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Get Your Coffee Before Boarding a Flight  Get Your Coffee Before Boarding a Flight 

Air travel is draining, and usually requires a cup or coffee (or tea) or two, but you probably want to get your fix before boarding your flight. Flight attendants—the people I like to take my plane advice from—do not and will not drink the hot coffee, tea, or water served on planes because that water comes from the…

How Gross Are Your Used Towels? How Gross Are Your Used Towels?

Germs, like you and I, enjoy the warm and slightly moist embrace of a bath towel. (Hey, if it’s not moist when you first put it on, it gets moist.) But these germs are just here to cuddle; normal use of a bath towel is not likely to make you sick.

What You Need to Know About Prebiotics and Probiotics What You Need to Know About Prebiotics and Probiotics

Even at our cleanest, we are covered in germs and we are full of germs. It’s okay! That’s totally normal. These microorganisms are essential to our health. You probably don’t need to mess with them, but if you’d like to try, the terms to know are prebiotics and probiotics.

How to Keep Your Workout Clothes From Stinking How to Keep Your Workout Clothes From Stinking

Sweaty clothes stink, but sweaty workout clothes stink worst of all. Like those synthetic-fiber leggings, those sweat-wicking socks, those “technical” tees? Phew. These fabrics are especially prone to harboring the smelliest bacteria.

Don't Judge Your Hand Dryer by Its Petri Dish Don't Judge Your Hand Dryer by Its Petri Dish

This awesome, I mean disgusting, Petri plate is covered in microbes collected inside a Dyson hand dryer. The photo is grossing out plenty of folks on Facebook, but it doesn’t mean that hand dryers should be #outlawed.

All About Flesh-Eating Bacteria, the Bacteria That ... Well, You Know All About Flesh-Eating Bacteria, the Bacteria That ... Well, You Know

In one of the world’s many injustices, two people who rescued others during Hurricane Harvey developed infections with “flesh eating” bacteria. Another person, a woman who fell and broke her arm in the flood, developed a similar infection so bad that she died from it. Fortunately, their stories are rare.

How to Convince Your Kids Not to Trust the Five Second Rule

There’s no magic force field that holds back germs while you shout “five-second rule!” and scoop up your dropped bologna. Duh, right? Here’s how you can prove it.

Apple Cider Vinegar Isn't the Miracle Elixir It's Cracked Up to Be Apple Cider Vinegar Isn't the Miracle Elixir It's Cracked Up to Be

Apple cider vinegar has been a multipurpose folk remedy for decades, touted as a disinfectant, a natural way to replenish skin and hair, and a superfood with all kinds of benefits. Science has backed a few of these purposes, for vinegar in general, but the observable results are pretty meh.

How to Properly Clean Your Gross Kitchen Sponge How to Properly Clean Your Gross Kitchen Sponge

You wipe your kitchen sponge all over the grossest things in your sink, so it makes sense that it would accumulate some pretty gross bacteria. But is it possible to clean or sanitize that sponge? Yes, it turns out—but only as a short-term fix.

Sex, Poop, and Champagne Are Great, But Their Health Benefits Are Overrated Sex, Poop, and Champagne Are Great, But Their Health Benefits Are Overrated

Welcome back to our health news roundup, previously What to Worry About This Week. We’ve renamed it Dose of Reality because health news isn’t always giving you things to worry about. Sometimes it’s benefits, rather than risks, that are overhyped. This week we’re looking at studies that seem to hold the key to…

Why You Shouldn't Always Let a Dog Lick Your Face Why You Shouldn't Always Let a Dog Lick Your Face

It’s a common myth that a dog’s mouth is actually cleaner than a human’s, but it is, unfortunately, just a myth (depending on the company of humans you keep, perhaps). It turns out that a typical dog’s mouth and tongue are hosts to a wide range of bacteria.

PSA: Bring Your Office Coffee Mug Home to Clean It Regularly PSA: Bring Your Office Coffee Mug Home to Clean It Regularly

It may be convenient to keep your favorite coffee mug in the office break room, but cleaning it there actually does more harm than good. Here’s why you should bring that mug home and give it a thorough cleaning as often as you can.

Why Dogs Like to Lick Your Face, and Why You Might Want to Avoid It Why Dogs Like to Lick Your Face, and Why You Might Want to Avoid It

People usually fall into two camps: those who like getting kisses from their dog, or those, like me, who can’t stand it. Here are the reasons why dogs want to lick your face, and why you might want to avoid that kind of affection, even if you do enjoy it.

Nope, Urine Is Not Sterile Nope, Urine Is Not Sterile

Urine consists of urea, water, sodium, potassium, and other chemical compounds. For a long time, people who watched too many survival shows and even doctors thought urine was germ-free. As it turns out, urine isn’t sterile when it leaves your body.

This Guide to Probiotics Tells You Which Brands Actually Work This Guide to Probiotics Tells You Which Brands Actually Work

Our bodies rely on good bacteria to stay healthy, but ingesting that bacteria—whether in pills or in foods like yogurt—isn’t always clearly linked to better health. A new online tool uses published research to link brands to health conditions where they have been shown to be effective.

Why You Should Stop Using Hydrogen Peroxide On Wounds Why You Should Stop Using Hydrogen Peroxide On Wounds

In elementary school, the common practice for scraped knees was to clean the wound using hydrogen peroxide. Many of us might still do this, but this video from SciShow makes a darn good case for why we should just skip it altogether.

What You Need to Know About Listeria, the Biggest Foodborne Pregnancy Threat What You Need to Know About Listeria, the Biggest Foodborne Pregnancy Threat

Listeria is in Starbucks sandwiches now. But that’s not all: recalls due to the fetus-threatening microbe have included—in just the last 60 days—salmon, cantaloupes, and two brands of cheese. How do you avoid something that shows up in such random places?

The Best Type of Humidifier for Adding Bacteria-Free Moisture to the Air The Best Type of Humidifier for Adding Bacteria-Free Moisture to the Air

Humidifiers are great for adding moisture to the air in dry climates, but if they aren’t clean they can spew nasty bacteria into the air. Some humidifiers market themselves as “bacteria-free,” but only a few types of humidifier actually stay relatively clean.

The Common Germ-Avoiding Tricks That Aren't Doing You Any Favors The Common Germ-Avoiding Tricks That Aren't Doing You Any Favors

Have you ever held your breath when someone coughed? Or tried to flush the toilet with your foot? Some of these tricks might help if you do them the right way, but they’re often unnecessary and based mostly in paranoia. Here’s the truth about avoiding germs in everyday life.

All The Food Safety Questions You’ll Have On Thanksgiving Day, Answered All The Food Safety Questions You’ll Have On Thanksgiving Day, Answered

Family disagreements at Thanksgiving aren’t limited to politics at the dinner table: if you’ve ever stood in the kitchen arguing with your grandma about whether the turkey is done, you know what we mean. So we asked food safety expert Ben Chapman to settle your most likely disputes.

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