“Don’t touch me. You’re unsanitary.”

Sometimes I question the effectiveness of washing my hands after I go to the bathroom. A lot of times there aren’t paper towels so I’m forced to touch a variety of unsanitary things before I even get back to my desk at work.

I still wash my hands, though, and I try to do the awkward open-the-door-with-the-bottom-of-your-palm thing. Other times I try to stick my whole hand through the handle and open the door with my wrist, but this makes me worry that someone will force the door open at the same time, thereby breaking my wrist.

When I see an open door handle I have to make a decision: risk touching a door handle encrusted with fecal molecules, or risk a broken wrist.

Sometimes I use my scarf as a barrier to the handle, but this really bothers me because later in the day I’ll be sitting somewhere and randomly think, “There are microscopic chunks of feces and urine on my scarf. Right now.” Then I frown.

This serious concern about other people’s bodily germs led me to request from the office manager my own personal bottle of hand sanitizer.

Then I started wondering: Is hand sanitizer effective? A cursory Google search told me that if your hands are dry after a few rubs you have not put on enough sanitizer. The article said you should be rubbing your hands for at least 10 seconds with sanitizer comprised of at least 60% alcohol.

About two seconds before I was introduced to one of our company’s affiliates the other day I had put a generous palm full of hand sanitizer on my hand.

He held out his hand for a good ol’ shakin’, and instead of shaking I apologetically said something like, “Sorry, I can’t shake your hand. I’ve just put sanitizer on it.”

I may have inadvertently insulted him and insinuated that he was unclean, but what I really meant was that I didn’t want to get his hands wet from the sanitizer. I’m almost certain he heard me say as such, and if he didn’t see my hands vigorously rubbing together then … hm.

All of this wouldn’t be a problem if everyone would start washing their hands after they do anything in the bathroom. Anything. Unfortunately it appears that most people don’t wash their  hands properly.

Walking up to the sink and sticking your hands under water for literally one second does not constitute any kind of a proper wash.

It’s behavior like this that leads the rest of us to bear fecal scarves or become deathly ill from E. coli.



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172 responses to ““Don’t touch me. You’re unsanitary.”

  1. You know what I’ve always wondered? Why do they NEVER make public bathroom doors open OUT?? Then everyone could just push the door with their foot! But no, they always open in, so you have to pull a handle to get out again. It’s stupid!

    • I know. This is SO annoying. It’s like no one who has ever designed doors or buildings has ever had this problem, yet everyone else seems to.

      • deezahoney

        ….or maybe it’s because an outward swinging door in a public restroom often means opening right into a path of travel. Not only is that against some building codes, it’d be more painful to be hit in the face with a door while walking down the hallway than it is inconvenient to open the door with a bit of paper towel.

        Of course, that’s assuming you’re not limited to air dryers as the only hand drying option.

        The can’t-shake-hands-due-to-hand-sanitizer thing is too funny – great post!

      • That is a good point about getting hit by the door…I’ll have to think of a response for that one lol.

    • valentinedee

      I totally agree with you!

    • You’re so right! Please become a public bathroom contractor.

    • I once went into a bathroom that had a swinging door. It was amazing!!! Even so more than that I love the bathrooms that just don’t have a door (they are usually found in malls). Most bathrooms you walk into you have to walk around a corner before getting to the stalls or mirror anyway; so let’s just take off the doors all together.

  2. Howie Mandel? I find it disturbing when people don’t practice healthy sanitary methods, but it doesn’t rule my life. Plenty of other things do!

  3. Thanks for writing this blog.. i have always had the same concerns.. Sanitizer is not always the best!

  4. On a related note, don’t you hate when co-workers come to work sick? I have a standing threat to quit my job if I get sick because someone was inconsiderate enough to come to work sick.

  5. first and foremost, germ-a-phobe cohorts unite! bwhaha! you are – beyond a shadow of a doubt, my friend – my kindred spirit. not only did i see myself doing all the things above, but right when you mentioned using your scarf, i immdiately thought, “eeeew! then, it’s on you alll day!” to which i read YOUR immediate reaction and thought, “yep. kindred.” haha! have a great day! and good luck with all the fecal frenzy!

  6. It’s amazing how many men don’t wash their hands…I always wash my hands no matter what…but…I would honestly say about 70% of men do not wash their hands. I see this daily and it’s gross!!!


    • This doesn’t shock me due to the smell of most men’s public bathrooms! I’ll be sure to check your site soon!

    • LL

      This reminds when me I was helping my friend babysit. I heard the little boy use the toilet and then come out of the bathroom without any hand washing. When I made him go back to wash his hands, my friend said “You know, they don’t always need to” True or not, I am not a germ-a-phobe but this even sickened me.

  7. Cool, i always likr to wash my hands for everything… 🙂

  8. Great post, funny and very interesting thoughts 🙂

  9. Delorfinde

    And long live the Microsoft Paint illustration 🙂

  10. Diggs Concepts

    When there are no paper towels I usually use the edge of my shirt to turn the handle in the bathroom to get out or just turn to the side and push without using my hands. This is hilarious, but in all sincerity I try to avoid all port o johns and gas station bathrooms at all cost. What’s even worse is when someone else is in the bathroom and they leave without washing their hands then you see them getting something to eat O_o.

  11. Pingback: “Don’t touch me. You’re unsanitary.” | The Box of Thoughts

  12. I don’t see any reason to not wash your hands after using the restroom, before eating, or before and after high-risk situations. But face it, germs are everywhere, and in some places there is not much you can do to avoid them. Like wiping down the shopping cart but then handling money or the not sanitized merchandise in the store (people handle stuff before it is placed on the shelves). What about the handrail on the stairs, the elevator button, and the non-restroom door handles? At some point you cross from being reasonably protective and obsessive. I wash my hands before I eat, after using the restroom, and any time I have been handling something of known hazard (such as paint, chemicals or raw meat). But, I don’t use hand sanitizer – ever and don’t use a towel to open the bathroom door, and haven’t had so much as a cold in 5 years. My feeling is that exposure to germs makes my immune system stronger for when a truly bad, unavoidable, pathogen comes along.

    • I agree that there does need to be a line drawn in terms of cleanliness. I read that a lot of children today are actually less healthy comparitively because they are kept away from germs at all costs, so their immune system never gets a chance to fully develop.
      Mostly I’d be happy if people would consistently do a proper hand wash after using the bathroom.

  13. Great post. I think I’m like you, hahaha.
    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one =) I always carry a bottle of hand sanitizer when I go out.

    Greetings from Chile.


    [BTW, my english is not so good… ‘Cause I speak spanish :)]

  14. I hate those hand sanitizers. They make me sneeze. The instructions for washing your hands (posted in almost every public bathroom it seems) state that if using a paper towel to dry off your hands, you should hang on to the paper towel to both turn off the tap and open the bathroom door. It would be useful if those same public bathrooms would ensure there was a waste bin outside of the bathroom doors so that all of us well-behaved hand washers can leave our paper towels. Oh the stresses of our daily lives!

    • I should have written about this as well, because I saw on TV (probably Oprah or something) that if a public restroom doesn’t provide a trash can near the door then you should throw your paper towel on the floor behind or by the door. The idea is that if enough people do it then they will get the hint and put a can there.

  15. I often find myself doing a crazy ‘little finger’ door opening method when I am suspicious of the sanitary conditions, or if I have just seen some bloke not bother washing his hands before he goes out of the toilet and I have to open the door.
    Here’s a little fact which may (or most likely may not) interest you; Jean Claude Van Damme washes his hands before and after going to the toilet, because he says he shakes so many people’s hands and he wants to look after his little universal soldier. I paraphrase of course.

  16. This is what I sometimes think too. But if you go on thinking like this, you will hardly find any place which is germ-free. We live in a society, not in the cave anymore. And every person wants to be respected. Because of the sanitation and health awareness, it happens sometimes that you hurt people, which is of course not intentional. For example, sometimes you do not want to give a hug because you think the person is sweating; you do not eat from the same plates of your friends. And it is really hard to avoid such moment. Sometimes I feel isolated from my friends and collegues that I consider toooo much about hygiene. I am desperately trying to consider less about hygiene, and be in the circle of my friends. I have already miss many opportunities to being with my friends…but bringing change is damn hard!!

    It’s good that you wrote this article! Thank you for writing down this thought.

    • Thanks, I swear I already replied to this, but it must have disappeared in the sea of comments. Basically I said I can understand how it can be hard to draw the line and I can see how people could easily get carried away!

  17. Ah, from one germ-a-phobe to another: I always keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse!

  18. e2design

    great article!

  19. I can easily see how people could get carried away with the germ-phobia! I try to keep it phobia about bathroom germs, but living in a big city makes it hard because people are always coughing and sneezing all over the place, including on other people!

  20. You worry far too much. There’s more germs on the average phone than on the handle of an average bathroom door — or even on the toilet seat.


  21. I actually wash my hands BEFORE I go to the bathroom. And after…but especially before. I keep things pretty neat down there but who knows how many places I’ve touched in the bookstore or clothing store or supermarket that was smeared with gooey, snotty hands before I even got to the bathroom?

    • That’s really funny, but as I’ve said before, it’s a very good idea!

    • valentinedee

      me too!! I thought I was the only lunatic to wash before I go. but if you really think about it, it makes sense. Your hands are absolutely filthy and full of germs. Going to the bathroom and touching the toilet paper and drying, well, damn. That’s just gross.

  22. Pingback: ”Don’t touch me. You’re unsanitary.” (via RAM (random access memory)) | Gealachs Blogg

  23. And taps! You open the tap with dirty hands, and close the same dirty tap again with clean hands.
    It’s really such a tricky dilemma! I have more wipes, water-less soaps and disinfectant toilet seat sprays in my handbag than I have makeup or cosmetics!
    Sometimes I think about sucking it up and living dangerously, but then I reach for the door handle to find it wet…and it’s off to the sink again…

  24. Absolutely hilarious BUT true! Thanks for making me feel normal. I

  25. I am right there with you, and the ‘little finger’ opener, and when there is no hook behind the toilet door and I have to put my handbag on the faecal germ-infested floor, which then get transported to the lunch table, since your handbag has to remain in sight so as not to get swiped from under your chair/table whilst you are dining. To top it all, this eve for the first time, a little 5 year old boy came over to play with my daughter. My daughter needless to say is already indoctrinated by my hand-washing, fear of invisible germs in toilets and public places, but little boys visiting are clearly not. “Need a wee” he said, and I directed him to the bathroom.

    “do you need any help?” I asked

    “no” he replied

    Concerned, I hear no flushing of chain, no running of tap.

    They played outside until early evening tantrums when I hauled my tearful daughter inside. My first opportunity to inspect the bathroom…HORROR OF HORRORS… urine all over the loo seat and floor, and no hand washing had taken place at all. My next thought “what else has he touched?!” Hells bells!!! I don’t need this stress in my life. More wine, no more little boy visits thanks!

    • That’s such a funny story – that’s a blog in itself! The handbag thing is worrisome, too. My mom freaks out if a handbag goes anywhere near anything like the table or counters. Sometimes I try to hold on the bag rather than put it on the floor if the hook is broken, but this doesn’t always work!

      • K-ran

        I always try to balance it on my lap. It sucks, especially if the seat isn’t clean enough to sit on…but putting it on the floor just isn’t an option…although if it’s a heavy backpack it may get some time on the floor close to the door.

  26. Does it make you feel better to know that hand sanitizers are worthless at preventing anything? Worse, they can actually make bacteria more resistant. Hand washing is the best way to prevent anything. People who don’t wash their hands in public bathrooms are a menace. That said, humans have been surviving under some pretty filthy circumstances for eons. You do have to respect that we all have a certain degree of tolerance/immunity built in. And, after all, we all handle money everyday that has passed through countless hands. Think about that.

  27. Good article, it seems that you and i both have that Mr. Monk thing working, and rightly so.

  28. Crystal’s right. I’m afraid you have borderline OCPD 😛
    having said that……….eeyew!! imagine having potty molecules on your scarf!

  29. valentinedee

    I love this post. I gotta tellya, that I’m real big on washing my hands. I wash them so often that I must use hand cream so that they won’t chafe. Seriously, though, I’m never sick and I attribute it to the cleanliness of my hands. When I’m in the ladies room, I scope out the paper towel situation, the soap dispenser, and how I’m going to get out alive. If everything’s intact, then I turn on the faucet, soap up, wash, then while still leaving the water running, I grab the paper towels, dry, and then use it to turn off the faucet. Once I do that, I take another paper towel to open the door. Once I’m out the door, I look for the nearest place to unload the paper towel. Gosh. That’s alot of work, isn’t it? Oh well, I haven’t been sick in years so it works.

    • Perfect reply! I am a nurse and you are doing it correctly! The only time I use a public restroom is when I travel. If I find myself in a paperless restroom I use the tail of my shirt for door opening. Yes my shirt is carrying around the germs now… better my shirt tail than my hands… the shirt goes in the laundry asap! My hands might cover a sneeze, rub an eye or nose; each activity an open invitation to icky germs.

      We should expose ourselves to normal germs, it helps our immune system work better. The problem is the abnormal germs. Some of them are deadly and can live on dry surfaces for up to 3 months. Or IF you already have a low immune system these germs can harm you worse.

      Be reasonable. Touch as few surfaces as possible. Wash BEFORE you go to the bathroom, and after. Wash before eating. Keep your hands out of and off your face (and other orifices) when away from home.

      Be well! And thanks for a great post.ongrats on the Freshly Pressed!


    • I think there is no harm in doing all this. So all these people who say we worry to much – maybe we do, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. Especially when it comes to germs from the bathroom.

  30. Agatha82

    What boggles my mind is the amount of people I’ve seen in toilets who simply just walk out afterwards! Not even rinsing their hands with water, let alone soap! OMG How can you be so bloody disgusting and don’t get me going about the filthy buggers who cannot even bother to flush toilets! bleh…
    I carry paper towels with me always, so I can use them to open doors and I do also have hand sanitiser, but you know, it’s easy to start obsessing with such things and then, we will all end up like Howard Hughes lol 😉
    Congrats for making it on Freshly Pressed by the way!

  31. Good Post! Personally I hate sanitizer as well. They make your hands smell strange. When I worked at IKEA they were really great with the bathrooms. The sinks had sensors that would turn the water on when you but your hands under the faucet; there were no paper towels so you used an air dryer that also worked with a sensor. Plus you just had to push the door going out (always used my shoulder).

  32. I’d be happy if ANY public restrooms had hot water. Seriously.

  33. arghh!! I hate it when happens… its like they should have a rule that ays you can’t go out of the bathroom unless your hands are clean… hehe 😉
    but what really annoys me i like you said… there is never anything to dry your hands with, or when there is i sometimes find that there is that sort of bin that you have to open yourself and it’s like theres no actual point of washing your hands if your just going touch something dirty when they ARE clean!

  34. This is so good. I think about these things all the time. I hit the disabled button with my elbow then sanitize my elbow, why not? 🙂 Great blog.

  35. I think that hand shaking should be done away with, since it serves no real purpose. Isn’t a smile just as good to show your good intentions? Life now is too germy!

  36. The bathroom door is probably the least of your concerns, considering how many people cough and sneeze into their hands, and then touch everything you use, including doors, office equipment, pens, pencils, elevator buttons, etc. Always amazes me.

    • I know, it’s terrible. I ride the tube to work and am constantly inhaling other people’s open coughs. I just look at them and they don’t even notice. It’s like they are riding the train alone.

  37. While many people wash their hands ineffectively, what bugs me is when people don’t wash their hands AT ALL after they use the restroom! Then they touch the door, and I have to touch the door after them, and my proper hand-washing has been in vain.

  38. Hahahahahaha! Which one was it? Richard, Stephanie or Ramon? Our relationship with ANP may never recover. Sara, the two main skills of anyone with a promising career are a firm handshake and good hair. The hair you have.

  39. K-ran

    What disturbs me the most is when I see people walk out of the bathroom without washing. The disturbing part is they KNOW I’m watching them, and they don’t seem to even care that it’s not socially acceptable to not wash your hands. I would think that even the gross people who don’t wash their hands would at least make it look like they are if someone is watching them. But know, they don’t care if people think they are gross.

    • Yep. I have done the same thing before-as in watching them and they still don’t care. Normally people always care what others think of them, but I guess they can’t see a point so they think we are weird.

  40. You live in London, don’t you?
    Relax! You’re not going to get some lethal disease. This is not Angola or Bangladesh.

  41. I hate to tell all you hand sanitizer users, but there is one drawback to the sanitizer. I remember seeing this on the news after they became super popular. Yes, the alcohol will kill any little nasties that may have gotten onto your hands. But if you over-use it, the alcohol will also dry out your skin. This can lead to tiny cracks in the skin’s surface, which just lets germs in more quickly — since skin is our innate protection against germs. It can actually help you contract disease *more* easily. So make sure you use sanitizer only when really necessary, and/or keep some moisturizer on hand too!

    • Yeah, I can understand that. I’ve had friends who just can’t use it because it dries out their skin. I only really use it at work though, so I’m not too addicted like some people I know!

  42. I know what you mean. I’ve gone handwashing crazy since a couple years ago. I wash after I use the bathroom, sometimes when I pet my cats, after touching the dish towel, my shoes, etc. So many dirty things. It’s hard to keep up.

  43. i literally just LMAO at work reading your post! I’m a RN and I’m constantly using hand sanitizer before and after every patient. I definitely rub for at least 10 seconds! The part about offending the guy because your hands were still wet is hilarious!!! thanks for the laugh!

    OH! And I agree with the commenter that said bathroom stall doors should open outwards. Opening in is just sooooo dumb, I hate it!

  44. Jamie (edoutsider)

    When I only have 5 minutes to walk across campus for the next class in high school, sometimes I have skipped the hand-washing and instead used hand sanitizer. Because in the 5 minutes maximum, I have to pack up and exit my current class, find a bathroom, wait for a stall, USE the bathroom, possibly wait in line to wash my hands in the sink that quite frankly disgusts me, and then stand with my hands underneath an air dryer for several minutes because the school apparently does not like paper towels. And then stop by my locker and get into my next class by the time the bell rings. And I am one of those OCD people who can’t be late to anything, so I always get to class by the minute bell. Long story short, when people see me skip the sink, it’s not because I’m a disgusting person – I use excessive germex.
    And I hate it when you’re in class and need to go and the teacher says “why didn’t you go in between classes?”

    Luckily now I am homeschooled so I can do whatever I want. I apply hand sanitizer like every 30 min. 😉 lol

    • I completely understand. That is one thing I HATED about high school. Teachers act like you have so much time between classes, but you absolutely do not. And if you dare to ask to use the bathroom they act like you are lazy, unprepared and generally just an insult to their class. High school is the worst in almost every way. Collgee is the total opposite.

  45. everythingneat

    Congratulations on being featured on Freshly Pressed!
    I read somewhere to sing Happy Birthday while washing your hands with soap and water. I don’t sing out loud as I don’t want to scare anyone. I do, however, want to give my hands more than a cursory dip under the tap.

    • Thanks, and I heard that too! But I don’t like the song very much so I kind of just do a vigorous rub for what I think feels like a decent amount of time.
      I feel like if people are going to do the cursory dip they shouldn’t even bother. They’re just spreading their germs on the faucet handles.

  46. Love this! I have the same issues. I refuse to touch the door handle. I grab toilet paper if I have to. Not that it makes me feel much better. Great post! -SG

  47. i try not to think about the amount of fecal matter circulating through our daily lives..because when you think about it, it snowballs into the person who didn’t wash their hands touched not only that door but other doors, and people walk on the ground and through dog poo then someone picks up a ball of the same ground and throws it and touches something else…and at the same time, sanitizer bothers me because i read that the .01% of germs that survive in essence become super germs after developing an immunity. Not to, you know, worsen your fears. I try to just start and end that train of thought at “well…it will strengthen my immune system”

  48. I wouldn’t worry too much. Whatever does not kill you makes you stronger. But seriously, we need contact with germs to enhance our immune systems for when we really need it.

  49. haha that picture is priceless with the scarf….! lol!
    You know how in bathrooms in restaurants etc, there is a sign that says “Employees must wash hands (before returning to work)”?
    I always say it should be changed to “Everyone must wash hands (before returning to society)”.
    I stopped using hand sanitizer though, unless im in a place where there is no soap and I can’t wash up. Hand sanitizer gets rid of good bacteria on your skin, which you need to protect ya against the bad stuff. I actually get sick less often now, and it my flus last for shorter amount of time.

  50. HAHHA I couldn’t agree with you more! The scarf part was my favorite! haha

  51. I love the drawing. It’s so accurate and descriptive. Those little fecal matters on it… so lifelike. Haha!

    Keep up the great work and the hand washing!

    ❤ Milieu

  52. thank you for the chuckle after a long day at the office! its great to know you’re not the only one thinking thoughts like these. congrats on being freshly pressed and thanks again for the laugh.

  53. Jeremy

    I just love the picture that goes along with the blog. Very creative.

    And yeah, I have sanitary issues, too. Like public drinking fountains that people (usually guys) spit into; I can’t help but think that the next person is now drinking a little bit of that other person’s spit. It’s just gross. Unless I’m absolutely dying of dehydration, I prefer not using public drinking fountains…

    Nice job on making Freshly Pressed!

  54. blackwatertown

    It’s a jungle out there. But hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

  55. You can’t escape from germs. They are in and on every part of you all the time. You just have to accept it and get on with life. Having said that, some folks are pretty disgusting. I hate putting my hand on the handle of the toilet (we English don’t do any bathing or resting in there, just plain old honest toileting) only to find that it’s wet. I’m sure that it’s only water, but you never know!

  56. I panic about toilet door handles too! But also most door handles in general.. People can be such grotty creatures.

  57. My friends call me a clean freak,I’m always doubtful when I shake someones hand or push the elevator button or even use my car…I’m always walking around with sanitizers or dettol wipes.They’re handy

    • I don’t see any harm in it, and I don’t really think it’s an obsession to keep your hands clean. You come in contact with enough germs on a day to day basis, so why not do what you can to prevent toilet germs from running into your body. People say “oh there are germs everywhere, don’t worry,” but it was NOT this attitude toward dirt and germs that got us out of the middle ages.

  58. I’m big into handwashing – after I sneeze, after pumping gas, after grocery shopping, whatever! I think the least people can do is wash after using the bathroom! I also chuckled at your inadvertent insult 🙂 Oh, awkwardness in the office…

  59. Is there anything better than a witty blog posting that includes the phrase “encrusted with fecal molecules”?? What an unexpected, but appreciated, posting to stumble across! I enjoyed your entertaining thoughts, and the public service announcement…on behalf of all us (freshly sanitized) wordpress bloggers, I thank you 😉

  60. Meh. Surely a couple of fecalgerms are good for the immune system. 😉

  61. Like love, you can’t escape germs. Embrace them. Rub them all over yourself.

    Lick your hands and touch your eyes. Let them grow.

  62. I’ve walked away from restaurants when I’ve noticed servers with poor hygiene such as scratching thier nose or sneezing into their hands then continuing to serve food. As a mom of three kids, I try very hard to model good hygiene, especially in public restrooms. But really, everyone should be doing that.

    • I’ve seen people and heard of people picking things up off people’s plates before they go out, like fries and stuff. It sickens me to think what happens in the kitchen before your food arrives…

  63. I work at an Occupational Health Clinic, we do lots of urine drug screens. I’m amazed that I have to instruct over half of the patients to wash their hands, not all men either. Ewwwwww!!!!! When did we UNlearn what our parents/teachers/doctors have all taught us??

  64. The problem with sanitizer is that it creates “superbugs.” The label on the bottle says that is 99.9% affective, and the problem is that the .1% of germs and bacteria that survive are stronger and multiply. Then the next time you use the sanitizer more germs and bacteria survive, because they are tougher. Eventually, sanitizer is no longer affective. Hand sanitizer also won’t kill viruses, like H1N1. Studies have shown that you’re better off washing your hands with hot water and soap for a couple minutes.

  65. That is too funny. Nicely written. I’ve noticed more bathrooms now position a trash can near the door inside or outside. My habit is to take a paper towel and use it and then toss it in the trash cans. Of course if there’s no towels then yes the coat sleeve or scarf and the same thoughts run through my mind later. ew.

  66. parwatisingari

    🙂 nice write up, but how I handle the Indian public toilet would be roit in your context

  67. Great post! I always like it when there is a trash can close to the door in rest rooms. Then I can use a paper towel to cover the germ filled handle and quickly throw it away and pop out the door. Hi, my name is Julie and I have issues with germs. :/

  68. My hubby said he watched a guy walk out from the bathroom after doing some serious business, not wash his hand and then go to the lemons and scrutinize 12 of them before he picked the one to buy! So… wash your fruits!!

    • I’ve written about this before!! How people will just eat an apple without any regard of the fact that the guy at the fruit stand handled it after he’s been touching money and other people’s hands all day. Gross!

  69. As a scientist I can tell you that no matter what you are doing or not doing – you are still ingesting fecal matter and germs all day everyday. We always have, and always will. In fact, you would be very very ill if it wasn’t for “germs”. Maybe some good reading would be “the hygene hypothesis” – google it 🙂

    If you really dont want to touch “other peoples germs” it would be better not to even wash your hands in the bathroom.

  70. ommotherlifeforce

    so funney….i do the same thing with out the scarf. my solutions are 2 bottels of ALCOHOL a flip top one for 70% alcohol [ very cheep, cheep ,cheep you can use gallons for not so much money ].and a small spray bottel you get at the drug store for 91%. i use the 70% for general door opening were i grab the handel were others do not grab the handel. and the small pump sprayer of 91% for grocery carts. and with the jacket on i just use my for arm to push door open.

    we all need to visit a farm and dig in the dirt and handel a little animal waist ,no one has died from that in thousands of years,american farms not in asia were they eat any thing that moves. we have to love the ground and love the earth and not see dirt as the enemy.

    i no longer use anti baterial soap!!!!! it blocks your thyroid from working and i feel so much beter when i went cold turkey off the anti baterial drugs 3 months ago ..



  71. Better bit of butter

    I find this a little bit funny because I also do not want to touch the door handle after I wash. Sometimes, I wait for other people to go out and instead of holding the door handle, I hold the door with my torso.
    And I agree with the person who said “I try to just start and end that train of thought at ‘well…it will strengthen my immune system'” Because you can’t really be clean all the time. 🙂

  72. This is so true.

    I hate being in public bathrooms because it informs me of whether or not people wash their hands after they use the restroom. And a good number don’t.

    I also hate when people are about to leave the br (without washing their hands) and then suddenly turn back and run their hands under the water so you won’t judge them. It’s like…hands pick up more germs when they’re wet…and you didn’t do anything to kill any germs…wow…nice job.

  73. Oh, my word, girl! You are just too funny–and I love it! The great thing is, I really don’t think you even try to be, you just are. And you already know how I feel about your wonderful stick-figure self portraits.

    I share these same germ fears myself. I have my own routine of getting through the public bathroom procedure, after trying both the clothing pull and the possible wrist breaker methods. Before I leave the stall, I pull a few squares of TP off the roll and use that to flush the toilet (if I can’t use my foot, which is always my first choice), unlock and open the door, and (and this one is very important or you will be left doing all these things all over again) pushing on the bar or button that allows me to scroll out some paper towels for drying my hands after washing them. Then, and only then, do I finally turn on the faucet using that same piece of TP. I pull off a small portion of the newly pulled out paper towels and lay it on the side of the sink for turning off the faucet after I’ve washed my hands (because I don’t want to re-use the original piece of TP that I used to flush the toilet, open the stall door, etc.). I turn off the faucet, pull the remaining newly scrolled paper towels out of the holder and dry my hands off. I use that same piece of paper to pull open the door, stick my foot in the door to hold it open, toss the paper to the trash, and make a run for it!

    Mostly, though, I use the restroom before I leave the house and try not to drink too much liquid while I’m gone.

    • I always try to use my foot too!! Then I wonder how many other people use their foot as well. It’s really the best choice – we’re clearly of the same mind!

      And thank you again for your appreciation of my paint drawings!!! I’m glad to have you as a regular reader!

  74. Schmexy drawing *wink wink*
    Great post, it’s amazing how so many people don’t wash their hands. Eeeks.
    And then eat with their dirty hands.
    And touch other people with those dirty hands.
    That just REEKS.

  75. I think it’s still better to use 70% Alcohol than hand sanitizers.. 🙂 That’s what my microbiology professor recommended 🙂

  76. three letters come to mind after reading this post – O C D ! Lolsorry if i am being cheeky but tell me , is there any place on earth that is germ free ? In the past 18 years i havent ventured out of the house without a baby vomit on my clothes or pieces of food stuck on my hairs or other places im always covered in drool and snots and im always wiping bums and other things. I know its different from those germs you get in other places but its still germs. People need to loosen up. Thereis more to life than worrying abt little things like this. For me i deal abt things i can change and just forget abt those i cant. Live !

  77. Love this article. Another concern might be the dry hand syndrome that accompanies the overuse of hand sanitizer. Thanks for posting!

  78. Pingback: “Don’t touch me. You’re unsanitary.” (via RAM (random access memory)) « slices of ink

  79. Xehra

    It just sucks! Many at my hostel just DO NOT wash their hands after coming out of toilet, I can’t contain that much disgust, but m just plain helpless :s

  80. I’m surprised; you have a LOT of responses to this article. My own childhood experiences and reading about history have convinced me that we as Americans are obsessed with cleanliness and germ-freenes. Are we creating super germs by killing off some when we use germicidal lotions on our hands, like the super viruses we are creating by using antibiotices too much? I am convinced that we can tolerate way more “dirt” than we are led to believe by the companies that sell the germicidal products. That said, I try to wash my hands as often as I need to. I agree with the comment right above mine!

    • The superbugs/viruses from overuse of antibiotic is scary. I think, however, that basic level of hygiene is necessary and people are getting confused about my thoughts on this. Some people have taken me insisting that people wash and sanitizer after toilet use as me being germ-crazy, when in fact I don’t think I am. There are extremes, and then there’s just being cautious.

  81. han66

    The handriers at college are so flimsy you stand under them for ages, then I get loo paper to dry my hands it is quicker

  82. Sid

    Heh heh heh…. totally agree with you…. we live in a shameless world.

  83. I wish they had automatic doors for the main bathroom entrance or at least a door that can open in and out. Worse still, whenever most of the public bathrooms are cleaned out, the gloved hands of the janitors’ are used to open and close the door. Pls don’t tell me they are clean, coz’ two min ago they would have been in the process of cleaning the loo or mopping the floor with the same gloved hands!! Anyone concerned about our protection when we use the door handle during or after their cleaning process !!

  84. perhaps you should pack a little bag of paper towels for yourself to take to the bathroom. Or, buy yourself some extra strength hand sanitizer to keep at your desk. Or, start supplying the bathroom with paper towels and lysol for the door handle.


  85. I always wash my hands, but in a public restroom it seems like a waste of time. If the sink has handles, you’re turning on the water with your nasty hands – like everyone before you. Then, when your hands are clean, you have to turn the water off using the same nasty handles. Now, instead of just MY nastiness on my hands, I have everyone else’s too. I have to try to remember not to pick my nose after that!

  86. LOL.

    This is so true. Usually I like to time getting done washing my hands as the door is swinging open or someone is opening the door for me. .. .

    Or I will go back to the bathroom stall and grab toliet paper to open the door for me.

    Sometimes I wash my hands before I use the bathroom and again afterwards. Weird I know…

  87. There is no way to be clean and have clean hands while in a public restroom…. I have OCD, When I do use them I do not wash my hand because I use hand santizer a lot and often after exiting. Why Wash your hand to then dry with a contaminated paper towel, or nastier yet Have you looked under on of those air dryers (do it its nasty), so I exit and proceed to clean.

  88. I am big on handwashing and being as sanitary as possible, particularly in public places. That said, honey, relax a little. Let a few extra germs in and build up some good strong immunities.

  89. If the bathroom door doesn’t close automatically – which it very often does – I tend to open the door first and then wash my hands. After a thorough scrub, easy exit through the open door.

  90. razzlemonster

    It’s funny because it’s true… people just DON’T wash!

  91. lisameats

    there is also 100% contamination on every meat and deli wrapper you have ever touched. source: meat wrapper . ALWAYS bag it

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