5 Places You Don't Know Germs Are Hiding

This winter, as bacteria and viruses start invading humans' immune systems like the droids invade Naboo in that scene from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, be the Queen Amidala of your health, and fight those vicious bastards back. It's true that germs are everywhere and may be unavoidable, but this is no reason to fall prey to the onslaught of colds and flu. Pay attention to these secret coves of droidlike germs in your life, and be wary of pawing them and then touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Also, wash your hands constantly, and cough into your elbow. C'mon, Amidala! You can do this.

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Your Phone

When is the last time you wiped off your phone? Chances are, you don’t clean that thing enough. Think of all the tables on which you place it and the bags in which you throw it — YIKES. Prevention mag reports that cell phones can carry huge amounts of bacteria, including staph, salmonella, and eye-infecting germs. GO SANITIZE YOUR SCREEN STAT.

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Your Credit Card (Not to Mention Currency)

You may cherish it, but you probably don’t clean it often. Well, you ought to! Docs at the Cleveland Clinic found that cards and cash can carry staph bacteria and fecal matter. (!!!!!!!) Wipe your plastic down with antibacterial solution or soap and water.

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Restaurant Condiment Containers

As much as you need your ketchup fix, keep in mind that those bottles are rarely sanitized, so though you may wash your hands before eating, the last ketchup user’s germs will still be all over your burger and fries. To fend off these pesky germs, go the extra neurotic (but conscientious!) step and sanitize the outside of the bottle with hand sanitizer or a wipe. A napkin barrier is ineffective, as paper is porous.

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Car Keys

Your house keys are probably made of brass — a natural germ barrier. But your car keys, with those plastic fobble do-dads — those are little germ treasure islands! Wipe them off routinely to make sure you don’t ingest the thousands of germs floating around in your bag and on your desk.

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Restaurant Menus

ABC News reported that restaurant menus are germier than toilet seats. Yech! Menus touch your plate, your silverware, your hands…and the average diner waitress (and diner patron) rarely cleans them. Be wary of where you put them down and, as you should be habitually doing, wash your hands before you eat.