Clean freaks freak me out


Sometimes I wonder if I’m living in a parallel universe and everyone else has it completely sorted except me.

Because, you see, I must be one of the only people in the world who did not know you should wash and disinfect your toothbrush holder every three days. Apparently, all of you are washing your towels and your pyjamas after every three uses, and you clean your fridge daily.

If you are a complete dirtbird (as I seem to be) you may not get around to airing your duvet every day, or washing your shower curtain after every two uses.

I’ve somehow omitted to ever clean our remote control with an antibacterial wipe, even though you’re supposedly meant to be doing this every day. I’m not sure if that still applies when you know for a fact the toddler tried to clean it in the dog’s water bowl.

This advice, from UK experts, is, frankly, insane. While it might be useful to people running a home laboratory of some kind, trying to apply this to a normal household would be akin to bringing FSAI food safety standards into a family kitchen, and it would drive me into an early grave with stress.

Because, no matter how much I searched the article, I couldn’t find the advice for what to do when the toddler eats out of the dog’s bowl; when you have to wear the same socks a couple of days in a row because you were away for the weekend and your husband let the washing back up; or when you live with boys whose toilet aim is more scattergun than sharp shooter.
If I spent my days worrying about all the germs surrounding us, I can guarantee you the worry would kill me faster than any of these germs will.

And it does make me wonder, if we are to raise them in completely sterile conditions, how are kids’ immune systems ever meant to develop? While I don’t entirely endorse small boys kissing the dog good morning, with a solid exchange of bacteria both ways, I have to acknowledge that our household coexists in a sort of germy paradise where there is lots of inter-species hugging and sharing of food.

I’d like to think our immune systems are the better for it, and I know for a fact our mental health is. So relax, put down the Dettol, and put your feet up.

From The Herald 01.02.18

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