Are You a Germaphobe? You Can Take the Hygiene Test to Find Out.

posted Mar 17, 2012, 12:14 PM by Todd Fox   [ updated Sep 24, 2016, 8:10 AM ]

Are you a Germaphobe?  This question may go through a lot of your minds (or it may be the last thing you ask yourself!). Many times it is because people often exclaim "You are a germaphobe!" They may see you washing your hands often, cleaning vigorously, shirking from unclean things, etc. and automatically think you have Germaphobia.

Are you a Germaphobe or are you just working hard to maintain a clean environment? There is a difference. Take the quiz to see how you match up with others. This is not a conclusive quiz but can give you an indication about the level of your habits.  Take the quiz here.  How did you do?

The following are rough percentage grouping from the hygiene quiz. Remember, the results are not conclusive.

-90% or greater- You likely are a Germaphobe.
-60-89%- You are responsible with your hygiene but could be bordering on Germaphobia.
-40%-59%- You are the average and often fail with hygiene.
-10%-39%- You may want to try harder or are you trying to load your body with germs on purpose?
-0%-9%- We are assuming you are lying. :)

How can you be clean but not be a Germaphobe?

There's a finer line between being concerned about germs and being a "Germaphobe" than most would think. Having clean habits can help you maintain a healthy life, but crossing the line can detrimental. Having Germaphobia (having OCD in regards to germs) is defined as excess cleaning that alters the quality of life of the individual.

So, how can you have good hygiene habits without becoming a Germaphobe? It can be as simple as just choosing a few simple habits to focus on and then letting some of the others go. Taking on some of the hygiene habits with the greatest consequences (usually those associated with restrooms, food and dealing with sick people) is recommended.

What are some good hygiene habits that could border on Germaphobia?

Want to dip into Germaphobia for a bit? Caution: do not read the list below if you would prefer to live in oblivion. Germaphobia is really a hard condition to deal with.  Basically, you have the issues of an OCD condition but focus mostly on the germs and other unclean things.

Truth: you can still hate germs and not be a Germaphobe.  Germaphobia alters the quality of your life and can alienate people and hobbies that you love.  The best thing to do is choose a few good hygiene habits to stick to, accept that there are times when you can't avoid germs and rely on your immune system to fight illness for you. 

For those that want to read on, here are some items to consider when focusing on germs:

  • -5 or 10 second rule... Made up by lazy and cheap Americans (we've all done it :))
  • -Lemons and Limes for water at restaurants/bars... How many hands have grabbed for them before they reached your drink?
  • -Using straws at restaurants/bars... What surfaces has your glass sat on to dry or store?
  • -Restaurant or bar peanuts/snacks... Who knows where the hands have been that are swimming in the bowl!?
  • -Refuse to use plates, cups or silverware that have sat in the open for a while... What items have settled as "dust" on them?
  • -Bathroom sink handles... You turned on the water with dirty hands, right? Why touch it with clean hands?
  • -Toilet flush handles... Touched AFTER going to the restroom. Put 2 and 2 together.
  • -Blow hand dryers... Mold and other bacteria build up is blown out on the hands after being cleaned (and no paper towel to open the door)
  • -Cleaning the lids of soda and canned goods... Where have the cans been before they reached your hand? How many rats and other rodents inhabit the distribution storage sheds?
  • -Wear a mask... You are breathing in what others are exhaling... and relieving themselves of. Enough said.
  • -Shake hands sparingly... Where has the other person's hand been and why is it so sweaty?
  • -Pencils or pens with bite marks... Who has there saliva all over the writing utensil?
  • -Pencils or pens in your mouth... What hands have handled the writing utensil beforehand?
  • -Sharing brushes... Is it really worth the risk of finding out the other person doesn't have lice?
  • -New sexual partners... Despite the love, you don't know where they've been. Protection.
  • -Sipping your gutter... Let's get real about whether sipping your gutter really makes a difference.
  • -Traveling with a damp toothbrush enclosed... The smell is only a small indication of what's been going on there.
  • -Cutting bread in a restaurant... Do you grab the piece being cut off or the loaf that will be shared with the rest of the table.
  • -Hotel bedspreads... There is a reason the bedspreads usually look new with fancy fabric, they are rarely cleaned.
  • -Hotel remote controls... Have you ever tried to clean between the keys? Yeah, housekeepers don't either.
  • -Public showers... Getting athlete's foot is not a compliment on how fast you are.
  • -Gym benches... Your hand is resting on a bench that a naked man just got up from.
  • -Cell phone sharing...Although not completely harmful, but the other person's ear grease is still gross. Don't forget about their fingers touching it too.
  • -Bikram Yoga... Hot and sweaty yoga, pools of sweat, often carpet floors. Need we say more?
  • -Flossing outside of the bathroom... That stuff flips and it flips far!
  • -Covered Wagons... Funny for very few. Who wants to breath in what just came out of your butt?
  • -Liquid soap... When it runs out, buy a new one. Horrible feeling when you know they just added water to stretch the last part of the soap.
  • -Bar soap... Not recommended to share bars of soap.
  • -Shower scrubbers... They store bacteria and are often left in unventilated bathrooms. Cha-Chia pet!
  • -Dog kisses... You do realize that they just licked themselves clean and eat pooh, right?
  • -Cats... Cat pee doesn't really dry.
  • -Kissing random people... The risk most likely outweighs the reward.
  • -Kissing a loved one... A risk is still involved but it is generally worth it.
  • -Licking your fingers...I'm sure the food you just ate was really good but probably not worth licking the germs off your fingers too.
  • -Raw batter... I know your mom said it was ok, but eating raw eggs is not ok.
  • -Surprise!... You probably that it was funny to sneak behind me, put your hands over my eyes and have me guess who it is. However, you just wiped your hands on my face and that wasn't funny.
  • -Double dipping... Sharing is a good trait but not when it comes to germs.

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