We all have that one friend who comes to visit and always manages to forget some form of personal hygiene product—and then has zero hesitations about reaching for yours instead.
Despite the old adage, sharing isn’t caring when it comes to certain items found in the bathroom. Bathrooms everywhere are a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. From the hot and steamy shower to pretty much everything else you find in there, bathrooms are little petri dishes of disease transfer.
Doctors’ main rule of thumb is pretty simple: if it’s usually damp, then never share it. Damp items are full of bacteria and fungi that can wreak havoc on your health, causing everything from acne to stomach flu to certain types of community-acquired Staph infections.
Be sure to stock up on several of the below items so you’ll never have to borrow them again—and casually forward this story on to that forgetful friend of yours the next time she’s planning a visit.
Tweezers and nail clippers
These tools, including other types of hair and body trimmers, can transfer dead skin cells, nail fungus and some types of HPV. And even if it looks like someone has clean, healthy nails, you never know what’s lurking: fungus can hide out on your fingers, toes, soles of your feet and even where warts have formed on the skin.
Even if you hang it up to dry, loofahs never really dry out between uses, allowing fungus and viruses and dead skin cells to grow and multiply in the weaves of fibers. Loofahs can even cause acne, nail infections and even ring worm, so be sure to keep yours to yourself.
Bar of soap
Every time you use a bar of soap it gets covered in organisms from your skin, ranging from harmless germs to more serious pathogens other people can carry without getting sick themselves. What’s even worse? When the soap sets in a wet dish constantly.
Washcloths and towels
Towels are breeding grounds for germs, bacteria, fungus and mildew, especially when they are hanging in a damp bathroom for several days. Contaminated towels can transmit fungal infections on your skin, acne-causing bacteria and even pink eye, so wash them every four uses and always let the dry completely.
Using a friend’s razor is a big no-no, because razors collect dead skin cells mixed with bacteria, which increases the risk for infection. Even worse, shaving causes cuts that can transfer blood-borne diseases like hepatitis and HIV, and you have no way of knowing if the razor you’re using is contaminated.
Sharing deodorant doesn’t sound pleasant to begin with, but contaminated tubes can cause infections if the germs find their way into nicks on your skin from shaving or ingrown hairs.