You have a bath daily. You brush your teeth, wear clean clothes, and make sure your hygiene is in check. But did you know that lurking away from your careful eyes and soapy hands, bacteria is finding places to hide on body parts you may not clean enough?
It’s true! Many people neglect certain spots of their body, or simply don’t clean them in the way that is needed. Luckily, we’re here to help you make sure you’re scrubbing them down.
HERE ARE 8 BODY PARTS YOU DON’T CLEAN ENOUGH
1. UNDERNEATH YOUR FINGERNAILS
We know how important washing your hands is. That’s why we make sure to do it often. But even then, there’s a part of your hands that isn’t as easily cleaned with a few rounds beneath the faucet: the underside of your nails.
You may notice that dirt and grime can often get trapped beneath your fingernails, causing dark lines where they meet your fingers. Worse still, there may even more there than you can see with your naked eye! It’s not difficult for bacteria to begin building a colony there.
Multiple studies have indicated that most people do not sufficiently wash their nails. Here are just two of them:
An Aston University, Birmingham study performed by Dr. Anthony Hilton was done on male and female participants. The study collected their nail clippings for analysis. 15% of all female participants and 24% of the male participants had harmful, dangerous bacteria present in those clippings.
Supposedly, a shocking 95% of all individuals have no idea what the correct hand-washing method is! This is according to research that was published in the reputable Journal of Environmental Health.
HOW CAN YOU WASH YOUR NAILS IN A POSITIVE WAY THAT ACTUALLY WORKS?
Like so: (1)
Turn on some running water and wet your hands.
Pour some soap onto your hands. If your skin is particularly sensitive, an oil cleanser can have a similar and just as useful effect.
Rub your hands against each other so that the soap begins to lather.
Lather your whole hand thoroughly – do the in-betweens of your fingers, go behind your hands, and especially beneath the fingernails.
To really get under the nails, give yourself a lot of lather on your palm, then scratch your nails against the soapy palm.
Continue to scrub and soap your hands for around 20 seconds.
Rinse the soap off. Make sure the water you’re using is clean.
Allow your hands to dry on their own or dry them off with a towel – also clean.
Need additional help with your fingernails? Get a bowl and fill it with warm water. Mix in some soap. Then, take a cotton swab and soak it in the bowl, then use it to clean beneath your nails. Be sure to also keep your nails neatly trimmed!
2. YOUR BACK
Do you get acne all over your back? It’s likely because you’re not giving it as much cleaning as it needs. Sure, your back gets drenched whenever you shower, but you wouldn’t exactly call standing under the shower, unmoving, to be a good cleansing session, would you?
Since your back winds up lying down or resting against chairs a lot, it accumulates sweat and is in extra need of a good clean. The friction from rubbing against a variety of surfaces can also cause irritation, and trapped sweat can easily fester if not cleaned.
Even if you do try to soap your back, the issue is that there’s only so much that your hands can reach. Your arms aren’t designed to be able to efficiently wash your back completely since they can’t reach it – but that’s no reason to give up and stop your positive thinking!
Your best bet is to use a back scrubber or a similar device designed to reach behind you. You can also ask someone close to you to help you out with a loofah, sponge, or washcloth. Make sure you scrub it thoroughly around twice or thrice weekly!
3. YOUR BUTTOCKS
If you’ve ever had to deal with pimples on your backside, you know just how annoying they can be. Let’s face it – you spend a large portion of your day sitting down on your behind. Plus, if you tend to sleep hot, or you sweat in your clothes a lot, you’re in even worse trouble.
Why? Well, your buttocks are just as prone to acne as the rest of your body is, and the fact that it spends a lot of its time covered or hidden makes it even more susceptible. It goes through even more stress than your face does!
Naturally, you already wash your behind when you have a shower – or, at least, we certainly hope so! But sometimes, that still isn’t enough. You may need to give it some extra care to avoid pimples. Here are some tips:
Use benzoyl peroxide to clean out follicles
Use antibacterial soap to clean out follicles
Do not use any thick types of lotion, which may only clog your follicles more
Always wash your hair before your body to prevent dirt from your head from getting back to your body and clogging pores
Exfoliate with your choice of product to get rid of excess dirt
Try preventative care with the use of a product with glycolic acid
4. YOUR BELLY BUTTON
Belly buttons aren’t exactly smooth. There are a lot of folds that hide all sorts of nooks and crannies. This not only makes it difficult to properly clean, but it also serves as an easy hiding spot for all kinds of gross bacteria.
This can lead to bad smells and even a good habitat for yeast since moisture can easily become trapped in all those little crevices. Worse still, this area is so easily prone to infections that it requires daily washing. Researchers have discovered a total of a whopping 1,400 types of bacteria within just a hundred individuals, according to the Belly Button Biodiversity project.
How do you clean it? Here are some tips:
If your belly button is an innie, soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol or a mixture of soap and water that is warm and clean it with the cotton.
If your belly button is an outie, a simple loofah, sponge, or washcloth can be used in the shower.
Wash your belly button every time you shower for added cleanliness.
Always dry your belly button with a towel post-shower.
Clean your belly button after a shower, not before.
5. YOUR TONGUE
Hopefully, you brush your teeth daily, at least twice a day. But even if you’re ensuring that your gums and teeth are in pristine condition, there’s a chance that you’re still neglecting something important – your tongue!
The tongue is covered in tiny little bumps and areas that can easily hold, conceal, and fester with bacteria. Bits of food can even be left behind! So if you have bad breath or still have tooth issues despite daily brushing, it may because your tongue is covered in nasty microorganisms.
You can easily use a tongue scraper in order to clean out your tongue – or even a toothbrush, which is just as effective. Do this every time you brush your teeth for the most positive results. (2)
6. YOUR SCALP
Even when you wash your hair, there’s a good chance that your scalp isn’t being properly cared for. The standard shampoo isn’t quite able to give your scalp the care that it needs, often leading to itchiness and even flaking.
Why does this happen? Like the rest of the skin, the scalp has lots of sweat glands. The fact that these glands are completely covered by a head of hair does it no favors. Plus, most people don’t shampoo their hair every day, whereas the scalp needs daily cleansing, like the rest of your body.
Here are some tips to help you keep your scalp clean:
Use shampoo to scrub at your scalp, taking about two minutes each time to fully cleanse it.
If you have a sensitive scalp that becomes irritated by your shampoo, go for organic types – or, for a cheap fix, use baking soda and apply it to your scalp daily before washing off.
Use hair oil to massage your scalp if needed.
When you don’t want to use any products on your hair, get some warm water to slowly massage at the scalp so that you can get rid of dead skin while boosting circulation.
Lessen your use of dry shampoos, hair gels, and other styling hair products.
7. BEHIND THE EARS
The spot behind your ears is recessed, and it has a lot of special glands on it that work to repeatedly create something called sebum. This can then become a breeding ground for a wide variety of bacteria, often causing quite a stink!
Cleaning is, luckily, simple. Just wash behind your ears, or just get a cotton swab and use some warm water around the back of your ear. Make sure that, after you shampoo your hair, you give your ears a good wash so no product remains and dries it out. Don’t forget to towel dry after, too!
Your feet are arguably the most smelly parts of the body after a long day. They’re cooped up in socks and shoes, exposed to the ground, and often go ignored in the shower. Here are some areas to care for:
The spaces between your toes can accumulate gross toe jam over time. Yuck! Make sure you make it a habit to rinse the areas between your toes, and be sure to dry them afterward to prevent moisture buildup. If you like, you can apply talcum powder to them after a shower for even more care!
You might think that all the soapy water collecting on the shower floor is enough to get the soles of your feet clean. Sadly, this isn’t the case. You need to tend to your feet in order to have the bottoms of them nice and clean. Mix soap and warm water in a basin and use this to soak your feet!
C) TREAT YOURSELF
Have corns, calluses, or other unsightly foot issues? Go and get a pedicure! Not only is it relaxing, but it’s also very effective and giving your feet a thorough clean, removing dead skin cells in a positive way. (3)
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SOME BODY PARTS YOU DON’T CLEAN ENOUGH
Being clean isn’t just good for personal hygiene and health. It makes you feel good, boosts positive thinking, and makes you much more approachable. As such, don’t neglect these 8 body parts you don’t clean enough! They need as much care as other places, if not more.