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31 May, 2008

How To-22: "How to Be Hygienic"

How to Be Hygienic

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

While standards of hygiene vary around the world, the purpose is the same: To promote health and prevent the spread of infectious disease. This remains an issue not only in developing countries, but also in industrialized nations as well.[1] Not only will being hygienic decrease your chances of getting sick (as well as protect the people around you), but it generally makes you feel, look and smell better.


  1. Understand how infectious diseases spread: through certain bacteria and viruses generally referred to as pathogens or germs. They can be found in any bodily discharge, from blood to tears to feces and urine. Some can survive away from a body for extended periods of time and be picked up by another person later on.
  2. Wash your hands after using the bathroom every time. According to Dr. Val Curtis at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, hands are a "superhighway for transmitting germs" that, if washed properly, could result in cutting the number of children who die from diarrheal diseases in half and reduce the number of upper respiratory tract diseases by a third.[2]If this isn't convenient, then use hand sanitizer.
  3. Avoid touching your (or anyone else's) eyes, nose, mouth, ears, or any orifice unless you're certain that your hands are clean.
  4. Take a shower daily. A quick shower will suffice. Even wiping your body with a soapy, wet rag will achieve the desired effect, which is to remove any dead skin cells and unwanted visitors from the surface of your skin.
  5. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  6. Clean your clothes and surroundings regularly. The idea is to remove any lingering germs from any surface you regularly come in contact both at home and at work or school (e.g. your office phone handset, your desk, your sheets, toilet bowl seat).


  • Keep your nails clean. If possible, trim them weekly. Brush them daily with soap so that no dirt or residue remains beneath the nail. Don't bite your nails, either.
  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly to keep your mouth and gums from becoming a home for germs. This is especially important if you share food, drinks, and/or open-mouth kisses with others. It will also help to prevent bad breath.
  • If you're around animals of any kind, don't touch them before eating. If you do, be sure to wash your hands before eating.
  • Don't lick your fingers (such as when turning pages in a book).
  • Menstruating women should take care to change pads or tampons frequently. Some menstrual cups can be sanitized by boiling between periods.
  • Uncircumcised men should clean daily under the foreskin with soap and water.

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