Questions tagged [hygiene]

The set of practices perceived by a community to be associated with the preservation of health and healthy living.

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71
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3answers
8k views

Is food still safe to eat within 5 seconds after being dropped on the floor (5 second rule)?

Today in the cafeteria my friend dropped a chicken wing on the floor and immediately picked it up and ate it. Afterward he claimed that the chicken wing was still safe to eat if it was consumed within ...
69
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2answers
16k views

Do we need to brush our teeth?

While everyone is telling us that we should brush our teeth twice a day, the human species has evolved for several million years without any teeth brushing. Apes don't brush their teeth, and they don'...
61
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1answer
57k views

Is cleaning yourself with toilet paper cleaner than using water?

As a Westener, I've always been raised to believe that the best way to clean most objects is warm water and soap - self, dishes, clothes, pretty much everything. Except what is probably thought of as ...
44
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1answer
2k views

Are many allergies caused by too much hygiene?

One hears it once in a while that many allergies are due to people overly concerned with hygiene. The rationale is that growing up in a near-sterile environment will leave your immune system confused ...
42
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2answers
3k views

Do hand sanitizers have a negative impact on the human immune system?

Related: Which is more effective at removing germs, washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizers? Does regular handwashing with antibacterial soap prevent disease? I've run across some ...
40
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1answer
1k views

Is it good (for your health) to shower/bathe daily?

I only shower once every few days, sometimes as little as once a week depending how oily/sticky I'm feeling (I lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle so I don't reach that stage daily). People around me ...
39
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3answers
17k views

Do we need to clean our ears (remove earwax)?

Last year, I read on a newspaper that a research found that we do not need, or should not, clean our ears as the earwax comes out naturally and sticking in cotton swabs can damage our ears. Is my ...
37
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3answers
11k views

Does washing hands with soap remove more germs than plain water?

As a germophobic, I almost consume a soap bar each day due to the touch of a door handle or other daily used items around the house. This is instigated due to OCD perhaps. This is unhealthy and bad ...
36
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3answers
7k views

If I buy “flushable” wipes, can I flush them without problems?

I know they say "Flushable" right on the package, but are they? Do they break down fast enough to not cause problems in septic/sewer systems?
28
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2answers
14k views

Is house dust mostly made up of human skin?

Fortean Times I first heard the claim that house dust is mostly made up of human skin on a TV show, when I was a kid (probably Cheers, where Cliff makes this comment at the beginning of a Season 9 ...
27
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1answer
3k views

Is washing your hair too often bad?

This is one that I've heard on more than one occasion: "Don't wash your hair every day. Wash it every two days as washing it too often will damage it." Is there any truth in this? Can frequent hair ...
27
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1answer
9k views

Does wearing headphones for long periods increase dangerous bacteria in your ear?

I have heard this many times, sometimes worded as such: Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ears by 700 times I'm wondering, is this true and, if so, does it ...
26
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1answer
1k views

Do modern toothbrush features remove more plaque than regular toothbrushes?

The Oral-B makes some claims about their Oral-B Pro-Health All-In-One: Oral-B Pro-Health All-In-One toothbrush has been clinically proven to remove more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush with ...
26
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1answer
2k views

Is it dangerous to use wooden cutlery and cutting boards with raw meat?

I have heard multiple times that "one should never cut raw meat on a wooden cutting board nor mix it using a wooden spoon." The reason most often cited is that apparently bacteria can survive in the ...
26
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1answer
1k views

Does standing closer to the urinal prevent urine splashes?

My work has a sign in the bathrooms requesting that you stand closer to the urinals to avoid splashing onto the floor. Is this actually a workable fact? My query is that if you stand closer, wouldn'...
25
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4answers
2k views

Do hand dryers in public bathrooms spread bacteria?

A hand drier is a warm and humid environment that is surrounded by bacteria from all the bathroom users. It is claimed that this is one of the main causes for spreading bacteria/microbes (NCBI ref) ...
25
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1answer
17k views

Do I need to wash my hands after using the bathroom?

Source Is hand-washing after urination and defecation merely a product of social norms, or is there a health-related reason that we wash our hands after going to the bathroom? Or is there some other ...
24
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1answer
19k views

Is it dangerous to mix boiled and unboiled water?

There is a popular belief in Russia that mixing boiled and unboiled water (say, adding cold unboiled water to a cup of tea to cool it) can be dangerous for one's health, even if it is safe to drink ...
23
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2answers
11k views

Is it better to floss before or after brushing the teeth?

Floss: Dental floss is a cord of thin filaments used to remove food and dental plaque from between teeth. The floss is gently inserted between the teeth and wiped along the teeth sides, especially ...
22
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1answer
1k views

Are smartphones, keyboards, and tablets more contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus than a public toilet seat?

Source: How clean is your iPad? – a “Which?” hygiene investigation We use them every day while eating lunch or a snack, but new Which? research has revealed tablets, smartphones and keyboards may ...
21
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1answer
1k views

Do the commercially produced toilet seat covers significantly reduce the spread of disease?

In many public toilets there are disposable toilet seat covers that can be placed over the seat before sitting down. These covers certainly allay some of the "yuck factor" associated with placing one ...
20
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3answers
44k views

Is vinegar & baking soda an effective agent for disinfecting bacteria and mold?

I've seen a lot of references on the Internet stating that vinegar mixed with baking soda is an effective way to disinfect mold, bacteria, etc. I'm skeptical that it has a significant effect because ...
20
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1answer
18k views

Do hot baths damage skin or nerves?

I like to take showers and baths hot enough to leave my skin pink when I come out. One of my friends has a much lower tolerance to hot water and has said that that soaking in hot water can damage the ...
20
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1answer
13k views

Did workers defecate in the hallways of the Palace of Versailles when they were building it?

I remember reading that workers pooped in the hallways of Versailles for their own pleasure some years ago, but can't find a confirming source by Googling. Can anyone enlighten me as to the actual ...
19
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1answer
17k views

Does putting warm food in the refrigerator make it more likely to give you food poisoning than letting it cool off first and then refrigerating it?

My boss was arguing that this is true and that it's a well known fact amongst culinary professionals that you should never put hot food in the refrigerator (he used to be a baker and had restaurants ...
19
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1answer
3k views

Do Americans use three times as much toilet paper as Europeans?

This article "5 Seemingly Innocent Ways You've Screwed The World Today" on cracked.com contains the following claim: Delicate American bottoms prefer plush, bleached white, multi-ply paper with all ...
19
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1answer
2k views

Are women's public restrooms dirtier and/or more bacteria-laden than the men's rooms?

When a friend was posting an article about a proposed shared wall of stalls between the men's and women's sides where the doors only opened from one side at a time to provide load-sharing (yes, he ...
18
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1answer
19k views

Is chewing your finger nails as bad as licking a public toilet seat?

I've heard the above mentioned many times growing up that chewing your fingernails will expose you to more germs than to licking a public toilet seat. Apologies for the provacative title, but here ...
16
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1answer
33k views

Can one use microfiber cloths and products to “clean without chemicals”?

There's a company called Norwex, started in Norway and now in other countries including Canada and the US, which claim its products "Clean without Chemicals": Our line of cleaning products will ...
16
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1answer
31k views

Are there airborne poop particles flying around bathrooms?

I've heard claims of airborne poop particles that fly into the air everytime one flushes a toilet. Here's some examples: HERE someone states that flushing the toilet "aerosolizes" water/poop into the ...
16
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1answer
561 views

Does a lack of hand-washing by health-care workers cause 100,000 deaths per year in the USA?

Tweet by PostSecret, with 203 retweets and 85 favorites: 100,000 deaths in the US alone could be avoided each year if health care workers washed their hands more, according to the CDC. Do 100,...
16
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2answers
4k views

Does living clean weaken ones immune system?

In many places I have heard that living too clean weakens your immune system. For example, a Daily Mail article says: Evidence is growing that dirt and germs can protect against disease - and that ...
15
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3answers
4k views

Are toilet seats extremely unhygienic?

We've already seen a few questions about toilet hygiene but these styles of questions/myths more or less assume that toilet seats are the bottom of the hygienic barrel. Is this true? To wit, I have ...
15
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1answer
4k views

Is it more hygenic to keep the lid down on the toilet after use?

I remember a bit of folklore that suggested it was more hygienic to put the lid (that's the lid on the seat) down after use. Is this the case?
15
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2answers
2k views

Is washing your body too often bad for your skin?

This is not a question about washing your hair. It's about taking a shower too often - i.e. several times a day. I remember I read somewhere that, in this case, your skin lost good bacteria that ...
15
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1answer
809 views

Do stainless-steel soap bars work to wash hands? [duplicate]

There are stainless steel soap products for washing hands. For example, Blomus Stainless Steel Soap: Simply rub on hands under running water to neutralize odors [...] Negatively-charged stainless ...
14
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3answers
7k views

Does alcohol-free “essential oil” mouthwash kill bacteria in your mouth?

Case in point: No other alcohol-free mouthwash has been proven more effective at killing bad breath germs. Contains signature 4 Essential Oils found in LISTERINE® Antiseptic for bad breath ...
14
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1answer
3k views

Is it good to be germaphobic?

I have a friend (the same guy that believes calcium in water is bad for you) who is germaphobic. That is, he will avoid germs at any expense. For example, kitchen surfaces will be pristine, using some ...
14
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1answer
898 views

Was Ignaz Semmelweis ignored by the medical community when he advocated hand washing?

Daniel Engber writes in Who Will Debunk The Debunkers?: Ignaz Semmelweis, the Hungarian physician who noticed in the 1840s that doctors were themselves the source of childbed fever in his hospital’...
14
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1answer
2k views

Does the miswak help with digestion, eyesight, headache, memory or illness?

The miswak is a traditional Middle-Eastern toothbrush (so to speak) make from a twig of a particular branch, that is claimed to be especially effective. The dental efficacy has been studied, but ...
14
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1answer
4k views

Is it possible to crush bacteria?

For example by stepping on, stabbing with tiny needles or by pushing hard with thumb on a specific spot, etc? Can bacteria die in a car crash? Or as a result of playing football? Another situation ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Is aluminum in pans, soda cans and antiperspirants correlated to Alzheimer's?

I have not only heard the soda can theory since I was a kid, but more recently when researching the topic I have found many websites that claim pans made of aluminum and antiperspirants are correlated ...
12
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1answer
7k views

Do I have to brush my teeth at least 3 minutes each time?

There are various claims about how long a tooth brushing session should last for proper dental hygiene. I have heard that 3 minutes is the time and that my tooth brushing sessions should be ...
12
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1answer
872 views

Do restaurants in China recycle 'gutter oil'?

A video titled This Video Of Chinese Street Food Made From 'Gutter Oil' Is The Most Disgusting Thing You Will See All Day rose to the top of the reddit front page today. It claims some restaurants in ...
12
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1answer
3k views

Can urine aerosols reach my toothbrush if I pee standing up?

My girlfriend insisted that I should sit down in the future after reading this tip (German) for easier cleaning: When standing, the stream sprays up to 3.50 m far, as measured from a drop height of ...
12
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0answers
251 views

Are foaming soap dispensers as effective as regular liquid soap dispensers?

I found these foaming soap dispensers on Amazon. The seller says you can use regular liquid soap, diluted: Combine 1 part liquid soap with 5 parts water or Fill with foaming soap solution / ...
12
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0answers
219 views

Are objects such as towels, bank notes, carpets, shopping trolleys and light switches dirtier than a toilet seat?

Are objects such as towels, bank notes, carpet, shopping trolleys and light switches listed in blogs such as these and these really dirtier than an average toilet seat since Dr Chuck Gerba, professor ...
11
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1answer
812 views

Are antibacterial soaps better than plain soap and water?

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Janet ...
11
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2answers
369 views

Are disposable contacts unsafe beyond their recommended time limits?

My wife is fussing at me because I've been wearing the same pair of 2 week contacts for probably 4 months now. My experience thus far is to only replace if they either tear or develop irritation. The ...
10
votes
1answer
928 views

Do “naturally raised” animals contain less bacteria?

Related: Are artificial hormones in beef really something to worry about? Does organic food have more vitamins than nonorganic food? (kind of) I watched Food, Inc. (LINK) perhaps two years ago and ...