Learn how to keep your kitchen free of germs, get kissable lips, make eco-friendly beauty choices, and more.

… keep your kitchen free of germs

One of the dirtiest items in your house is your kitchen sponge, says Allison Janse, co-author of “The Germ Freak’s Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu.” Get rid of those germs by allowing the sponge to air dry completely between uses. If you have a non-metallic sponge, wet it and put it in the microwave for one minute, which will kill 99 percent of the germs. Remember to replace your sponge every few weeks, Janse says.

… get healthy, kissable lips

The key is to keep your lips nice and soft. Do this by exfoliating your lips once a week. Or slather on some exfoliating lip balm, which will moisturize and gently exfoliate your lips while you’re wearing it, and leave you smelling and tasting great.

... make eco-friendly beauty choices

There’s no need to sacrifice style to make sustainable choices with your beauty routine, says Kate Keller, brand management assistant for EcoTools, an Earth-friendly beauty supply company. Simply swap out your regular makeup brush for one that has cruelty-free taklon bristles and is made from materials like bamboo and recycled aluminum. Also look for products that are paraban-free, phthalate-free, allergy tested, hypoallergenic and never tested on animals.

... ace your next cholesterol test

The key is to refrain from eating overnight and take your test first thing in the morning. “Fasting is necessary in general to get accurate information about blood glucose and triglycerides,” says Lindsey Willis, spokeswoman for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. If you can’t fast, then only the values for your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol will be usable.

… properly treat a bad sunburn

Sunburn is miserable but usually treatable at home, according to the Mayo Clinic. Take a cool bath or shower, or apply a clean towel dampened with cool water. Apply an aloe vera or moisturizing lotion several times a day to soothe your skin. Leave blisters intact to speed healing and avoid infection; if they burst, apply an antibacterial ointment on the open areas. Don’t use petroleum jelly, butter or other home remedies on your sunburn. They can prevent or delay healing.

Compiled by Danielle Braff, GateHouse News Service