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Are you a Germaphobe?

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I run around with a lady who is very conscious of germs. She carries hand sanitizer with her always and if she touches anything, she sanitizers her hands. We often go to flea markets together and as soon as we get in the car, she sanitizes. Sometimes the smell of alcohol about knocks me out. She doesn't pet my dogs because they're "dirty", altho she has two little dogs of her own which she is constantly bathing. If one of her dogs pees in the floor, she gets paper towels and wipes the floor with her foot, NOT her hands. Then she mops the floor immediately with bleach water. She won't sit on anyone's toilet but her own--not even mine, which I usually clean right before she visits. She won't use the hand towel I have in the bathroom for guests, which is clean; instead she gets a paper towel. It all seems obsessive to me. I think she's a germaphobe.

What I think is funny is that she eats out all the time. Almost all of her meals are from fast food places, which I think probably have the worst hygiene habits. People cough and sneeze on the food they're making. They talk over the food as the prepare it and serve it, in essence spitting on your food. They don't wash their hands between handling money and handling food. You don't even know if the food itself is clean.

How clean is your home/car? Is it spotless? Can we eat off your floors? I wouldn't advise eating off mine, but I haven't died from it yet. :-) Do you hand wash your dishes or do you run them thru the dishwasher to sterilize them? Do you sanitize your hands and your house frequently? I do mop floors and wash door knobs occasionally but certainly NOT obsessively (so be warned, should you visit me).

Don't get me wrong; I like things clean. And when I'm expecting guests, I'm particularly diligent and clean thoroughly. I have leather furniture and tiled floors (no carpet), so when I clean, things are truly clean. I'm very careful when preparing food for guests. I absolutely do not want any of my guests sickened from eating here. But my house is definitely lived in--a little dust, a little dirt and a bit of dog hair here and there, but nothing toxic I hope.

What about you?

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I'm def not obsessive about it but do carry hand sanitizer and do my hands after being out somewhere, try not to touch a public restroom door handle on the way out of the bathroom, NEVER put my bag on the floor of the bathroom. When I do routine cleaning at home everything gets wiped down including door knobs, fridge, oven and microwave handles, light switches and the phones
Some people don't like other people using the towels in their bathroom and have paper guest towels, I do have paper towels in my 1/2 bath that is the one most frequently used when coming in from the garage or backyard

Eagle Point, OR(Zone 8a)

i am not a germophobe nor am i a germophile. somewhere in between. i wash my hands after going potty always, and as soon as i get home, am careful to touch as few things as possible in public places, remove my shoes outside as often as possible (chickenpoop).
i eat food right off the vine without washing it. i kiss animals and pet them whenever i get the chance. i share food and drink with others. lipbalm also. i even blow on the harmonica after the gkids have slobbered on it. sometimes i just like to live dangerously.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I'm like you, Huck. I love to eat my veggies right off the vine. A little wipe on my dirty t-shirt and boy they taste good! LOL

I seldom eat or drink after anyone--maybe a sister or a close friend, but I'd rather not. I certainly wouldn't eat after my dogs. I saw a guy on TV feeding peanut butter to his dog and then himself. GROSS! I love my babies, but not that much!

Like Jen, I clean door knobs, microwave and fridge handles, etc. But I rarely even think about light switches. I clean the one in the bathroom frequently but I don't know if I've ever cleaned any others. I'll have to add them to my cleaning list.

Dr. Oz said our computer keyboards and remote controls are dirtier than our toilets because no one thinks to clean them. I do, since he said that.

Our purses are as dirty as our shoes because we set them down everywhere...and then we toss them onto our clean kitchen counters. And few women ever think to sanitize them. Hmmmmm, even after hearing that, I haven't cleaned my purse once, and it's sitting on the dining room table right now. If I told my friend about it, I'm sure she'd never eat at my table again. LOL

Shoes...I wear shoes all through my house and then I kick them off and go barefoot. I grew up barefoot and 47 years later, I'm still alive to tell about it. I also grew up without hand sanitizer and we sometimes picked something up off the dirty floor and ate it. And I've never contracted any disease from any toilet. I think exposure to all those germs toughened my immune system. I've rarely been sick and have had the flu only once in my life. I do try to be clean and hygienic, but I'm not going thru life with kid gloves on. It kind of takes the fun out of life if you constantly worry over the tiniest germs.

But I am going to start cleaning the light switches now that you mentioned it, Jen. Come to think of it, I've never cleaned my cell phone either. I'm the only one who uses it, but I'm sure it could use a cleaning.

Hanceville, AL(Zone 7a)

I am a retired Lab. Tech. I have a healthy respect for germs, but know we can't get away from them. I am not afraid of them, but I do not go out of my way to prove that "they won't hurt anybody" I have seen people kiss pets in the mouth and then proclaim "their mouths are cleaner than ours." Dumb. Just a little common sense here goes a long way. Luciee

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Straight bleach or Clorox Clean Up are my favorite cleaners aside from window cleaners, so my nails and hands are always clean. I'd like to kiss my dog but he avoids me except at his dinner time. I did just clean a lot of wall switches but not all of them. The car is very clean, inside and outside.

I don't use any hand sanitizers and most store doors open by themselves so it's just the rest rooms that are of any concern to me in stores. I try not to have to use them.

The keyboard is brand new, a gift from my computer guy, but the old one would have been condemned by any Board of Health. Don't have cell phones to clean and do clean our phones now and then but always if we have a cold. I have had colds but have never had the flu.

Pawleys Island, SC

My theory is that nothing can or does live in a sterile environment. There is no possible way to keep everything germ free and if we did, I wonder if we could live to tell the tale.
My house is clean but we live in every centimeter of space. We have 3 humans, ( 1 a very popular teenage boy) {some of his friends are scary germ carriers! LOL} 2 dogs and a cat I use vinegar( chemicals irritate my asthma) to clean and disinfect my kitchen and bathrooms.Vinegar is wonderful for hard to clean pots too. My dishwasher died a slow and painful death about a year ago and I have never replaced it, so yes I do wash my dishes by hand. I use hand sanitizer when I cannot wash my hands, but I am a firm believer in soap and water. I have hardwood floors throughout my house, so I use a steam cleaner ( shark) to clean those.
I love my animals, but I don't think they have fewer germs than humans. I have heard that their mouths are cleaner than ours because they can heal themselves, but I am not interested in sharing what ever they may have licked or eaten. I have seen my dogs with some pretty nasty stuff and my cat has brought in many treasures she has killed, eaten half and saved the rest for me! I do know a person who drank her coffee with her left hand because there are fewer left handed people in the world, so theoretically fewer germs. I could never live like that. No I don't believe I am a germiphobe.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

In spurts......... Working in the hospital...If I am not diligent ---- I will risk getting the 'spurts' (please forgive the visual that may arise)

Like Jen - clean the knobs, switches etc. once/ week as I am doing routine cleaning.

The only thing that I insist on (a big fight with DH) is NO SPONGES. I grab a few sheets of paper towel and wash dishes with that. Does a great job and then toss ---- no laying around and 'fermenting' in a soup o bacteria and what ever else.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I do use sponges but those go in the dishwasher when I run it

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I used to put in washing machine. The soap actuallynhelps the nasties grow... Gives them protection

I have a buddy who says that i am killing trees.....

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I hear that frequently too, missingrosie. My answer is that I'm keeping the paper mills in work. They grow forests of trees specifically to harvest. So we're not killing anything. If we didn't have the need for paper, the paper mills wouldn't need to plant forests of trees. Instead, someone would pave the area and build a mall.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

There has to be a balance between sanity, saving the trees, and cleaning. Since I use a lot of straight Clorox I've found it wears out dish cloths in no time so it's paper towels for me.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Just read this on Wikipedia under Bleach


Bleach is sold extremely concentrated and must be diluted to be used safely when disinfecting surfaces and when used to treat drinking water. When disinfecting most surfaces, 1 part bleach to 100 parts water is sufficient for sanitizing; stronger solutions may be used with caution.[10] In an emergency, drinking water can be treated: the ratio of bleach to water for purification is 2 drops of bleach per litre of water or 8 drops of bleach per gallon (3.79L) of water; 1/2 teaspoon bleach per five gallons (19L) of water. If water is cloudy, filter the water before adding the bleach. Let treated water stand covered for 15 minutes before drinking.[11] Additional bleach will not kill more bacteria and can endanger health.[12]

Seems that for bleach "if a little is good alot is better" does not apply. If we smell the bleach in what we are doing the concentration is higher than recommended and will irritate eyes, nose, lungs Let's be careful out there.

And here's a link to safely using bleach that cautions against using bleach on wood decking or outdoor furniture pre 2003 vintage.

This message was edited Mar 2, 2011 10:06 PM

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I don't use gallons when a few drops will do with a wet paper towel to clean. I actually prefer Clorox Clean Up.

In an attempt to have sparkling clean grout once, when I must have been deranged, I used straight Clorox bleach and poured vinegar over it. I was terribly sick afterwards and didn't know I was capable of coughing so hard. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME OR ANYWHERE - IT'S LETHAL.

It's all a matter of attitude. Now, when asked, I just say we have gray grout.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Try that Chlorox Cleanup on the grout

I use much stonger concentrations...but wear gloves.

on the counters I like cl cl-up or Lysol kitchen cleanup

My least fav is ammonia......and Pine Sol. For some reason I associate those odors with the bathroom

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The Clorox Clean Up does not get the grout spotless - it still leaves it gray, but clean. I refuse to fight it.

No ammonia here either - much too strong. Pine Sol was just dumped down the drain during more decluttering. It stinks more than just "smells", to me.

I love using Dow Scrubbing Bubbles! I put baskets in the bathtub and spray them every which way, leave them for awhile and then spray them down with very hot water. Seeing the gunk come off, without scrubbing them myself, is pure joy. It cleans the tub at the same time.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Pinesol reminds me of the nursing home my grandfather was in. I hate that smell!

I use clorox only for white clothes. I've never cleaned anything else with it. I read somewhere that plain old soap and water will clean most of our household germs so that's what I use. That's what I grew up on and I've rarely been sick. My germaphobe friend is sick a lot, so maybe "hiding" from the germs makes her immune system weak. Even when my immune system was weakened by chronic kidney issues and a tumor, I still didn't get colds, allergies, or the flu.

My favorite cleaner is Awesome, a Dollar Tree brand. A big bottle costs a buck and it cleans up grease, coolaid and blueberry stains, ink stains, and more. I can spray it in a pot that has grime baked on and it will dissolve it. It really is "awesome"!! I even got my brother hooked on it. He comes over when he needs a refill since I keep several bottles in stock, fearing the company will quit making it since I like it so much. LOL

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

CN holds that nursing home smell for me - a bad memory from visiting so many of them in the early 60's for my mother-in-law at the time. We did find a great one - a big old house without the phony smells and with wonderful help.

Clorox is my choice after preparing chicken for dinner. I have no idea why raw chicken strikes such an evil image for me, germ-wise.

Our Dollar store is awful - it's not the official Dollar Tree. I'll look for Awesome if I find a Dollar Tree.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I'm going to look for Awesome too.

Raw Chicken IS evil ---- when things go bad ---go really bad with risk of samonella.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks. Now it's not an irrational fear anymore. I knew there were dangers but they seemed larger than life in my mind.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Do y'all have Dollar General out there? They have also started carrying "Awesome" or it's sometimes labeled "Amazing". It's a yellow-gold liquid about the color of urine. Maybe that's the secret ingredient! LOL It's an incredible cleaner. It usually comes in a spray bottle like windex. But sometimes you can get the 32 oz refill bottle for a buck.

I hate handling meat at all. It's just gross. I think that's why I quit handling it. I'm not a vegetarian; I'll eat a good steak or grilled chicken if it's set in front of me. But I just can't eat it if I've handled it. It just disgusts me.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Urine - eh?
Well in my business I see urine of all colors!

The rule always is wash the counter down when prep chicken
NEVER NEVER use the same knife to do anything else with

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

raw meat never touches my counters I always use a cutting board then it gets swapped out for the next one when cutting something new.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

My cutting boards get a squirt of Clorox 2 as they sit in the sink until I'm done with the prep work and then go directly into the dishwasher. Hasn't worn out a cutting board in over 20 years of doing it. Often, while I'm cutting meat or chicken, a piece goes over the board - hence my use of Clorox bleach.

Shopping cars and germs:

Link provided by victorgardener of the NE Forum.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

I really wish that these were available in the states. They are only for cutting boards and wooden handled knives and I ♥ it!

edited to add: It is a washing machine!

This message was edited Mar 4, 2011 11:45 AM

Thumbnail by JuneyBug

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