Bacteria is the stuff of nightmares. It lurks in every corner of the world and creeps up on you when you least expect it. In moments like these, a good sanitizer is your best defense!
Where should you always bring your sanitizer? Which one’s the best to use? It’s time to say goodbye to bacteria once and for all!
Which Hand Sanitizer is Best?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. If you want to stick with natural ingredients instead, look for one that contains Aloe Vera or witch hazel.
While sanitizer is a great option if you’re in a pinch, it won’t kill all the germs or remove the dirt and grime. At the end of the day, you should still use warm water and soap whenever possible.
Places Where You Should Always Bring Hand Sanitizer
Germs are everywhere, but there are some places that have higher infestations that others. As a general rule, you should always bring hand sanitizer to the following places:
- Public transportation
- Outdoor locations
- Fitness centers
- Medical facilities
- Kid-friendly areas
- Grocery stores
- Places with pets
You know those plastic bins at security? A study from the University of Nottingham found they have more bacteria than a toilet seat! This isn’t the only harmful area of the airport. The armrests, seatbelts, tray tables, and even the in-flight magazines are also crawling with germs.
10% of what you touch at the airport is carrying some kind of virus.
Whether you’re on a plane, train, or automobile, you’re likely to encounter some kind of bacteria. According to a report from The Today Show, urban areas are the most susceptible, with New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago having the most germs on their buses, subways, and taxis.
There are over 6 million colony forming units (CFUs) in your average Uber or Lyft.
If you’re going to your kid’s baseball game or on a hiking trip, make sure you pack sanitizer in your bag. Germs can be found all around you in the air, water, and land. In fact, the soil under your feet contains b. cereus, a bacterium that produces harmful toxins.
Germs are prevalent in not only amusement and water parks, but also at playgrounds. In fact, there’s 52,000 times more bacteria at your local park than on your toilet seat at home!
You may be gaining more than muscle at your local gym. Even though there are wet wipes to clean the machines, you’ll still find that your fitness center is a hotbed for germs. The free weights, locker room, pool, and yoga mats are particularly bad areas.
More than 70% of the bacteria found at the gym is considered harmful.
As great as it is to see OutKast in concert, you still need to make sure your hands are “so fresh, so clean” after the show. Why? You’re standing or sitting really close to other people, and a lot of bacteria can be found in any large crowd, especially on that sweaty guy next to you!
If someone sneezes or coughs at a concert, about 100,000 contagious germs will travel through the air at a speed of about 100 mph.
It’s finally time for your dream vacation, and you’re ready for some rest and relaxation. Before you get too comfortable, you should know about the bacteria that could be around you. The bed, remote, and lamp in your hotel could be covered with germs, even if the cleaning crew has already been to your room.
81% of the surfaces sampled in a 2012 study of hotels had traces of fecal bacteria.
It’s always nice to go out to eat rather than cooking at home. Be wary, however, of the germs at your favorite eatery! ABC News and the University of Arizona teamed up to discover that the sugar, salt, and pepper shaker, table, and menus hold over 200,000 bacterial organisms.
The Journal of Medical Virology found that cold and flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces like a restaurant table for up to 18 hours.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in kindergarten or college, you’re going to encounter a lot of germs at any school. In fact, a team of Yale researchers found bacteria and fungi on the desks they tested, even after they were cleaned! If that’s not enough, organisms can also be found on water fountains, the basketball in gym class, and worst of all, the cafeteria.
On average, students come into contact with about 152,300 germs during a typical school day.
There is a crazy number of germs at any workplace, but your desk in particular is crawling with bacteria! According to a study from the University of Arizona, there are over 25,000 organisms on your phone, keyboard, and mouse. The elevator buttons and breakroom coffee maker are also problem areas.
Be careful when you’re chatting with a co-worker at the water cooler. The spigot is carrying over 2 million germs per square inch!
When you’re at a place where people are sick, it only makes sense that germs would be rampant. The waiting room in particular has bacteria on everything from the magazines to the chairs to the toys for your kids. Make your doctor proud and bring a good sanitizer to your next appointment.
A study from Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that about 85% of the stethoscopes tested carried more germs than the doctor’s hands.
They may be adorable, but kids are also full of germs. Their immune systems are still developing, which means they’ll pick up a lot more bacteria than most adults. As a result, daycare centers, arcades, movie theaters, and any other kid-friendly place are all danger zones.
Ball pits, like those at McDonald’s or Chuck E. Cheese, contain an average of 31 species of bacteria according to a report by CBS Boston.
You need milk, bread, and cheese, but do you really need bacteria? Unfortunately, you’ll find it in abundance all over the grocery store. Germs are chilling on your fresh produce, by the canned goods, and near the cash register.
E. coli bacteria can be found on about 50% of shopping carts.
Places with Pets
Do you have to bring Fido to the vet? Be sure to have your sanitizer with you! Even though your pet is fluffy and cute, it’s also a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. In fact, Inside Edition found E.coli and fungi on every single dog tested in their 2017 study.
From 2010 to 2015, about 100 outbreaks of illness were linked to animals in public settings like zoos, fairs, or farms.
How to Turn Bacteria Into a Marketing Opportunity
If you work in an industry where germs are rampant, you can advertise with custom hand sanitizer. It’s a great way to keep your clients healthy and get some additional brand exposure.
Find your industry, print your logo and contact information on every bottle, and give these creative ideas a whirl!
Give your customers a little bottle of sanitizer when they book their flight. This is a much better surprise than hidden fees for round trip airfare!
You sell drawstring bags, t-shirts, and keychains in your gift shop, right? Consider adding custom sanitizers to the mix!
As part of your membership package, give new clients a water bottle, towel, and portable bottle of sanitizer.
Along with the complementary soap and shampoo, throw in a few mini bottles of sanitizer. You’ll get free advertising when your guests stash them away for later!
Show your customers how serious you are about health codes by keeping a sanitizer at every table with the salt and sugar.
You want your patients to know you’re a healthcare facility they can trust. Offer free sanitizer instead of pens at the reception desk.
Hand sanitizer is a budget-friendly promotional item. Bring along a few bottles as giveaways to your next charitable 5K or fundraiser.
The Bottom Line
Bacteria is a natural part of life, but don’t use it as an excuse to hole up inside like a hermit crab. It’s all about making sure your hands are clean, no matter where you go!
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