9 Surprising Ways To Know You're Probably Not As Hygienic As You Should Be

It can be hard to remember to wash your sheets regularly and keep tabs on cleaning the toilets (the most fun chore, right?), but maintaining your cleanliness can be great for your health and wellbeing. Knowing that your lifestyle is not hygienic and needs some improvement is a good starting step towards having a fresher, healthier environment and amping up confidence and self-care.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on taking care of their bodies, through the foods they eat, the environments they reside in, and the healthy habits that integrate into their daily routines. I'm never surprised to hear when someone hasn't changed the sheets or washed the bath towels in over a week, or to look inside a client's fridge and find crushed, dry broccoli shreds and water inside the vegetable drawer. Unfortunately, germs are everywhere, and not being hygienic can lead to poor health conditions that can have long-term consequences. Here are 11 ways to know that you're not as hygienic as you should be, and how you can fix the issue and start being cleaner more regularly.

1. You Don't Do Laundry Enough

Bed sheets, covers, pillowcases, bath and shower towels, and sweaty gym clothes need to be washed after use, explains Traines, and being mindful to wash them on a regular basis will help you stay cleaner and germ-free in your home. Sheets and pillowcases can be weekly, and gym clothes are best after a workout (instead of just air-drying).

2. You're Using Toxic Elements

While it's important to do laundry on a frequent basis, it's also important to take note of which detergents and chemicals you are using, as some can be incredibly dangerous to your health and wellbeing, explains Traines. Traines recommends looking online, at EWG, Environmental Working Group, for insight into safe and risky brands. Also, avoid putting things near your lady parts. "Many women have no idea that most tampons and menstrual products contain synthetic materials and non-organic cotton (one of the dirtiest crops in the world for the amount of pesticides sprayed on them) that have been linked to serious women's health issues. Women then place these materials and chemicals next to the most sensitive and absorbent tissue in their bodies," explains Molly Hayward, Founder of Cora over email with Bustle. Look for reliable, all natural products.

3. You Aren't Safe In The Kitchen

If you don't wash your hands after use of certain foods, like meat or fish, for instance, you can be susceptible to food borne illnesses, advises Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT over email with Bustle. "Food safety actually can affect your overall health," says Shaw. "Thus, make sure to wash those hands, get under your fingernails and make your hygiene a priority in the kitchen too," Shaw advises.

4. You Have Bad Breath

Traines says that having bad breath can indicate poor hygiene, as it can come from not eating the right, healthy foods, not brushing enough, or having too much acidity in the day (lemons, soda, tomatoes, etc.). While some acidic foods are good for you, it's important to brush your teeth at least twice a day to stave off bad odors and cavities.

5. You Go To Bed With Makeup On

Even if you come exhausted after a long day at the office or a busy night out, take some time to remember to clean your face and get rid of all that makeup before hitting your sheets. Sleeping in your makeup can lead to more acne, and it'll get your pillowcases dirty, so for future nights, you'll be sleeping on makeup regardless.

6. You Don't Floss

While brushing your teeth is super important, it's also key to clean your tongue, gums, and cracks between teeth. The easiest way to get in to the nooks of those hard-to-reach spots is by flossing after brushing your teeth. Remember to floss for better dental hygiene. Your pearly whites will definitely thank you.

7. You Share Too Many Personal Items

If you're prone to sharing a toothbrush with your partner, makeup and makeup brushes with a friend, chapstick, drinks, or even toenail clippers (unless sanitized after use), then you're putting yourself at risk of contracting an illness or germs. Clean these items after use, and keep these as personal items that aren't to be shared with others.

8. You Wipe Back To Front

Didn't mom always teach you to wipe front to back as a kid? Well, that advice was spot on. When you go to the bathroom, be sure to wipe front to back instead of back to front, as doing the latter can allow germs and viruses into your vagina. Keeping your vagina in mint condition and of the utmost hygiene is obviously super important.

9. You Don't Wash Your Makeup Brushes

You might not think to do so, but not washing makeup brushes regularly can allow germs to wreak havoc on your skin, and you might find yourself having more acne and blemishes than usual. Remember to wash your makeup brushes about once a month for proper care and to give your skin its best chance to be glowing, fresh, and radiant.

If you notice yourself falling behind on these lifestyle habits, it might be time to amp up your hygienic practices and create a schedule for washes that is sustainable long-term. By being more mindful, you'll feel healthier and happier in your skin.

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