You may be a generally hygienic person who avoids touching public toilet seats, never leaves your handbag on the floor or never rewears two-day-old clothes. But there are places where bacteria can lurk and grow that you may not be aware of – and these could be making you sick.

Reduce or completely eliminate your exposure to harmful germs with these easy solutions:


1. Your Reusable Grocery Bag

We’re talking about those environmentally-friendly bags you use in place of the plastic bags you normally get at supermarkets. These ‘green’ bags are great for lugging around groceries and gym gear, but when you’re buying fresh produce and raw meat, cross-contamination can create a hotspot for bacteria.

The solution: Always use separate bags. This is important for raw meat, which, if it leaks, can contaminate unpackaged foods with E. coli and salmonella.

Related story: 21 Storage Tips To Make Your Groceries In The Fridge Last Longer


2. The Petrol Pump

Petrol pump handles top the list of filthiest surfaces people encounter, with research showing that they harbour more illness-causing bacteria than ATMs and vending machines.

The solution: Pop a box of disposable gloves in your car, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer to clean your hands after refuelling.

Related story: Here’s How Your Handbags Are Making You Sick



3. Your Freshly-Washed Laundry

Washing is meant to clean clothes, but research shows that E.coli, adenovirus and rotavirus – germs that cause stomach upsets, conjunctivitis and respiratory ills, linger even after the wash cycle.

The solution: Hang your clothes in sunshine or put them in the dryer immediately to kill these microscopic bugs.

Related story: 10 Genius Washing And Drying Tips To Make Doing Laundry A Breeze


4. Gym Equipment

Gyms usually require patrons to bring along a towel to wipe the seats and handles down once you’re done using each machine. Still, not everyone might follow this rule, and cold-causing rhinoviruses easily cling on to weights and other equipment.

The solution: Clean gym equipment with a disinfectant wipe before use and avoid touching your face while exercising. Pack a hand sanitizer or wet wipes to use after workouts.

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Text: Bauer Syndication / Additional Reporting: Elizabeth Liew
Photos: Pixabay