I've never taken personal hygiene more for granted than when I became a father. Because there are some common practices and personal cleanliness rituals I've learned over time that you just expect other people to adhere to naturally.
Anyone who's ever interacted with children will tell you right away that this isn't the case, and kids have no problem with peeing in a bath they're currently taking, licking toilet seats and subway poles, and generally just being nasty as heck.
But there are some "common" personal hygiene practices that we overlook on a daily basis. For example, I was shocked to learn from other kids in my class that they didn't use water to clean their butts after they pooped, or they walked in their houses with their shoes or sat on their bed wearing their dirty, public transportation riding jeans. Thanks to this recent AskReddit post, there are tons more personal hygiene dos and don'ts that I've become aware of.
1. Change your towels, people.
Change your towel regularly, at least once a week. If your towel smells, and you use it, you will smell too. You may not be able to tell the difference, but others will.
2. Ethanol — the wonder shoe stank killer.
If your shoes smell after a long day (running/sweating), try spraying some ethanol in the insides of your shoes. Ethanol just kills off the bacteria inside (usually what's responsible for the smell), and in the morning your shoes smell like new!
3. Your hairbrush is stanky.
Wash your hairbrush.
I mean you wash your hair, why go through all the trouble of doing that if you're just going to comb your hair with something that's dirty?
4. Deodorant AND antiperspirant.
One of my (16 year old) students one said: "You know, some people put on deodorant right after they wash their armpits, that's so useless!" I was baffled that I had to explain to so many teenagers that yes, that is how you use it because you put it on to PREVENT smelling. They had just been putting it on during the day after a break, thinking it would dissolve their sweat.
5. Febreze is not a suitable substitute for a shower.
Febreezing yourself is NOT the same as taking a shower.
Edit: Thanks for the feedback guys! I was originally trying to be funny, but never knew people actually did Febreeze themselves.
6. Like I said, water on your butt after you poo.
The number of people that don't wash their a-- is astounding. Yes people can tell, yes it's really that bad.
Here's the super simple fix:
WASH YOUR DAMN A--
7. Peeing is very, very good post-coitus.
Pee within 30 minutes of having sex to clean out your urethra. I have stopped having UTI's since I learned this.
8. Brush your tongue when you're brushing your teeth.
Not brushing their tongue. Brush your tongue to break up the smelly microflora there, especially near the back just short of making yourself gag.
9. Wipe down that phone of yours.
If one of your cheeks breaks out more than the other consider cleaning your phone more. They are f--king filthy and the contact can gunk up your pores.
10. Don't mean to give you an ear-full, but...
Clean your ears. I've noticed that a lot of people tend to neglect their ears. Take a wet wash rag and run it around and behind your ears. Don't stick anything inside of your ear canal, but make sure you wipe up the dirt/wax that's around/on your ears.
11. Brings me back to the Axe kids on campus.
Body spray is not the same as anti-persperant deodorant!
Spray will not keep that sweat from getting out of control.
12. If you don't floss, please do.
Flossing! People don’t realize how much sh-t gets stuck in their teeth that can’t be reached by a toothbrush. I also used to have a huge problem with cavities, but have not had a single one since I started flossing daily. Plus, now I just feel gross when I don’t do it. Once you do it, you’ll realize why dentists always know when you’re lying about whether or not you floss lol
13. Multiple kitchen cutting boards.
You should have two cutting boards in your kitchen, one for meats and one for vegetables. Avoid cross-contamination.
14. Change your sponges and kitchen rags.
Using the same kitchen rag/sponge for months if not 1-2 years without cleaning it.
I am looking at you, mom.
15. Wash your hair according to your hair type.
Look into your hair type and how much you should wash it and how else it needs to be taken care of. My hair used to be terrible because I didn’t read into what I needed for the kind of hair I have.
16. When you shower, make sure you're washing your hands and feet too.
Washing your hands along with washing your feet in the shower. I always end up scrubbing my feet the best I can
No, the "trickle down effect" is not enough.
17. Clip your darn toenails.
This is a personal peeve of mine when I work in the hospital, more people need to clip their toenails. So many of my patient seem to have a "dont see them, dont care" attitude toward them, and they are often gnarly. Some patients have excuses (like diabetes), but if youre a 20 or 30 something, with nothing stopping you from doing so, just do it!
18. Make sure you're drying between your toes while you're at it.
Wash behind ears and dry in between toes. If you have had a laparoscopy your belly button becomes a trap for dead skin. Wash that also. Keeping nails and toenails clean is also overlooked.
19. Micellar jelly at the end of the day, baby.
I've started using my girlfriends micellar jelly to clean my face at the end of the day before going to bed with a piece of cotton. It's refreshing and smells good, and you can't imagine the amount of sh-t that stays on your face.
20. Your laptop's trackpad.
Has anyone metioned your laptop mouse? because it's f--king disgusting. What about all those time your scratched your balls? Swatted a fly? Touched your phone? etc. It's all on the mouse.
21. Wipe till its white.
Wipe till white. Dude I worked with one time told me he doesn't look at the toilet paper. (Conversation was about he said someone was using too much TP at work and I said there is no such thing as too much, you wipe till its white, he looked puzzled). I asked how he knew his a-- was clean and he said he just wiped till he thought it was good. NO! NO! NO! Look at the toilet paper and keep wiping your ass till the paper is white.
Use a wash cloth in the shower. I don't know how many people have told me they don't use one. You will get no where near as clean just using your hand. You need to scrub yourself clean.
22. Shoes without socks is just friggin' gross.
Don't wear shoes without socks. Even if you shower everyday. I did this for a while and I could smell my own feet when sitting at a desk. Had to throw those shoes away and do an apple vinegar/Listerine foot bath.
23. Dirty clothes. Stop it.
Wearing dirty clothes. Remedy step one: wash clothes. But in all seriousness, I used to be really awful about washing my clothes regularly because I didn't have a washer and was lazy about going to the laundromat. Just set specific days you will do at least one full load. And if you don't have a washer, at minimum hand-wash undergarments.
24. Cut your fingernails properly before certain activities.
Men: cut/file your fingernails before sex please and thank you. No girl wants to get Freddy Kruegar-ed.
25. Washing your makeup brushes.
Wash your makeup brushes!! Those things get all sorts of oil and grit from your face caught in them, as well as the build-up of makeup. You can get acne, rashes and all sorts of skin problems from dirty brushes; and besides, it's just gross.
If you're wearing makeup regularly, you should wash foundation and concealer brushes once a week, eye liner and eye shadow brushes once a fortnight, and any other brushes once a month.
Granted, some of these are a little more obvious than others, but I know I'm guilty of not doing a few of these.