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10 things that aren’t true about hygiene

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)

Nope.

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.

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


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Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

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Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

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The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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