We’ve all heard it a million times: wash behind your ears. Floss every day. Dry shampoo is not a substitute for washing your hair, and you should probably be washing your hands even more often than you do. Personal hygiene is not something to take lightly, as it is vital to our health and our social lives. Nobody wants to cuddle up on the couch next to someone who reeks of garlic breath or sweaty gym clothes!
But even though hygiene is second nature to most of us, it’s never a bad idea to have a reminder to wash your bedsheets every week and change your toothbrush head every few months. Below, we’ve gathered some of the most important hygiene tips people have been sharing in this Reddit thread, so all of you pandas can stay healthy, happy and smelling fresh as a daisy. Be sure to upvote all of the hygiene habits that you think are underrated, and feel free to leave any of your own recommendations in the comments below. Then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article noting the importance of showering every day, check out this story next.
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Brush your tongue as well as your teeth
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Belly buttons need to be cleaned.
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Wash and change your bed sheets and your pillow cases.
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Most of us believe we have great personal hygiene. But beyond the absolute basics such as showering every day, washing your hands after using the bathroom and before eating, wearing deodorant daily, and brushing your teeth twice a day, some people have differing opinions on what else is necessary. For example, shoes on inside the home is not an issue at all to some people, while others would rather burn down their house than allow dirty shoes to enter their abode. Some people don’t see anything wrong with leaving their earrings in for months at a time, while others insist they have to be taken out and washed weekly.
We all know that personal hygiene is vital to our health, so we might as well learn a bit about how we can be even more thorough when taking care of ourselves. Especially during recent years, as we’ve been dealing with a global pandemic, it has become more important than ever to practice good hygiene. And according to Health Direct, personal hygiene can protect us from COVID-19 and other diseases, diarrhea and gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, staph infections, worm-related conditions, scabies, trachoma, athlete’s foot, tooth decay and more. That list sounds terrifying, so I don’t know about you, but I would rather spend a few extra minutes keeping myself clean every day than deal with any of those conditions.
If you wear earrings, take them off and clean frequently.
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Disinfect your phone regularly. Ideally, daily.
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If you have bad breath that doesn’t go away you may have tonsil stones
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There are certain standards when it comes to personal hygiene habits. One that we all know is that we should be brushing our teeth for 2 minutes, at least twice a day. Now, where people’s opinions begin to differ is whether they should be brushing their teeth before or after breakfast in the morning. Some people argue that their teeth become dirty as soon as they eat, so it’s best to wait. But others believe that the morning brush is to clean our mouths from the hours of sleep we just had, so we should get right to it after waking up.
Here’s what dentists recommend: brush your teeth before breakfast. As Dr. Niall Sloan, of Sloan Dental in the UK, writes on his site, “Bacteria begin to metabolize sugars into acids almost instantly. Bacterial biofilms in your mouth have been maturing overnight in a reduced saliva environment gearing up for sugars in the morning. Clearing bacteria out before the introduction of food makes far more sense than brushing after they have already soaked up sugars to produce acids that cause cavities.” His sentiments are also echoed on Medical News Today and Medicine Net, so if you’re a post-breakfast brusher, I’m sorry to disappoint. It looks like we can all stand to learn a bit more about personal hygiene.
Close the toilet seat lid then flush
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Wash your hands right away once you get home from somewhere. Then change into clean clothes. You don’t want to bring nasty stuff from outside to your home. Don’t lay down on your couch or bed without changing!
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Keep your nails clean. Tidying your nails helps you prevent spreading germs into your mouth.
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Now, let’s talk about another controversial topic: showering every day. I have always been taught and assumed that a shower a day keeps the doctor away (or something like that). But according to Medical News Today, “From a strictly medical perspective, it is not necessary for most people to shower this frequently.” They explain that, “Showering cleans the skin and removes dead skin cells to help clear the pores and allow the skin cells to function. It washes away bacteria and other irritants that could cause rashes and other skin problems. However, the main reason why people shower as much as they do is that it helps them meet social standards of cleanliness and personal appearance. Meeting these standards helps people feel at home in their working and social environments and their bodies.”
After you wash your feet and in-between your toes, be sure to dry them properly to avoid foot fungus.
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Wash behind your ears.
It’s not an old wives tale that grandmas scold kids with. There are lots of oil producing sebaceous glands there. You can get a nasty smell, and you can even get flaky skin or “cheese” build up behind there if you don’t wash with soap.
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Make sure your clothes get completely dry. You’ll smell like mildew otherwise.
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So, of course, if you have been sweating during the day or have been exposed to unsanitary conditions, at work or otherwise, it is important to lather up. In the summer, when conditions are often more humid and warmer than the rest of the year, you might also need to shower more frequently. But if it’s a calm winter day with dry, cool weather, and you have not been particularly physically active, you might be able to skip showering. In fact, Medical News Today explains that showering can even become counterproductive if it’s done too often, to the point where skin becomes dry and damaged. It’s important to also remember that showering depletes resources, as it requires clean water and washes chemicals into our water sources, so it’s best to keep them as short as possible and to exercise discretion when taking them. It’s not worth the wasting of water if you have barely moved all day, and you could just wait until tomorrow to shower.
Clean the inside of your fridge every month. Forgotten food, opened cans I bottles can grow up an insane amount of bacteria and fungus that could be dangerous.
I haven’t seen this mentioned yet, so forgive me if it’s already been said: make your home a shoes-free environment.
I know some folks are concerned about their foot odor. Others feel that a door mat is sufficient in wiping one’s feet at the entryway. Keep in mind that if you’ve set foot into a public restroom, you’re basically tracking whatever you stepped on into your home.
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If something is worth doing, it’s worth halfassing it. Say you’re running late and need to be out the door 10 minutes ago, it’s still worth giving your teeth a 10 second scrub rather than skipping it.
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Another place on the body that is unfortunately often neglected is our feet. If you’ve ever taken off your shoes and been slapped in the face by the stench, I’m sure you know that our feet are capable of harboring lots of bacteria. According to Dr. Robert K. Lee, chief of podiatric foot and ankle surgery at UCLA Medical Center, we should be actively scrubbing and exfoliating our feet to keep them from growing bacteria. And aside from the risk of missing out on a second date when a potential partner smells our feet from a mile away, we can eliminate certain health risks by keeping our feet clean as well. Ever heard of a little thing called a staph infection? If our feet are not kept squeaky clean, we are greatly increasing our risk for a nasty infection if we end up with an open wound, even a small one we may not notice at first glance.
Deodorant is water resistant. It won’t wash off by just splashing water on it. You need to give it a good scrub with soap to get it all the way off your skin. If you don’t get all the old deodorant washed away, the new deodorant you apply won’t work. It has to be fresh deodorant on clean skin.
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Wash your glasses, in the sink, with warm (not hot!) water and gentle, non-antibacterial soap. Your face secretes oil, and a lot of it gathers in your eyebrows. It will pool in the cracks between the frame and lenses, gather in noxious scummy boogers on the nosepads, and in the hinges as well. Once it’s built up, no matter how hard you try to clean your lenses, you’ll just smudge them up because of that oil. The face oil will oxidize and turn bright green, then yellow-ish, then brown. It smells TERRIBLE. I wash mine about once every two weeks with a drop of dawn dish soap and warm water.
Also, wash your glasses cleaning cloth at least as frequently. They get infused with nasty face oil. Don’t use fabric softener on the cleaning cloth, as it will make the cloth oily in the dryer and you’ll just be smearing new, fancy oil on your lenses. Hand washing your cloth in the sink works just fine.
Source: I am a licensed optician and have had to scrub countless pairs of glasses.
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Someone once told me ‘only floss the teeth you want to keep.’
Another reason we need to keep our foot hygiene in check is to avoid athlete’s foot. This is a common fungal infection that people often pick up by walking barefoot in moist, public places, such as locker rooms, as the name suggests. Although it can be acquired through simply walking through an area, athlete’s foot is certainly no walk in the park. It can cause many unpleasant symptoms such as itchiness, a scaly rash, flaky skin, cracking on the soles of the feet, and it can even spread to a person’s hands, nails and groin area via their hands or a towel. If you’re prone to having sweaty feet, be sure to wash them often and dry them well. This should help them not only smell better but also protect you from a nasty fungus or infection that you certainly won’t enjoy.
If you can smell your body odor a little bit other people can smell you a lot stronger…
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For the love of God change your underwear everyday. Also those Jeans you never wash? We know…
If you can smell yourself even a little bit, you stink a LOT to everybody else.
In a perfect world, we would all be in peak personal hygiene condition at all times. But unfortunately, life just doesn’t work that way. And one thing that can often make it much harder for us to maintain personal hygiene is struggling with mental health issues. If a person can barely even get out of bed in the morning, it can be a lot to ask them to shower, brush their teeth multiple times, floss, moisturize, deodorize, wash and brush their hair, etc. Sometimes it can all just become too much. Thankfully, there are a few shortcuts that one can take that are not intended to be permanent solutions, but they might be able to get you through a particularly tough time without sacrificing your physical health. SOVA Pitt recommends that individuals who are struggling keep products like dry shampoo, deep conditioner, and baby wipes on hand to help them at least practice the bare minimum in staying clean.
Wipe front to back
In the kitchen: after you touch raw meat, wash your hands before touching anything else period.
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Sneeze in your elbow not your hands!
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When a full personal hygiene routine is just too much to handle due to depression or other mental health issues, it can be easier to take a bath instead of a shower. Getting to sit down and relax can be much easier than standing the entire time. Even a “sink bath”, or using a washcloth and some soap to scrub the “dirtiest” areas of your body can help. If brushing your teeth multiple times a day can’t be managed, be sure to have mouthwash and gum, mints or breath spray on hand. Deodorants and sprays can be useful as well, if you were not able to take a shower before heading out to work or school. SOVA Pitt also recommends purchasing a new hygiene product to give yourself motivation to lather up and try it out. If you have a new shampoo that is your favorite scent, you might be more inclined to wash your hair than you were when you knew exactly what to expect.
Buy a very wide-toothed comb to hang up in the shower, and use it to de-tangle while your hair is coated in conditioner. It helps a lot.
My dentist said to me ‘you brush in the morning to keep your friends and you brush at night to keep your teeth.’
Drink more water.
I hope this list is inspiring you to wash between your toes, behind your ears and floss extra thoroughly today. Your doctors, dentists and loved ones will definitely appreciate it, as well as your future self. Keep upvoting the hygiene reminders that you find particularly important, and then let us know in the comments if you have any tips of your own that you’d like to share. Help your fellow pandas stay squeaky clean!
Cutting out soda is probably one of the best things you can do for your dental health.
Cut your nails immediately after taking a hot shower. They become soft and very easy to manipulate.
Less is more with perfume/cologne. It does not substitute washing yourself.
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Smelly shoes or sweaty feet or both? Use antiperspirant on your feet.
Use a rag not just body gel. You need to clean off the dead skin and stuff and your hand won’t cut it.
Wash under your boobs and wash your feet WITH SOAP. I know they seem obvious but you’d be surprised the number of people who don’t.
Don’t use automatic hand dryers
I have depression and hate brushing my teeth. It was the absolute worst until I started leaving my toothbrush in the shower. It’s just way more convenient for me.
My grandmother used to tell me she never shared drinks no cups not even with her husband.
I used to think it was really weird and like sharing drinks and cups is pretty normal.
But now that I think of it a lot more being much more older it makes a lot of sense because sometimes you really can’t tell if that other person is a disgusting creature that maybe eats all these men’s asses who don’t wash it ever or someone who never flosses or brushes their teeth ever or maybe even someone who eats raw everything or even their own p**s boogers s**t whatever.
The moral of the story my grandmother was maybe trying to tell me or not was that you never know what that other person is doing in their life hygiene wise so best to be safe and not risk whatever you may contract by sharing a drink or food or whatever.
She was a pharmacist so I like to think there was a bit of weight to the stuff she said but yeah probably the most profound thing I learnt from her along with don’t go to bed with wet hair or wet head but I haven’t figured out that little nugget of wisdom yet.. My grandmother was a cute little old lady of mysteries I wish she told us more things but it was mostly the same stuff after awhile.
Lived to her late 80s and was gardening still into her 80s. Very strong woman but also the most kind.
Bless her soul she was so adorable.
Whenever people tell me they don’t floss I ask them, just as an experiment, to try flossing one of their back teeth and sniffing the floss afterwards. The eye-watering stench they will inevitably encounter is the smell of the leftover bits of food that are rotting between their teeth. I then tell them that every person they talk to, every person they kiss, gets a whiff of that putrid, rotten food smell whenever they open their mouths. The prospect of the almost unbearably painful dental procedures they will have to get due to a lack of oral hygiene doesn’t motivate most people, but the stench does.
Besides showering regularly, keep a travel size stick of deodorant with you (in a purse, in your desk, glove box, etc.). When you’re out and in a pinch, use tissue to wipe old deodorant off, and reapply. That will hopefully get you through the rest of your day not being smelly.
Ok, so here are some spoonie tips:
Keep a toothbrush on your bedside table so you can drybrush your teeth in bed. It’s a lot better than not brushing.
Too tired to shower but feel gross? Change your clothes, you will feel better.
Skincare low on your priority? Keep some cleansing wipes and moisturiser on your bedside table.
You can also use the wipes to feel a little cleaner if you can’t shower.
If your shoes smell from wearing them, it might be due to you not exfoliating your feet. The dead skin starts to ferment when your foot sweats inside your shoe.
Pumice stones are your friend.
After a shower dry off. Everywhere. Moisture trapped in places with little airflow leads to bacteria and a bad time overall.
Clip your fingernails.
Don’t drink any liquid especially coffee or soda or even water after brushing your teeth. Wait an hour. Brush your tongue.
When you leave a set of public loos don’t open the outer door with your bare, freshly-washed hands. If you have to touch a handle, cover your hand with a bit of clothing(eg hem of shirt) if necessary. Never forget that depressingly large numbers of people still fail to wash their hands thoroughly, or even at all (yeuch!) after using the loo.
Most bad breath comes from not cleaning your tongue so even if you brush your teeth twice a day but don’t use a tongue scraper, your breath might still be bad
If you have bacne (ie back acne), lean your head forward to rinse your hair products OR wash your back thoroughly with soap after rinsing your conditioner/last product.
Most people lean their head backward to rinse, which washes their hair products all down their back. If you wash with soap after, no biggie, but many people wash their body first, typically while letting the conditioner sit in their hair for a few minutes and thus rinsing after.
In which case, you step out of the shower with hair product residue all down your back and a*s. For some people and products, it’s fine; for others, it causes skin irritation and acne.
It should always be your first step in trying to eliminate bacne, just in case it’s the cause for you.
Check the nostrils. Just check, make sure no boogies are hanging out, hanging around, planning an escape. It sucks to be the person to have to tell you.
It’s a good idea to bathe regularly and wear clean clothes even if you’re at a *Magic: The Gathering* tournament.
If someone offers you breath mints, take them without question
Go to the dentist. Don’t be embarrassed if you haven’t been there in a while- there’s nothing that they haven’t seen before.
The vagina is self-cleaning.
The vulva is NOT self-cleaning.
Cats should not be allowed on your kitchen counters or dining table. They’re very cute, yes, but those cute paws touch cat litter and all the nasty, nasty things implied by that. Do you really want that where you prepare and eat your food?
I have severe clinical depression and these are some things I’ve been told that were game changers for me:
1. Clean clothes and a hot shower will make you feel like a million bucks on your worst days.
2. If you have long hair that tends to knot a lot, brush your hair wet and start from the bottom and work your way up towards your scalp.
3. If you can’t bring yourself to put your clothes away, start piles. You know what’s clean, you know what’s dirty, and what you can wear again.
Clean your butt, thoroughly. And do it last.