Wiping down counters and washing dishes is supposed to get things clean, right? That's true as long as you don't let that rag or sponge get too nasty. You'll end up spreading more ick that way.

Sponges pick up bacteria if they're not cleaned right. Zap a wet one in the microwave for 2 minutes every day and replace it every 2 weeks. Better yet, use cloths, towels, and rags that you can toss in the washer or clean with bleach.

When somebody sneezes, that's just the start of the trouble. Besides the germs in the air, you can also get sick if you put your hand on something the germs land on, like a doorknob or elevator button, and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

If you went that fast in your car you'd get a ticket! Since sneezing is legal, your best defense against flying germs is to stay at least 6 feet away from someone who's sick. You'll lower your chances of picking up their bugs.

Surprise! That thing you carry around and hold up to your mouth all day has 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. The reason? You don't clean your phone like you clean a bathroom.

Don't worry about it too much. Those are your germs on the phone, so you won't get sick as long as you don't share it.

It takes just 10 seconds of locking lips to trade them with your partner. But that doesn't mean you'll get sick. If you pucker up with someone several times a day, you'll end up sharing similar germs.

A turtle, frog, snake, or iguana can carry salmonella, a germ that makes you sick to the stomach.

If you have any of these, wash your hands after you touch it. It's best to choose another kind of pet if you have young children. Kids put their fingers in their mouths and are more likely to get sick.

Most germs die in an hour if the chemicals in the pool are at the right levels. But some can live for days. And if you swallow even a little of that water you could get sick.

Do your part. Keep pee, poop, dirt, and sweat out of the water. Shower before you take a dip, and don't go in if you have diarrhea.

Your upper sleeve will also do if your elbow isn't covered. But the best way to keep germs to yourself is to put a tissue over your mouth and nose. Throw it in a waste basket and wash your hands well when you’re done.

They're itsy-bitsy -- way too small to see -- but these invaders are living things. They can get into plants, animals, and people, and some can make you sick.

There are four main kinds of germs: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and one-celled things call protozoa that love water.

As a kid, you may have followed the "5-second rule" that says you can pop food into your mouth if you pick it up right away. Turns out it's better not to.

Germs get on food as soon as it hits the floor. It's hard to know if they'll make you sick, but why take the chance? When in doubt, toss it out.

There's a bunch of icky stuff there. Wash it once or twice a week with a cleaner that gets rid of germs. Be sure to get the sides and the bottom.

Pour a teaspoon of bleach in a quart of water. Toss it down your drain once a month to clean it and the garbage disposal. Don't forget the sink strainers. Pop them in the dishwasher every week.

There's nothing to show the fancy stuff does a better job than plain old soap.

Choose liquid over solid, though. Germs can grow on a bar of soap.

A quick rinse won't cut it if you want to get rid of germs. Use warm water and soap and rub your hands together.

Need an easy way to remember how long to wash? Sing "Happy Birthday" twice and you're done.

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