There are a lot of things we think we know about those germs all around us, but only some of that stuff is true.
We’ve got a handy crash course in hygiene fact and fiction for you.
Mental Floss made this entertaining video that somehow still manages to clear up misconceptions about staying clean and germ-free. Scroll down if you want to get right to it.
Misconception #1: The five-second rule (0:16)
Sadly, not true. The little buggers start climbing on your food right away. Sigh.
2. Soap kills germs. (0:48)
Soap doesn’t actually kill anything. It just makes germs slide off your hands when you rinse them in clean water.
3. Viruses stay alive on hard surfaces a long time. (1:05)
Well, what’s a long time? Depends on the germ. But even the cold virus can’t get you after 24 hours.
4. Urine disinfects burns and stings. (1:27)
Ew. Plus, urine is *not* a disinfectant. It’s not even sterile, contrary to what some people think.
5. The toilet seat is very germy. (1:46)
Well, it is a potty, but there are fewer germs on it than on your desk. There’s also more on the flush handle. You won’t catch diseases from a toilet, though, including STDs.
6. Everyone washes their hands. (2:19)
Er, 10% of people don’t wash their hands after using a public restroom. What are they thinking?
7. Everyone washes their hands correctly. (2:50)
95% of us don’t. Yipes. There’s a tutorial in the video.
8. Hand dryers blow germs around. (3:35)
9. Dirty people get lice. (4:09)
Again, nope. It just takes head-to-head contact with someone who has it.
10. Hand sanitizers cause bacterial resistance. (4:31)
Probably not. Sanitizer kills germs as long as it’s at least 60% alcohol and doesn’t contain triclosan or triclocarban.
Here’s the video. There’s a lot more amusing, helpful, and fact-y info in it. Enjoy.