Tag Archives: handbags

Buttons, touchscreens, and how we take our lives in our hands every day

Girls texting
Your touchscreen doesn’t lie – those greasy smears are dirt and germs right off your fingers

Ever seen what touchscreens look like after making a call?

Smeared with facial oils, make-up, hair grease and street dirt.

And that’s just the stuff you can see.

It’s not just touchscreens that are like that either.

It’s everything. Mostly with stuff we can’t see.

But it’s there, though.

Surrounded by yuck

Along with a whole lot of other gunk. Gubbins from somebody’s burger. Dust. Atmospheric grime. Faecal traces. And germs like you can’t believe – e.coli, klebsiella pneumoniae, salmonella, MRSA, norovirus – all the nasties.

And not just there either.

On lift buttons – especially at the Ground Floor, the one that gets pressed most.

On cash machine keypads.

And all the things in our pockets or handbags – money, keys, wallet, cleanser, hairbrush, everything.

Which if you think about it, means our actual bags as well. And everything outside them too. Laden with germs even though we can’t see them.

But we’re touching them all the time. Handrails, door handles, light switches, shopping trolleys – every one of them like our touchscreens, except there’s no shiny glass to show it up.

All of them things that seldom, if ever, get cleaned. Which is why they’re twenty, thirty, and forty times more germ-laden than a toilet seat. Because at least a toilet seat gets cleaned once a day.

So ask yourself, when was the last time any of us cleaned the inside of our leather handbags?

Or our hands themselves, come to that?

Looks are deceiving

They might not LOOK dirty, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t.

Especially after that chicken wrap for lunch with the dreamy mayonnaise topping. As our touchscreen will show, if we don’t lick our fingers off afterwards. Can’t find a tissue? Well, never mind.

And it goes on from there.

The gunk we can’t see on our desks at work, growing daily on the bits our sleeves haven’t wiped off. Hiding among the dust bunnies under our computer keyboards. Feeding off the crumbs of biscuits and the snacks we eat al desko.

And all the while – touching all these things and picking up fragments of everything that’s on them –  none of us ever think of washing our hands.

Our hands – which do everything, and go everywhere.

Like unconsciously touching our faces, every two or three minutes – sometimes up to three thousand times a day. Playing with our mouth, or fiddling with our eyes – the sensitive soft tissue through which most infections enter the body.

Playing games with our lives when there’s germs all around. GERMS, GERMS, GERMS.

Yes well, let all these touchscreens remind us. Before we take a tissue to them, or wipe them off on our sleeves. We don’t even need to take a memo. Those smear marks on the glass mean our health is at hazard – and we need to wash our hands NOW.

Phew, safe for the moment – but now we can’t touch anything, including our own touchscreens. Not unless we clean the gunk off that too.

Better hygiene or else

Which means everything if we want to be safe. Everything we use, everything we touch – and everything surrounding them. The air itself too, because anything as small as a germ can go airborne any second – and ride around on room currents for the whole of the day.

Uh huh. So we’ve got to wash the room too. Or whatever shared space we’re in. Restaurant, coffee shop, bar, schoolroom, office – or car, train and bus, come to that.

Not practical with mop and bucket, right? And besides, how do you wash the air?

Ah, but dirt and grime we can live with – we have so far, it’s just the germs we’ve got to handle.

OK, so the trick is to neutralise them with ionised hydrogen peroxide mist. The stuff reaches everywhere and eliminates them on contact. No need to rub and scrub, just press a button. Forty minutes later – all surfaces, the air itself – the whole place is sterile.

Better haul out our touchscreens and write that memo now. The one to ourselves about not taking chances and protecting our lives from germs.

Do it now before we clean forget. Or we’re sick of having to take MORE medicine.

Picture Copyright: gpointstudio / 123RF Stock Photo

How keeping up with fashion could save your life

Girl looking at handbag
Not so good-looking when your personal go-everywhere companion is full of germs

Start with your handbag. How much more fashion does it get?

The latest from Prada or Hermes could set you back a fortune – and they only last a season. After that, they’re last year. Or last century. Gotta keep up.

Of course not all of us can stretch to a designer original.

But there’s still plenty reason to splash out on the latest, particularly your bag. And the best excuse ever.

Germs.

Well think about it. You carry it with you everywhere, you’ve got your whole life in there. But how often do you you clean it? REALLY clean it, that is – making sure the whole thing is safe and disinfected?

Far from soap and water

Because you do it with your hands don’t you? Wash before eating and after the loo, the hygiene part of keeping neat and presentable.

Meanwhile your bag goes through everything with you – trusty, reliable, always to hand. But pretty well every day without a bath. Plenty of opportunity for germs to get in there – and they do.

Only last week an independent laboratory report turned up a whole host of possible life-threatening bacteria in bags only a few months old. Nearly all of them were positive for serratia, enterobacter, aeromonas, staphylococcus epidermidis. pediococcus, hafnia and proteus.

Or worse, alive with potential threats leading to pneumonia, urinary tract infections, septicaemia, meningitis, diarrhoea, and soft tissue disorders. Exactly the fashion items nobody wants.

Oh sure, sure – you can try cleaning your bag. Climbing in with antibacterial wipes or whatever. Not likely to be effective because they don’t have the firepower. Not potent enough, not enough contact time. Most likely of all, unable get into every little fold and corner.

And you’re not likely to try anything too strong are you? It might stain or attack the lining – or make the whole thing smell of bleach. Impossible, right?

Saved by fashion

Time to go shopping – and treat yourself to a new one. Right in fashion and bang up to date. As if you could hold back your enthusiasm!

But think further and it’s not just handbags. There’s a whole slew of other fashion items to justify your indulgence too. Good, clean, hygienic reasons to replace what you have, because sterilising them is too hazardous or too difficult.

Washable clothes, for instance. Anything with pockets – jeans, shirts, whatever – where germs are most likely to gather. You probably wouldn’t hot-wash them – colours would run and they’d lose their texture.

But those gentle cold water washes will do zip for your health. To be sure of clobbering most germs, water needs to be at least 60⁰C – too hot to hold your hand under. They need time at that temperature too – exactly how to make things shrink so you’ll never get into them.

Actually, the germ problem sits with everything personal that takes a lot of handling. So the safe route is to disinfect what you can and replace what you can’t.

Personal threats all round

Your phone, keys, money and cosmetics containers can all be wiped down – good reason to carry antibacterial wipes everywhere. Wallets and purses too – not forgetting make-up or toiletries bags.

And if you need convincing, take a look at the smudges and smears on your touchscreen after only a few minutes. Them’s germs, waiting to get you. And being ill is never in fashion.

It’s less easy with bigger items equally as personal – especially with cold weather coming. Coats and jackets have pockets where things get put and long forgotten. They’re not cleaned every day either, maybe not even for a whole winter. All kinds of nasties in there, ew!

OK, so dry clean them.

Not as safe as replacing. The heat is not hot enough or long enough to be sure of killing germs. And the perchlorethylene solvent most cleaners use only partially kills bacteria.

How about gloves and scarves?

Total germ factories – outside and in.

Clean hands made dirty

Outside of course, gloves touch everything that everybody else does – handles, grab rails, knobs, hanging straps, push bars, balustrades – everything in the tube, on the bus. Comes the end of the day – total yuck. And we still grab them in our teeth while we scramble for our front door keys!

Inside is even riskier because we never think to clean them. And our hands go in after whatever they’re been doing. Sometimes clean, most often not – picking up a growing colony of germs that never get looked at. And who ever cleans gloves?

Different materials, silk, leather and wool. Pull skew, shrink, distort and probably easily strained by the cleaner too. Doable but difficult. Replace, replace, replace. You get the picture.

And scarves wrapped round your face? All those germs near your mouth and nose? Do yourself a favour!

All of which is why buying new is good for your health – and could actually save your life. You’re in fashion and the pink of good health too.

Clever you. Good-looking too.

Picture Copyright: micchaelpuche / 123RF Stock Photo