Personal Items You Should Avoid Sharing

Protect your health and privacy by avoiding sharing these 11 personal items, even with your closest friends and family.

Personal items such as earphones, if shared, can increase bacterial growth in the ear, as indicated by a recent study. Sharing earphones can also lead to the transmission of “bad” bacteria, resulting in various ear infections. To safeguard your health, it is advisable to keep personal items for individual use only.

Viral Strange has prepared a list of 11 personal items you must avoid sharing with others, even your family.

1. Nail clippers

Personal Items

Although we cannot see them, our fingers and nails harbour a significant amount of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. As a result, using regular nail clippers can lead to the spread of infections. Sharing nail clippers with others can especially increase the risk of contracting fungal diseases and HPV (human papillomavirus).

2. Earrings

Due to the abundance of blood vessels in our ears, wearing a friend’s earrings can lead to the transmission of blood-borne diseases. To reduce this risk, it is advisable to clean the earrings with rubbing alcohol before borrowing them.

3. Lip balm

Personal Items

Beneath the lips, there exist blood vessels that can transport anything applied to this facial area, including microbes, directly into the bloodstream. Sharing lip balm or lipstick can even transmit the herpes virus from a carrier without any visible symptoms to another person.

4. Eyebrow tweezers

Using someone else’s tweezers to pluck a few extra hairs might seem harmless, but using them to remove deeply ingrown hairs that result in bleeding can lead to serious health issues. To minimize the risk of infection, it’s best to avoid sharing tweezers. However, if necessary, rubbing them with rubbing alcohol can help sanitize the tool.

5. Ball deodorant

Personal Items

It’s important to avoid sharing ball deodorants as they can harbour harmful infections, particularly if bacteria enter small shaving cuts. Fragrant deodorants merely mask odours without halting bacterial growth. To protect against infection, opt for deodorants with antibacterial properties.

6. Bar soap

A bar of soap accumulates microorganisms, including harmful viruses, after each use. When stored in a wet soap dish, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and viruses. To lower the risk of infection, it is advisable to switch to liquid soap dispensed from a container.

7. Hairbrush

Personal Items

Sharing or using someone else’s hairbrush is not recommended as it raises the chances of contracting parasites like lice, scabies, and staph infections. If sharing is unavoidable, promptly sanitize the brush. However, the most effective way to safeguard oneself is to refrain from sharing hairbrushes altogether.

8. Towels


Towels are prone to germ growth, particularly in humid bathrooms. A musty smell indicates mould and bacteria, which can cause fungal infections, rashes, acne, and conjunctivitis. Prevent these risks by washing towels after 4-5 uses and ensuring they dry completely.

9. Loofah

Personal Items

To prevent the accumulation of bacteria, it’s important to properly dry your loofah between uses. Similar to towels, a damp loofah can harbour germs, making it an ideal breeding ground. Additionally, it’s advisable to refrain from sharing your loofah and to ensure daily ventilation of the bathroom.

10. Makeup brushes

To prevent the spread of bodily fluids, refrain from sharing makeup products that come in contact with tears, nasal mucosa, saliva, blood, or pus from acne. This includes items like eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, concealer, foundation, lipstick, and rouge. Additionally, it’s advisable to avoid sharing makeup brushes and refrain from using cosmetic store samples.

11. Earphones

Personal Items

Sharing earphones, especially during a workout, can lead to bacterial growth in your ears, which can cause infections, boils, and pustules. Streptococcus and staphylococcus are common bacteria that can thrive in this environment. To reduce the risk, wipe the headphones with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol before sharing them with someone.

Do you share these personal items with other people? What else do you think is best not to share? Let us know in the comments.

Written by Zhwan Azad

i'm a pharmacist and i love writing about Relationship advisory!

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