You may remember some time ago I wrote about my mum’s attitude that ‘A little bit of dirt never hurt anybody’. This was in regards to her cavalier disregard for sell-by dates.kitchen cleanliness and other such pleasantries!
To add to this, I remember only having a bath once a week (on a Sunday night fresh for school on Monday), and it was either in with my younger sister, or somebody else’s second-hand water! We didn’t think anything of it really at that time, as we still washed, just didn’t bathe!
Of course, becoming teenagers was a whole new ballgame. We were never out of the bathroom! Mum would be vexed that we would only wear our clothes once and then chuck them in the wash. Apart from underwear, she was convinced that our clothes still had another day or two left in them before they got dirty enough to warrant washing.
She thought we were crazy washing our hair every day as well, telling us that it ‘would wash all the goodness out of it’. We still did it anyway, and got through a job lot of shampoo and conditioner along the way.
According to a survey of 2021 women commissioned by Flint + Flint (A skin care company) four out of five women still don’t bother to shower every day, and in fact one-third will go for three days without washing at all. Phewwwww, I bet things get a bit whiffy around the nethers. How gross!
Like most women I know, I bathe every day, and many times more often than that. I would never dream of going to work without first bathing, which is one of the reasons I get up so early. In my opinion, it is not just about personal pride, but consideration for others as well. I have to get pretty close to my patients, and I am sure they would not want to be a couple of inches from an unwashed armpit – or worse!
By the same token, we wash our patients every day, for their self-respect and dignity as well as the obvious infection control measures. Most of us actually feel better when we are clean, with washed hair and fresh clothes.
I am not averse to a bit of dirt either. Kids like to play in the mud and get filthy, as it is so much fun. I think if we obsessively clean everything to within an inch of its life, then we run the risk of not building up any resistance, and catching everything going! It is about balance and common sense.
Are we too clean or should we leave it 3 days between washes?