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Beards Maybe Aren't as Gross as You Think

They're just as hygienic as a clean face: studies

(Newser) - Go ahead, grow a beard: It's just as hygienic as having a clean face, and possibly more so, according to two recent studies. In stark contrast to earlier research that found beards could be as dirty as toilets , researchers who swabbed the faces of 409 male hospital workers found... More »

Go Ahead, Suck Your Thumb

Study finds kids who do have fewer allergies

(Newser) - Kids who suck their thumbs or bite their nails past preschool age may drive their parents crazy, but at least the habits appear to incur a health benefit: a reduced risk of allergies. So report researchers in a new study showing that the protective effect lasts into adulthood. Their findings... More »

There's a Better Way to Wash Your Hands

Best technique to reduce bacteria involves 6 steps: study

(Newser) - You do it several times a day: You grab some soap, rub your hands together for 20 seconds or so, then rinse. Yet if you're aiming to get rid of as much bacteria as possible, you've been washing your hands all wrong. After observing the hand-washing techniques of... More »

We Should Only Be Showering Once a Week

'Terrible for the environment and our bank balances'

(Newser) - Donnachadh McCarthy writing for the Guardian says something in modern society stinks, and it's our habit of showering every day. He says he only bathed once a week when he was a kid and doesn't remember smelling, blaming "falsely imposed cultural norms" for our all-too-frequent showers. McCarthy... More »

You Probably Need to Wash Your Sheets Right Now

Here are some good, and also gross, reasons why

(Newser) - No one likes washing and changing their sheets, but what's the bare minimum you can get away with when freshening up your linens? University of Washington professor Dr. Marilyn Roberts tells Yahoo people should wash their sheets once per week "as long as there's no bodily secretions... More »

How a Man Has Gone 12 Years Without Bathing

David Whitlock apparently smells just fine

(Newser) - A live bacteria spray meant to restore skin with healthy microbes erased by obsessive cleaning has at least one weighty endorsement: It's used daily by a guy who hasn't showered in more than 12 years, per CBS Boston . David Whitlock—a chemical engineer who manages not to scare... More »

This Is the Dirtiest Spot on an Airplane

Surprise: It's the tray table

(Newser) - If you avoid airplane bathrooms for fear of germs, it's time to rethink your strategy. Travelmath sent a microbiologist to swipe airplanes and airports to find the dirtiest spots and the results are as surprising as they are gross. The ickiest spot on a plane is actually a seat'... More »

Beard Swabs Yield 'Disturbing' Results

Some were as dirty as toilets, microbiologist says

(Newser) - Beard hygiene is important unless you want to have the equivalent of a dirty toilet seat growing out of your face, according to a microbiologist who swabbed a bunch of beards and was shocked by the results. "I'm usually not surprised and I was surprised by this,"... More »

Why Fist Bumps Trump Handshakes

Handshakes spread 20 times more germs, study says

(Newser) - A good, firm handshake is a great way to spread germs, according to researchers who say infections could be reduced if people adopted fist bumps instead. The researchers dipped gloved hands in bacteria and then shook hands with, high-fived, or fist-bumped sterile-gloved counterparts, the Los Angeles Times reports. They found... More »

Paper Towels More Hygienic Than Hand Dryers

And don't even think about rubbing your hands together

(Newser) - Paper towels may not be the most environmentally friendly way to dry your hands, but they are the most hygienic. Australian scientist Cunrui Huang reviewed 12 studies on hand-drying, and found paper towels were the superior method in a public restroom, because they dry your hands more quickly than air... More »

Men Have More Bacteria in Their Offices: Study

Though it could just be because they're bigger

(Newser) - If you're a guy, chances are your office is swarming with microbial coworkers. OK, it's actually probably true for women as well, but a new study has found that on average, men have 10% to 20% more bacteria in their offices, the New York Times reports. "It... More »

New Rule for Beijing Public Toilets: Only 2 Flies

China's capital seeks to clean up bathrooms

(Newser) - The Chinese government is implementing new rules to spruce up its capital city's notoriously dirty public bathrooms. The weirdest of the bunch: a toilet in Beijing can be home to a maximum of two flies, reports the BBC . It's not clear how rigidly the measures will be enforced,... More »

You Don't Want to Know What's on Your Cellphone

There's a good chance it's fecal matter: study

(Newser) - If you’re reading this on your smartphone, you might want to go wash your hands now: A new study out of London finds that one out of six cellphones has fecal matter on it. UK researchers swabbed 390 mobile phones and the British hands that used them, and found... More »

Columbia Business School Tells Its Students They Smell

Prospective bankers reminded to bathe, brush teeth, be nice

(Newser) - Columbia Business School has emailed first-year students to let them know that being stinky and pushy isn't going to help them find jobs in finance. A "friendly reminder" sent to students and obtained by Dealbreaker informs them that company recruiters have complained and urges them to follow personal hygiene... More »

Those Gloves Aren't Keeping Your Food Safe

Unless the chef is changing or disinfecting them, bare hands are better

(Newser) - You probably cringe when you see the guy behind the deli counter putting your sandwich together without wearing gloves. But a new study says that when it comes to food safety, gloves can actually do more harm than good, partially because they provide a (possibly) false sense of security. The... More »

96% Say You Wash Hands; Only 85% Actually Do

11% of adults are dirty liars about hand-washing

(Newser) - The good news: 96% of adults claim they always wash their hands in public restrooms, according to a phone survey. The bad news: only 85% of adults actually do, a new observational study finds. Despite the dirty people who are lying about their hygiene habits (and, perhaps, sharing a bread... More »

WTF Trend: Diapers for Brides

Won't that be fun to deal with at the end of the night?

(Newser) - Dancing at your wedding while wearing a wet, dirty diaper: Doesn’t that sound like every bride’s dream come true? Despite how bizarre and gross it seems, apparently there is a market for bridal diapers, Courtney Dunlop discovered. Sure, some dresses take a lot of time and effort to... More »

Sorry, Ladies: Johnny Depp Stinks

And so does galpal Vanessa Paradis

(Newser) - Johnny Depp may be the Sexiest Man Alive , but he smells gross. “He isn't big on personal cleanliness,” a source tells Fox , adding that he “usually smells because he rarely showers” and his longtime girlfriend, French supermodel Vanessa Paradis, has a similar problem. “No makeup and... More »

Why Robert Pattinson Smells Awful

Twilight, New Moon star is really just fending off the paps

(Newser) - Robert Pattinson has a reputation as more than just every tween’s heartthrob: He apparently stinks, and New York finally found out why. “If he doesn’t change his clothes and the paparazzi get pictures of him in the same outfit all the time, then they can’t sell... More »

Elmo Takes On Swine Flu

Feds, Sesame Street produce spots on hygiene

(Newser) - The fuzzy residents of Sesame Street are teaming up with the federal government to school kids on the dangers of swine flu and how to prevent it, the Washington Post reports. Elmo and human pal Gordon have taped PSAs that instruct children to be sure to wash their hands and... More »

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