15 Personal Items You Should Never Share

Even though it may seem like sharing certain personal items isn't dangerous at all, the truth is, some of these are a lot riskier than you might think.
15 Personal Items You Should Never Share
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Reviewed and approved by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Last update: 30 May, 2022

We’re so used to being generous with our family members or closest friends that we don’t have any problem sharing a few personal items. But there are some items we should never share.

Because we consider these things to be harmless though, we don’t see any reason to avoid sharing them. After all, they might really need them. Nevertheless to never share some personal items can help you avoid certain risks.

Even though you may not see the effects it, certain personal items end up accumulating pathogens that can transmit infections.

Some people don’t fully understand what exactly they should never share, and why it’s necessary to take these precautions.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 15 most common items. We{ll also talk about the specific risks of sharing them.

This information is important!

1. Personal items to never share #1: bars of soap

You should never share bars of soap

Soap bars you use on your body generally stays covered with microorganisms from your skin, which could lead to infections or diseases.

You don’t know if the other person has a fungus of some sort, a viral infection or some other similar condition, so this is one of those personal items you shouldn’t share.

2. Towels

These generally stay moist after use and this creates the perfect environment for germs and yeast to grow.

Not only should you avoid loaning these out, but you should also wash and disinfect them every two weeks.

3. Deodorant

Never share rolled deodorant

Roll-on deodorants or antiperspirants should not be shared because they come into direct contact with the armpits and accumulate bacteria.

Those that come in spray bottles, or that don’t come into contact with skin, can be lent out with no problem.

4. Toothbrush

Some couples are used to sharing toothbrushes. But the problem with this is that they accumulate millions of oral microorganisms between the small bristles.

You absolutely must have your own personal toothbrush.  You should also disinfect them regularly with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

5. Eyebrow tweezers

Never share eyebrow tweezers

These are used for shaping eyebrows. They can become infected with pathogens when you pull out your hair.

If you disinfect them before and after each use, however, there’s no risk involved.

6. Lip balm

Lip balms get small particles of dead skin, contaminants, and bacteria stuck on them, which are easily spread.  

Sharing things that come in contact with the lips increases your risk of developing labial herpes.

7. Shaving razors

Never share razors

Shaving razors are great for removing hair and dead skin cells that accumulate on certain areas of the body.

But razors shouldn’t be shared because they accumulate bacteria and fungi that can easily spread skin infections.

Also, if you end up cutting yourself, you can transmit blood-borne pathogens.

8. Earbuds

These small devices generally end up with various types of microorganisms growing on them that accumulate in ear wax.

Staphylococcus and streptococcus are bacteria that generally live in these areas. Sharing them could cause infections or inflammation.

9. Shoes

Never share your shoes

Shoes, especially those with poor ventilation, are common sources of yeast and bacteria that cause skin and nail infections.

Using someone else’s shoes considerably increases your risk of suffering these issues.

10. Pumice stones

Pumice stones are personal hygiene items that prevent the growth of bacteria that feed on dead skin.

Using it generally softens skin to get rid of calluses. Sharing them with other people increases your probability of getting warts and fungi on your feet.

11. Nail clippers

Never share nail clippers

Even though you can’t see it with your naked eye, your fingers and nails hide large amounts of bacteria, fungi, and viruses which could lead to infections.

By sharing these, certain fungal infections and HPV (warts) can be spread.

12. Bath sponges

These relaxing and useful bathing accessories for your skin are moist most of the time.  This means they provides the perfect environment for fungal and bacterial growth.

In order to avoid the risk of infection, it’s best to use your own.

13. Earrings

Never share earrings unless you disinfect them

Earrings can spread blood-borne pathogens or infections.  As with most of the items on this list, though, if you disinfect them well before using them, there’s no risk of becoming infected.

14. Bathing suits

Just like using underwear, bathing suits should also be considered a type of intimate wear, made for individual use.

Not only are there bacteria and microorganisms on the skin, but the body secretes certain fluids from this area. These fluids are bacteria carriers and can spread infections.

15. Makeup, brushes, and eyeliner

Never share cosmetic products

You should never share any cosmetic products because they come into contact with skin. The same goes for any tool you use to apply the cosmetics.

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Allowing others to use them increases your risk of suffering from acne, fungi, and allergic reactions.

Do you usually share these personal items?  Now that you know what the risks are, try to keep them exclusively for your own use and never share them.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.