Sometimes you are better off not sharing towels, toiletries and toothbrushes as they all carry bacteria that can do you more harm than good.
While it may seem obvious, there are some commonly shared items that it would be best to avoid. If you have dry and cracked lips, don’t dip into someone else’s lip salve. There’s a lot of bacteria around the mouth and this is risky to say the least.
The herpes simplex virus which causes cold sores can survive for up to two hours on the skin. Because of the risk of spreading this and other viruses which can sit dormant on some people, don’t share lip balm or salve.
The problem with lip balms is that they’re used on cracked skin which provides an easy entry point for bacteria.
Maybe use a disposable cotton bud to dip into it instead of fingers.
Sharing earphones is a bad idea too. They may contain earwax which also carries dirt and germs. People who use earphones regularly have thousands more bugs than those who don’t use them very often. Sharing also can cause inflammation of the ear. Recent tests have revealed bacteria from genitalia transferred on to earphones too. So not everyone washes their hands after they’ve been to the loo!
When sharing food, first consider if you would want to share that person’s saliva. If they have taken a bite out of a sandwich then it will be on that sandwich. All sorts of bacteria can be transferred through saliva droplets.
Now there is also a school of thought that says we need to be exposed to bacteria to build up our immune system but maybe we just need to be a little selective about the kinds of bacteria we expose ourselves to.