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Cold and Flu...10 Easy Tips to Keep The Germs Away

Germs in Colored String Patterns
While there are only two months of winter left this season, those nasty germs that cause cold and flu are still alive and well waiting to infect another victim. Don't let this be you!

Here are a ten tips to keep those bad bacteria and venomous viruses away:

1. Pens - Don't use the pen a store clerk hands you to sign a receipt. Always have your own at the ready.

2. Gloves - Buy a reasonably priced leather pair that allows for easy movement. Wear them always and everywhere when you go out. Chances are you won't touch your eyes, mouth, or nose while wearing gloves, so it won't matter what you touch in the store, in the library, or that much used entrance door handle at work. 

Remember I said "reasonably priced?" At the end of the season, throw the gloves out. If you use them in this manner, they will be dirty; no need to store them with your freshly cleaned coat. This may seem wasteful, but not more so than missing a week of work due to the flu. $ SAVING TIP: Buy a pair or two now while everything is on end-of-the-season sale and put them away for the next fall.

3. Credit Cards - Don't hand your credit card to a store clerk to swipe for you. Try to swipe it yourself using the new automatic swipe machines. If the clerk is sick, when they hand you back your card, it is the same as if you shook hands and you just put their germs into your wallet.

4. Water Bottles - This is a simple prevention step. Mark the label or tear it off so you know which bottle is yours. Don't risk drinking out of Typhoid Mary's bottle.

5. Soap Dishes - If you are using bar soap in your house, be sure to put the soap dish through a dishwasher cycle every week or so. A soap dish is a festering spot for germs because of all the hands touching it and the stagnant moisture.

6. Liquid Soap Pumps - Think you are free of the "soap dish" germ dilemma? The pump on the liquid soap dispenser is a hot spot for germs because everyone touches it before they wash. $ SAVING TIP: Use a paper-towel/cotton swipe with Rubbing Alcohol to wipe the pump top clean. It is cheap and a natural disinfectant.

7. Cell Phone - Use Rubbing Alcohol to wipe it down periodically throughout the year. Try not to share your phone with anyone during cold and flu season.

8. Hand Washing - This is the obvious answer to prevent infection, but what if you aren't near a sink? Keep a travel size bottle of Purell Hand Sanitizer handy. I like the individually wrapped Nice 'n Clean packets. No worry of spills or leaks, and they easily fit in a pocket, glovebox, or briefcase.

9. Public Serving Utensils - If you are attending a buffet or selecting your greens at a salad bar, DON'T use the utensils that everyone is using. If possible, use the fork and spoon you will use to eat with to also serve yourself. If you washed your hands before lunch, it is meaningless if you then touch the serving utensils at the buffet. Those germs are now accompanying you at the table as you reach for that freshly baked roll.

10. Toothpaste Tube - If someone in your household is sick, give them their own tube of toothpaste. Most people inadvertently touch the tube to their toothbrush when squeezing out the paste. The next person who then comes along to polish their pearly whites also gets a dose of germs!

Hope these tips help keep you healthy! Please add any tips you use to stay away from germs.


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Luci Weston

@Bose -- Good point, very important step to staying healthy! Thanks.

@all Readers -- Great sale on leather gloves at many retailers. Now is the time to pick up a pair for next season. Check out for lovely leather women's gloves for only $20-.


Just a piggyback to the toothpaste tube tip....remember to change your toothbrush after any illness. So many people don't think to do that.

Luci Weston

@Donna -- I do wash my hands a lot! Unfortunately, they get dry. I am trying to develop a super-moisturizing butter based lotion for Holly Woods 'N Vines that is light enough to use throughout the day without being greasy.

@Rivergirl -- Having an upper respiratory infection that lasted almost a year made me aware of so many ways we pick up germs. I sympathize and empathize with your Mother-in-law, hope she is feeling better!

@Janine -- It is pretty gross when you think about it, but what an eye-opener, right?

Thank you all for your comments, keep 'em coming!

Janine N

Thanks for the timely tips. Keep them coming!

#10 was something I never thought! Guess it is time to stock up on spare toothbrushes and travel size toothpaste!


Good tips...
I wish my MIL would have followed them.
She's had bacterial pneumonia twice in the past 5 weeks.

Account Deleted

These are great tips! I just stopped rubbing my chin and I'm going to put the soap dishes in the dishwasher. Who knew??! You must have really clean hands.

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