Jo Gilchrist, a 27-year-old mom in the prime of her life, was paralyzed after contracting an antibiotic-resistant MRSA infection. The source of this devastating bacteria? An unwashed makeup brush. When she borrowed a friend’s brush she inadvertently swept the bacteria into an open sore left by a pimple, which then spread the infection throughout her body. While most of us won’t see such horrific consequences from rarely cleaned brushes, almost all of us carry the staphylococcus bacteria on our skin. So it’s likely that your makeup brushes, sponges, and applicators carry that and other harmful germs too. To avoid infection, breakouts, or skin irritation, experts recommend washing your brushes in warm soapy water after each use or at least once a week.
Bras may look beautiful, but thanks to the sweat and oils from your skin they can be the perfect environment to grow ugly bacteria-especially when you wear them day in and day out. While most of the bacteria found in a bra are harmless, in some cases they can cause rashes, odors, and even infections. Most experts recommend washing your bra every two to three wears, which can seem like a lot considering that many bras need to be hand-washed and air-dried. It’s best to stock up so you always have a clean option. And check out these other common bra mistakes you don’t know you’re making.
Here’s your gross fact for the day: Your car steering wheel is dirtier than a public toilet. Researchers from Queen Mary University in London swabbed the ring and found 700 bacteria per square inch-nearly nine times more than what they found on public toilet seats. Now consider that the steering wheel is usually the first thing you touch when you get in the car and that many of us also eat, apply makeup, or floss while driving. To make sure you’re not driving carpool in a cesspool, keep a package of cleaning wipes in your car and regularly wipe down the wheel as well as the gear shift knob, radio buttons, and handles.