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Preventing the Spread of Germs

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Germs are everywhere, but there are numerous ways to avoid catching every little cold or something much worse. This is a page about preventing the spread of germs.


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February 15, 2012

I cut my finger at work the other day and when we finally got it bandaged I wanted it protected from germs. I am in Nursing so we come in contact with lots of germs every day and I wash my hands multiple times.

I got a rubber glove, cut off one finger of it and fit it over my bandaged finger. I then put tape all the way around the bottom of it to keep water and germs from getting in it.

This works great for me but I do not recommend you keep it on more than 8 hours at a time. I changed mine when I got home and just left the band-aid on it. You don't want it to get infected and the best thing for a cut is air.

So if you find yourself in a germ infested environment and need to protect a cut or wound that a glove finger will cover I highly recommend using my method. Years ago they had "finger cots" that served the same purpose. They are hard to find today.


By gem from VA

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September 15, 2010

To avoid germs in a public washroom, pick the stall closest to the door. Studies show that it is used the least, so it should be the cleanest.

Before washing your hands, release the paper towel from the dispenser that you will need. Wash in hot water using soap and point your fingers downward to wash off the germs.

Leave the water on. Dry your hands thoroughly, even between the fingers, and use the paper towel to turn the taps off and to open the bathroom door. A garbage pail outside the washroom won't be too far away for you to throw the paper towel into.

By sooz from Toronto, ON

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When I get books from the library, I use a spray bottle with vinegar and spray the book and wipe it down with a paper towel. The vinegar kills germs and you can see a lot of dirt removed on the paper towel.


This keeps a lot of germs out of my house and off my hands.

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I was watching a show on TV the other day, on properly cleaning of your kitchen. Something that I think we all do well. But sometimes the dish cloths, dish rags or sponges we use around our sinks and stoves, often get overlooked.

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I recently read a medical research report stating that hand sanitizers are only about 60% as effective as washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. However, a hand sanitizer is better than nothing!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 8, 2010

How can I clean my teeth to get rid of germs?

By pintu from India


October 9, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

My dentist just told me to brush with baking soda & a few drops of peroxide. It will kill the germs in your mouth.

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October 10, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I rinse with pure peroxide. Just swish it around in your mouth for 15 seconds, then spit it out.


This heals cuts and sores as well as cleans germs.

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October 10, 20100 found this helpful
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This may surprise you, but you don't want to rid your mouth of all germs because some of them are protective. GOOD bacteria in and on our body competes with bad for nutrients. The over-use of anti-bacterial products actually causes worse "germs". So brushing vigorously with a good toothpaste after meals, and swishing the mouth with a mouth wash daily is more than enough. Floss with dental floss occasionally to ensure that any nutrients remaining between the teeth are removed. You can alternately try the baking soda and a little peroxide. The combination makes it "fizzy" and the air bubble action helps push food bits out of their hiding spots.


But don't work too hard to sterilize your mouth; you will regret it.

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October 10, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Floss once a day, and brush twice a day, after breakfast and before bed, with a soft toothbrush and a regular brand of toothpaste. I prefer one with fluoride and I use one that is for sensitive teeth. Just about anything you can get in the pharmacy or grocery store is just fine. You don't need anything else.

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January 1, 2007

They make candles to get rid of smoke odors, pet odors, etc. Do you all know if they make a candle you can burn to get rid of germs when someone is home sick with a cold?


Thanks a bunch,
Pam from Lincoln, DE


By Lynda (Guest Post)
January 3, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

Sick AND well people don't need polluted air, smoke filled that overworks their lungs...EVER.

Even though you mean well, try treating the sick person directly with Seamist Salt Water nose drops spray, with lots of fresh water and a clean plastic cup each day, with linens washed/bleached every other day, (if well enough, warm shower twice a week),give one Acidolphylus capsule a day until well, with mild non-cheese or milk-based soups/foods(potato, split pea,black bean, weakened tomato, or celery soups,canned "light" pears, avoiding acid foods/drinks and milk, chowders and creamed soups until VERY well), in disposable paper/plastic bowls, plates,flatware, with light simple foods as patient improves and is mostly symptom free or requests it.

(I prefer to take 100 mg. of Zinc each day which helps strengthen my immune system. Also, if coughing, the over-the-counter Daytime Gel Caps
and Nightime Gel caps seem to really work for a lot of folks, including me, if taken as directed on the box.)

Don't use aerosol sprays, candles, or ANY
strong chemicals in the sick room. If on tiles, use
a mild hot water solution of 1/2 water, a few drops of Lestoil, and a few capsful of bleach for mopping. If on carpet, do not vacuum until patient is well because ALL regular vacuums LEAK FLOOR DUST/GERMS INTO THE AIR, which is certainly not good for patient.

Wear baggies or cheap disposable gloves to wipe down all surfaces once a week with paper towels and mild "bleach/water solution", NOT depending upon Windex, Vinegar, or Ammonia to help or kill HARMFUL germs!

Replace the trash sack liner of the can daily, keep tissues or toilet paper nearby for expectorating and
drippy nose, which the saltwater nose drops should check, unless sinuses are too stopped up. If chest congestion, read label on the "tussins" for Guafenesin to loosen it up and help it get patient spit out mucous plugs prompty when loosened. Avoid cough drops/syrups. If sore throat, gargle once an hour with 1/2 tsp. table salt and 6 oz. COLD water, not hot/warm, carefully spitting into drain, NOT spreading mouth germs all over sink bowl. If nausea, 1 tblsp COLA SYRUP(cheap and works!) from Walgreens Drugs, hourly until gone, usually requiring no more than one small 6 oz. bottle. If nausea continues past that, see a doctor.

If diarreah (sp?), Immodium is what I use should this occur. If not checked by this, see a doctor.

If fever, Tylenol-type relief as directed, and see a doctor if not gone in 3 days. If no fever,
it's likely some sort of virus and will need the above
treatment for 5-6 days with PLENTY of GOOD SLEEP AND BEDREST, and proper food, not greasy junkfoods/fast foods/colas/acid drinks. (Linus Pauling retracted his advice on taking lots of Vit. C when we have a cold. It almost ruined a lot of folks.)
Granmama Lyn rests her God help you to get well and keep you that way. : )

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By siris. (Guest Post)
January 3, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

My mother used a plate of sliced onions placed on several surfaces. She claimed that they absorbed germs. Maybe a Scottish idea that my grandparents brought with them.

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December 30, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Use a Lampe Berger or a knockoff instead. It burns alcohol and is easy to refill. The alcohol is drawn up the wick to a porous stone that absorbs the alcohol. The stone is lit, you let it burn two or three minutes, and blow it out. The wire on the stone is kept extremely hot and burns the alcohol and the particles in the air. The lamps are beautiful and useful. You can use the fragrance "oil" that is sold with it (expensive) or "90% rubbing alcohol" or a mixture of the two. Look up more information about thes lampes, they have a long and interesting history!

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September 1, 2010

Here's how to avoid the flu and many other illnesses each year:

Beginning Oct. 15th each year, until May 15th the following year, we stop eating out, even if we are treated to it because many sick folks are too sick to cook, but not too sick to go out. (I'll never figure that one out, but it's true according to one restaurant owner and his staff.)

We do not drink a lot of fruit juices because it sets us up for a systemic yeast infection without plenty of sunlight and activity available, and because we live in a moist region which feeds yeast/molds which lower the immune system.

We drink much more hot herbal teas and water than milk-based drinks.

When able to purchase, I choose only frozen, low-salt canned, and only very few prepackaged fresh veggies to minimize picking up the uncovered ones coughed on/handled by inconsiderate sick folks and/or their children, or sick employees during flu season.

I seldom purchase anything unpackaged during this time for the same reasons.

We also begin longer handwashing with stronger antibacterial liquid soap if we can afford it, after using bathroom, before entering the kitchen, and before touching our food. Should we have plastic/paper goods to use, it helps to prevent recycling and sharing whatever flu germs might be lurking about. Many bacteria, virus and mutants live longer outside the body than we have been told.

We "pass" on eating anyone else's food, unless as a last resort, because few folks think about the "contagion factor" when cooking and sharing food at holidays.

We have been sick very little since practicing the following additional habits we were taught:

Avoiding anyone who is obviously coughing, sneezing, wheezing, snorting; even if they claim it is only "allergies", especially the checkout clerks who handle money, deal exclusively with the multitudes in public, and then handle purchases. Also avoiding the sackers who have to go out in all sorts of weather and are often ill. Avoid any direct contact with those diagnosed with infection/taking RX meds. Although they may be improving, they may be carriers of the contagion long after becoming well.

We are considerate of others should this ever happen to us, by affording them the same consideration as we would expec from them.

We do not save sacks from purchases during this time period because most germs land on horizontal surfaces where the sacks are placed for loading purchases.

We use rubber gloves to sanitize surfaces during and after someone is ill.

We do not share dishes, confining anyone ill to their special dish set, boiled or disposable until well.

We provide a package of tissue and a wastesack nearby for all who might have a cough, runny nose, fever, vomiting; requesting they dispose of their own used papers, tossing sack daily.

We learn what sensitivities we have and avoid them during this time especially, to give our body's immune system every advantage to do it's protecting against illness as designed. We avoid spray "disinfectants" because the propellant is often Formaldehyde (a poison used for embalming the dead, which has killed many itself.)

We teach children to cough as often as possible within a large plastic sack to contain the spray of their germs rather than to let it go into the air, onto the floor, surfaces and others.

Like hospitals, we keep a lot of cold water bottles available to keep liquids flowing through the sick person to eliminate the medications which are usually constipating.

We place the sick person(s) in the quietest and easiest to clean area of the house to allow for best recouperation/isolation from well people, spreading a plastic dropcloth on the floor by the bed, should there be lots of coughing.

We use all solid white THIN multilayered linens for hot sanitizing and changing every other day, as well as white bed clothes where possible.

The person sanitizing is careful to wear gloves and mask, if available, paying attention to toilet, tub, washer, linens, water, med bottles on papertowel covered tray, and any phone sanitizing if nearby/used by the patient.

Several things we had to relearn: One cannot be too clean during these times, nor too careful, and should move slowly so as to avoid accidents. Dishwasher water is not hot enough to kill most harmful germs, only "household" germs, unless stainless steel interior and extra high heat "sanitation setting" is available.

Also, never give medication to a patient on an empty stomach, but, rather, with crackers or something which absorbs and protects the stomach lining. Coated "over the counter" meds often still cause nausea on an empty stomach.

Lastly, if the patient is a sick child, avoid contact with any stuffed animals you intend to keep because their fleece cannot be adequately sanitized to prevent recontamination later on.

Keep noise at a low level, remembering that the patient needs quiet and prayer for the quickest recovery. God bless and keep you, too.

By Lynda from TX


Tips For Avoiding Illness

I am sure you mean well, but you seem like a bit extreme. That sounds worse than a hospital. I work at a doctors' office. Call me crazy, I guess. (10/24/2006)

By sandy63

Tips For Avoiding Illness

This is more than over the top. I don't ever get ill although don't go to these extremes. It is all to do with your constitution etc. Sure be careful, but it sounds as if this rules your life. (10/24/2006)

By Christine Anderson

Tips For Avoiding Illness

Way too extreme. We are very rarely sick in our household! I wash my hands frequently. And if my husband gets the sniffles, I put up a separate handtowel for him and that's all it seems to take to keep it at bay from one another. Super simple. (10/25/2006)

By lori macDonald

Tips For Avoiding Illness

Horribly extreme. If you read the newest studies, you are setting any children in your house up for BIG time health problems in the future. Raise a kid in a 'sterile' environment and when they get to school, they'll get everything imaginable because Mom coddled them. No immunity built up.

You are doing everyone in your family a HUGE disservice doing all this. I would (nicely) actually recommend some professional help for you if what you've typed is true. Nothing personal, but it sounds like the actions/mind set of a troubled person. (10/25/2006)

By Tammy

Tips For Avoiding Illness

Yes, too extreme for me. I use common sense and hand washing I think is one of the most important things. There's no way I wouldn't eat out for 7 months of the year. Maybe this is good advice for someone with a compromised immune system. I get many germs passed to me by my children. Not much I can do about that. I continue to take my daily vitamins and hope for the best.

By Debbie Dzurilla

Tips For Avoiding Illness

Wow. I can't imagine restricting my life this way, but I do know one thing for sure. In order to build up a resistance, you really do have to be exposed to these kinds of everyday germs! Here's how I know this. I lost my job due to Katrina and decided to take a few months off and signed up for a semester of college courses. This semester I took a full load but did it through distance learning online instead of real time classes, hoping to have found work by now. Anyway, since I've been more homebound the last year and I don't get around a lot of other people now, literally every time I go out, to the movies, a restaurant, shopping, or anywhere there is or has been exposure to a lot of people, I almost always come home feeling as if I'm coming down with something. I started using the Airborne product - which is really just vitamins and herbs - as soon as I come home and start feeling symptomatic, or sometimes even before I go out if I think about it. It's an effervescent tablet you dissolve in water, invented by a teacher, and yes, it really works. Sometimes it takes a few doses, but I love this stuff. You can find it at WalMart. (10/26/2006)

By Mary

Tips For Avoiding Illness

Might as well go into fall/winter quarantine and isolation! A few sniffles is minor compared to the joy of sharing meals, company and being around other people during holidays...Unless you have a serious illness and are immuno-compromised you are missing out on many of life's pleasures for over half a year-no way to live! Lighten up! (10/29/2006)

By Linda

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August 9, 2010

Is there a way to disinfect laundry without using chlorine bleach, which is too hard on some white fabrics and cannot be used on colors? Sharon from FL

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