hands increases the chance that these superbugs will be transmitted to other frail patients and health care workers" - The first thing I do whenever I return home from the hospital or doctor's office is throw my closes in the laundry and take a shower.
  • Is Your Coffee Maker Brewing Java Germs? - cbslocal.com, 5/8/15 - See the three minute video.
  • Hand dryers can spread bacteria in public toilets, research finds - Science Daily, 11/20/14 - "Air bacterial counts close to jet air dryers were found to be 4.5 times higher than around warm air dryers and 27 times higher compared with the air when using paper towels. Next to the dryers, bacteria persisted in the air well beyond the 15 second hand-drying time, with approximately half (48%) of the Lactobacilli collected more than five minutes after drying ended. Lactobacilli were still detected in the air 15 minutes after hand drying"
  • When cats bite: One in three patients bitten in hand hospitalized, infections common - Science Daily, 2/5/14 - "Cat bites to the hand are so dangerous, 1 in 3 patients with such wounds had to be hospitalized, a Mayo Clinic study covering three years showed. Two-third of those hospitalized needed surgery ... The dogs' teeth are blunter, so they don't tend to penetrate as deeply and they tend to leave a larger wound after they bite. The cats' teeth are sharp and they can penetrate very deeply, they can seed bacteria in the joint and tendon sheaths"
  • Is hand sanitizer toxic? - CNN, 11/16/13 - "the main concern with hand sanitizers is triclosan, which is the main antibacterial ingredient in nonalcoholic hand sanitizers ... Triclosan-containing products don't provide any disease protection beyond what you get from washing with soap and water ... Research has shown that triclosan can disrupt the endocrine system, amplifying testosterone. In animal studies, it reduced muscle strength. It may also harm the immune system ... When you expose bacteria to triclosan, it can elicit antibiotic resistance ... The main concern with triclosan, however, is that it doesn't protect against viruses or fungi ... Colds are caused by viruses, not bacteria ... Hand sanitizers that are 60% alcohol are good at killing bacterial pathogens ... They can also kill some viruses, but not all of them -- such as the noroviruses that can cause cruise-ship outbreaks"
  • Eew, that's the pits! Man had armpit odor for 4 years - NBC News, 10/30/13 - "The doctors diagnosed the man with trichomycosis axillaris, which is an infection of hair shafts caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium tenuis ... The bacteria tend to grow on hair in moist regions of the body — mostly armpit hair"
  • My Dishwasher Is Trying to Kill Me: Extreme Conditions Suit Pathogenic Fungus - Science Daily, 10/1/13 - "The article focuses on the occurrence of potentially pathogenic fungal flora located in dishwashers, over a sample of private homes from 101 cities on 6 continents. 62% of the dishwashers contained fungi on the rubber band in door, 56% of which accommodated the polyextremotolerant black yeasts Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis. Both Exophiala species showed remarkable tolerance to heat, high salt concentrations, aggressive detergents, and to both acid and alkaline water ... Exophiala dermatitidis is rarely isolated from nature, but is frequently encountered as an agent of human disease, both in compromised and healthy people. It is also known to be involved in pulmonary colonization of patients with cystic fibrosis, and also occasionally causes fatal infections in healthy humans"
  • Only 1 in 20 people wash their hands long enough - today.com, 6/12/13 - "only five percent of people wash their hands the recommended amount of time, averaging only six seconds. Half of hand washers don’t even use soap"
  • Getting to Know Our Microbial Roommates - NYTimes.com, 5/27/13 - "In a study published in February in the journal Environmental Microbiology, Dr. Fierer’s lab examined 82 surfaces in four Boulder kitchens. Predictable patterns emerged. Bacterial species associated with human skin, like Staphylococcaceae or Corynebacteriaceae, predominated. Evidence of soil showed up on the floor, and species associated with raw produce (Enterobacteriaceae, for example) appeared on countertops. Microbes common in moist areas — including sphingomonads, some strains infamous for their ability to survive in the most toxic sites — splashed in a kind of jungle above the faucet ... A hot spot of unrivaled biodiversity was discovered on the stove exhaust vent ... The microbes living on your pillowcase are not all that different from those living on your toilet seat"
  • Fungus-infested bagpipes sicken lifelong player, 78 - Vitals, 3/13/13 - "He got so sick and weak he couldn’t walk and lost more than a stone in weight -- or about 14 pounds ... When they learned he was a bagpiper, the medical crew asked to test the instrument – and found the culprit ... Apparently the synthetic bags favored by modern pipers are an ideal environment for bacteria, mold and fungus that can grow in saliva that gets into the bags during playing. Old-time pipers used hide bags that required regular maintenance, procedures that probably kept them clean and safe ... A 35-year-old man suffered from so-called “trombone player’s lung,” or hypersensitivity pneumonia triggered by bugs including the same Fusarium fungi that affected Shone. The trombone player had a bad cough that lasted for 15 years, according to a 2010 article in the journal Chest. His cough stopped once he started disinfecting it with rubbing alcohol. Another musician, a 48-year-old saxophone player, also suffered from lung problems triggered by molds until he started washing his mouthpiece" - Note:  I'm betting swimming snorkels are the same way.
  • Top 7 Germiest Public Places - ABC News, 12/3/12 - "Restaurant Menus ... Lemon Wedges ... Condiment Dispensers ... Restroom Door Handles ... Soap Dispensers ... Airplane Bathrooms ... Doctor's Office"
  • The 10 Germiest Places in a Restaurant Hint: Bathroom Isn't No. 1 - ABC News, 11/16/12 - "Seats ... Menus ... Lemon Wedges ... Salt and Pepper Shakers ... Tables ... Rims of Glasses ... Bathroom Door Knobs ... Bathroom Faucets ... Ketchup Bottles ... Salad Bar Tongs"
  • Your Gym's Dirty Little Secrets - ABC News, 8/18/12 (but it just showed up) - "One study found that three-fourths of weight equipment was contaminated with cold-causing rhinoviruses, and even wiping surfaces down twice didn't completely nix germs ... The sniffles are the least of your worries: MRSA (!) and other types of staph infections can be contracted if a cut or scrape on your skin comes in contact with the bacteria"
  • Office Germs: The 6 Dirtiest Work Places - WebMD, 5/22/12 - "75% of break room sink-faucet handles ... 48% of microwave door handles ... 27% of keyboards ... 26% of refrigerator door handles ... 23% of water fountain buttons ... 21% of vending machine buttons"
  • What’s the Germiest Place in Your Kitchen? - ABC News, 1/23/12 - it's a 4 minute video.
  • Fungus in sinks can cause infections - USATODAY.com, 12/29/11 - "Fusarium is well known for causing diseases in agricultural crops, but some species of the fungus can cause potentially dangerous and even fatal infections in humans ... Fusarium infections can be difficult to treat because Fusarium is resistant to many antifungal drugs ... They tested samples taken from nearly 500 sink drains ... At least one Fusarium isolate was found in 66 percent of the drains and in 82 percent of the buildings. About 70 percent of those isolates were from species most frequently associated with human infections"
  • 16% of Cellphones Have Poop on Them - Mashable.com, 11/9/11 - "Keyboards, on average, are five times dirtier and have 60 times more germs on them than toilet seats. They are 150 times over the acceptable limit for bacteria"
  • Study: Germs on gas pumps, ATMs and more could make you sick - USATODAY.com, 10/25/11 - "A scientific survey released Tuesday found 71% of gas pump handles and 68% of corner mailbox handles were highly contaminated with germs most associated with a high risk of illness, as were 41% of ATM buttons and 43% of escalator rails"
  • Don't touch! Study confirms your worst fears about public potties - MSNBC, 10/20/11 - "As long suspected, bathroom surfaces in U.S. restaurants, airplanes, stores, hospitals and other busy locales are often heavily contaminated with illness-causing microbes – and, in some cases, the bug colonies are even too large to measure ... Among the types of microscopic critters commonly discovered were staphylococcus (which can cause fevers and chills) and bacillus (which can cause diarrhea) ... You can wash your hands till the cows come home. (If we swab your freshly scrubbed palms and culture the results), you are going to grow something"
  • Biologists find 'surprising' number of unknown viruses in sewage - Science Daily, 10/6/11 - "What was surprising was that the vast majority of viruses we found were viruses that had not been detected or described before"
  • Residential washers may not kill hospital-acquired bacteria - Science Daily, 10/3/11 - "washing uniforms in residential washing machines with detergent and water temperature of 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) was enough to eliminate both MRSA and Acinetobacter. At 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), MRSA was eliminated, but substantial amounts of Acinetobacter were detected"
  • Doorknobs May Be 'Reservoirs' for MRSA - Medscape, 9/19/11 - "If a member of your household has a drug-resistant staph infection, be aware that doorknobs, light switches, and other seemingly harmless items may serve as reservoirs for the bacteria to multiply and spread ... People with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) who live in homes where such common items test positive for the same strain of MRSA are about five times more likely to spread the bacteria to another household member ... having a child age 5 or younger or having a pet in the home doubles the risk of transmitting staph to another household member"
  • Bad Bugs Common on Hospital Workers’ Clothes - WebMD, 9/2/11 - "Uniforms worn by hospital personnel often are contaminated with the superbug MRSA and a variety of other bacteria ... They swabbed white coats and uniforms worn by doctors and nurses and found potentially dangerous bacteria on more than 60% of items they examined" - Note:  I admit being a germaphobe or maybe I just see or understand what others don't.  60% is hard to overlook.  I put my clothes through the speed cycle with soap then through steam cycle.  I change clothes and shower whenever I've been waiting around doctor's waiting rooms.
  • Brain-eating amoebas blamed in three deaths - CNN, 8/17/11 - Note:  A germ that kills by eating your brain?  This is just one more example of why I'm a germaphobe with things like a no shoe house.
  • Bathing water at Vegas ‘dayclubs’ has ‘a lot of urine,’ some bacteria - The Daily, 7/24/11 - "Pee in the pool is bad, but germs are worse, and that’s what our testers found at Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel, where water samples tested positive for a bacterium called acintobacter. While not usually considered to be dangerous, strains of the organism can cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and skin infections" - Note:  Below the first picture is an icon to go to the second picture which has a graph of the pee factor.
  • 'My dishwasher is trying to kill me': New research finds harmful fungal pathogens living in dishwasher seals - Science Daily, 6/20/11 - "62% of the dishwashers contained fungi on the rubber band in door, 56% of which accommodated the polyextremotolerant black yeasts Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis. Both Exophiala species showed remarkable tolerance to heat, high salt concentrations, aggressive detergents, and to both acid and alkaline water. This is a combination of extreme properties not previously observed in fungi ... Exophiala dermatitidis is rarely isolated from nature, but is frequently encountered as an agent of human disease, both in compromised and healthy people. It is also known to be involved in pulmonary colonization of patients with cystic fibrosis, and also occasionally causes fatal infections in healthy humans. The invasion of black yeasts into our homes represents a potential health risk ... The discovery of this widespread presence of extremophilic fungi in some of our common household appliances suggests that these organisms have embarked on an extraordinary evolutionary process that could pose a significant risk to human health in the future" - Here's what I've been using on those areas: Wagner 905 1,500-Watt On-Demand Power Steamer and Cleanerand Zwipes Microfiber 36-Pack of Cleaning Cloths.  The secret is "steam and wipe" because it dries like cement quickly if you don't.
  • Household Germs Hide in Unexpected Spots - WebMD. 5/13/11 - "Coliform, which was found in 81% of the homes, commonly comes from raw meat and produce, as well as unwashed produce and unwashed hands ... 77% of sponges and dish rags tested positive for coliform. Nearly half of the kitchen sinks they swabbed harbored the same nasty bacteria, while countertops and cutting boards came in third and fourth, with 32% and 18%, respectively, testing positive"
  • Washing with contaminated soap increases bacteria on hands, research finds - Science Daily, 5/2/11 - "Bulk-soap-refillable dispensers, in which new soap is poured into a dispenser, are the predominant soap dispenser type in community settings, such as public restrooms. In contrast to sealed-soap dispensers, which are refilled by inserting a new bag or cartridge of soap, they are prone to bacterial contamination and several outbreaks linked to the use of contaminated soap have already been reported in healthcare settings ... Gram-negative bacteria on the hands of students and staff increased 26-fold after washing with the contaminated soap"
  • Carts one of dirtiest places in grocery store, study says - USA Today, 3/2/11 - "Researchers say they actually found more fecal bacteria on grocery cart handles than you would typically find in a bathroom"
  • 7 Germiest Public Places - ABC News, 2/20/11 - "Restaurant menus ... Lemon wedges ... Condiment dispensers ... Restroom door handles ... Soap dispensers ... Grocery carts ... Airplane bathrooms ... Doctor's office" - Note:  Problem with that higher math?  I count 8.
  • Household bugs: A risk to human health? - Science Daily, 1/26/11
  • New dishware sanitizers prove more effective at killing harmful bacteria - Science Daily, 1/25/11 - "The two sanitizers -- one carrying the name brand PROSAN® and the other called neutral electrolyzed oxidizing water -- not only proved more effective, but they also contained fewer toxic chemicals ... Traditional sanitizers used by restaurants contain chemicals found in bleach, which can corrode dishware, damage the environment, and irritate or burn the skin ... Such sanitizers also lose their effectiveness with each additional washing cycle. This means that the killing agents within the sanitizers kill fewer amounts of harmful bacteria with each rinse ... E. coli outbreaks have been on the decline since 2002, but food is still the primary means for food borne illness transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 28 percent of food borne outbreaks between 1982 and 2002 originated from restaurants or other public food establishments" - Note:  Click here for their website.  It appears that it's only sold in a pouch that requires you to mix it with 8 gallons of water.
  • What's the Germiest Item on a Restaurant Table? - ABC News, 12/30/10 - It's a video but claims that the menu is dirtier than a toilet seat.
  • Alcohol-based hand disinfectants improve business productivity, study finds - Science Daily, 8/23/10 - "incidences of absenteeism in public administrations due to the common cold, fever and cough are significantly reduced when alcohol-based hand disinfectants are used by employees ... The study also found a reduction in symptoms of illness during times when participants were not absent from work, suggesting that hand disinfectant use can reduce on-the-job-productivity-losses, increase workplace health levels, and therefore improve overall productivity"
  • Germiest Places in Your Home - ABC News, 2/18/10 (video)
  • Everyday germs in childhood may prevent diseases in adulthood - Science Daily, 12/8/09
  • U.S. Homes Losing Battle of the Germs - WebMD, 7/14/09
  • Human Skin Crawling With Bacteria - WebMD, 5/28/09
  • Doorknobs and TV Remotes Are Germ Hotbeds - InteliHealth, 10/28/08 - "Someone in your house have the sniffles? Watch out for the refrigerator door handle. The TV remote, too. A new study finds that cold sufferers often leave their germs there, where they can live for two days or longer"
  • Germ-Mobile: Your Car as Petri Dish? - ABC News, 10/1/08
  • 10 Germy Surfaces You Touch Every Day - ABC News, 9/5/08 - "Purses and Wallets ... Remote Control ... Laundry Machines ... Cutting Board ... Your Phone ... Water Fountains ... Buttons [such as elevator] ... Yoga Mats ... Airplane Bathroom ... Shopping Carts"
  • Bad Bacteria Lurk in Rest Stops - WebMD, 6/6/08 - "Their results showed the presence of many different bacteria, such as staph bacteria and E. coli. MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a difficult to treat type of staph that can cause potentially life-threatening infection, was found in 10 of the 47 samples taken ... carefully and diligently wash their hands and use a towel or other type of device to cover their hands when exiting the restrooms" -  People might think I'm a germaphobe but I've always used a paper towel to exit public restrooms.
  • One Third of Hospital Toilets Not Properly Cleaned: C. Difficile Germs Linger - Science Daily, 5/11/08
  • Your Keyboard: Dirtier Than a Toilet - ABC News, 5/5/08 - "It turns out that your computer keyboard could put a host of potentially harmful bacteria -- including E. coli and staph -- quite literally at your fingertips ... one had levels of germs five times higher than that found on the toilet seat" - Note:  I put my keyboard in the dishwasher every once in a while.  It takes about a week before it will work again but I haven't had any go bad yet.  I've got several keyboards from old computers so I don't care if I lose one.  Also see Unotron Washable Corded Standard Keyboard S5000K-B - Keyboard - PS/2, USB - black.  I would think that if the regular keyboards worked in the dishwasher, these would also.
  • Cleanliness Rules Germaphobes' Lives - WebMD, 7/12/04 - "True germaphobes have OCD"
  • Germs Are Everywhere -- Really - WebMD, 7/12/04
  • Doctors Don't Wash Hands Enough - WebMD, 7/6/04
  • Germs: They're Everywhere - WebMD, 6/23/04
  • Many People Skip Bathroom Hand Washing - WebMD, 9/15/03
  • Cell Phones Can Carry Bacteria - WebMD, 9/15/03
  • Germs In The Office - Intelihealth
  • Fighting Germs in the Home May Make the Problem Worse WebMD, 5/22/00

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