As much as we try to avoid touching germy surfaces, sometimes it’s just impossible. Humans evolved with deft fingers for a reason – you need them to complete a variety of tasks from opening doors, or typing in a PIN or signing a credit card receipt. There are a couple of options available to keep your hands as germ-free as possible.
To avoid contact with public devices, it’s helpful to have special manipulative devices that help you complete everyday tasks. You can carry around your own stylus for electronic signatures, for example. Some businesses install hooks at the bottom of the doors so that they can be opened with the toe of your shoe. There is an ever-growing market for touchless devices too, like trash cans, soap dispensers and faucets.
Men and women of yesteryear may have had it right with their assortment of gloves for every occasion. It was rare that bare hands touched anything outside the home. In an age when public bathrooms were not readily available for hand washing, wearing gloves prevented the spread of germs. Today, many people choose to carry disposable gloves with them for touching shopping carts or handling items in stores. If you’re not keen on wearing gloves, a folded paper towel is a decent substitute. Keep a roll of in your car and one or two in your pocket for pumping gas or opening doors.
Hand sanitizer generally falls into one of two categories. It kills germs already on your hands, or it offers protection against germs you may come in contact with in the future. No sanitizer is going to last for too long and some brands the government has actually warned consumers against using, but there are some that offer limited protection after it’s applied. Use the sanitizer before you go out in public and wash your hands carefully after you return home.
There is no way to completely avoid touching publicly used items 100%. There are ways to cut down on the transference of germs from those surfaces.