Ever been confused about how to wash a certain kind of fabric? We've definitely been there, which is why we had our fashion reporter Allison McNamara learn how to wash just about anything and everything. Whether you're confused about what items should stay far away from the dryer or you want to know which detergents are best for hand-washing, we're tackling all of your laundry queries — take a look! On Allison McNamara: J.Crew top, Urban Outfitters skirt.
The gym is one of the germiest places that you come in contact with. Gym equipment, water fountains, and yoga mats are frequently used and in some cases may be rarely cleaned. The gym can be crawling with infectious bacteria and viruses, especially during the cold and flu season. You can rely on your immune system to fight off any illness, or it may be worth it to you to take extra precautions by grabbing alcohol wipes that line the wall, always carrying a hand towel to keep the sweat at bay, or using the hand sanitizer pumps at the exit. Tell us: do you sanitize at the gym, or do you rely on your immune system alone?
This How Do You Save post comes from SwissMelis who is studying abroad in Switzerland. In order to deal with the unexpectedly high cost of living, she decided to start hand washing her clothes. So far, she finds it to be a really effective and simple saving trick! Read on for tips on how to do it yourself.
Hello my frugal friends,
As an American studying in Geneva, Switzerland, I am struggling to survive. The sticker shock I experienced here was worse than any city I've ever travelled to. ie. ONE school book costs more than an entire class at Penn State. Not kidding. So what does that have to say about the cost of rent, food and leisure? . . . let's not even talk about it.
One thing that I've turned to in order to cut down the cost of living is hand washing anything I can. This includes undies, bras, shirts and workout clothes. (I leave jeans, sheets and towels to the expert . . . the machine)
Its really, really easy! I use my sink and fill it up with warm water, add the detergent and clothes and let the garments soak for about five minutes. I massage the clothes around a bit, rub out any stains, and voila! Hang dry.
The other option is to take your clothes into the shower with you. Squirt some shampoo on your head and while you're at it, add some to your clothes because shampoo works just as well! This is great for multitaskers!
Not only is this WAY better for the lifespan of my clothes, but its free! (besides the cost of detergent) It also fills my room with nice fresh smells.
To read about or spill similar savvy revelations, post in my How Do You Save group.
Do you ever find yourself narrowly escaping a bad cold during the Winter months and then come Spring, wham bam a cold knocks you off your feet? It's the absolute worst. Many of us try to protect ourselves by religiously applying hand sanitizer during cold-prone months, but you should also keep a bottle in your purse for the Spring and Summer months too.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say that alcohol-based hand sanitizers help protect against MRSA and other germs, but the FDA is telling consumers not to buy hand sanitizers that claim to kill MRSA, E. coli, salmonella, flu, or other bacteria or viruses because over-the-counter antiseptic products may claim only that they "help reduce bacteria that potentially can cause disease." The CDC's advice? Wash your hands often with soap and water, and when you can't wash your hands, then use a hand sanitizer — you can even make your own.
Source: Flickr User bratha
Swedish massages are good for many things: relieving tension, destressing, taking a much-needed mind break. And now there's scientific proof that all that time you spend with soft hands and aromatic oils can be good for your health. The study compared Swedish massage to light touch only and found that just one 45-minute massage session increased white blood cell counts, which are an important part of your immune system, and had other measurable health benefits as well. With flu season just around the corner, keeping your immune system in tip-top shape is vital, but a day at the spa may not be the most cost-effective option. For cheaper doctor-tested immune-boosting alternatives, read more
Being healthy can be a game of numbers: calorie intake, weight loss and gain, and minutes spent on the treadmill. To get the best results from our healthy habits, we need to know how much time we should be spending on them.
When it comes to things like oral hygiene, working out, and washing your hands, do you know how much is enough? Take my quiz to find out. . .Take the Quiz
After nursing two sick children last week, these headlines caught my attention, since staying well is always on my mind.
Shame "Boosts Hand Washing Rate" — BBC
"Is the person next to you washing with soap?" This is the shaming message used to scare Brits using public restrooms into washing their hands . . . with soap. This big brother-like query was more effective than, although not as cute as, in my opinion, the phrase, "Don't be a dirty soap dodger."
Does Exercise Boost Immunity? — New York Times
According to a couple of studies, the answer is a qualified yes. It is regular, moderate exercise that helps you fight off bugs. Too much vigorous exercise seems to suppress the immune systems, leaving endurance athletes at a disadvantage as marathon season wraps up and flu season begins.
Flu Worries Pump Up Sales of Hand Sanitizer — NPR
The stock market might be making a slow turnaround, but hand sanitizer sales are bumping. In the US, we spent over $117 million on the gel-based cleaners last year. Fear of the H1N1 virus and the back-to-school season made for a 50 percent increase in hand sanitizer sales in August 2009 over the same month the previous year.
Germs are everywhere. Swine flu, regular flu, our homes, the gym — there's no escaping the little buggers. One of the best ways to protect yourself is still the easiest: wash those hands! If you're like me, you probably believe that the hotter the water, the better. Not so, says a recent study.
Conducted by scientists with the Joint Bank Group/Fund Health Services Department, the study looked at the bacteria levels of participants after they washed their hands in different water temperatures. The results showed no difference in levels between participants who washed their hands in hot water versus those who washed in cold. The scientists went on to say that tepid water is a better choice for hand washing because it's gentler on the skin and it's better for the environment.
I think it'll take me a little while to adjust to this change — something about washing my hands in hot water just feels safer. When you do wash up, though, make sure you always use soap and lather up for at least 30 seconds.
Everyone around me is sick lately, and it has me washing my hands in overdrive, but if I'm not near a sink I use hand sanitizer. The problem is that those little bottles start to add up financially, and I feel bad throwing out so many plastic containers. Recently, my friend shared her recipe for homemade sanitizer with me and I've been a convert ever since.
What's cool is that the basic ingredients are things I already keep in my medicine cabinet: aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol. You can make as little or as much as you want, but always use a ratio of six parts alcohol to four parts aloe vera gel for it to be effective. If you're a big germaphobe like I am you can also add tea tree oil — nature's antiseptic — to the mixture. I put about five drops into every half-cup of sanitizer I make. I also add lavender oil to the mix to kill the medicinal smell. From there, just add your mixture to a small bottle that you can always keep with you.
I still think that washing your hands trumps sanitizer, but this recipe is a great alternative to the store-bought stuff.