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Tesseract 09-08-2006 10:48 AM

Tell us how you really feel about germs!

I think I would describe myself as somewhat careful. I don't use toilet seat covers. I wash my hands after using public restrooms, but I'm never patient enough to wait for hot water, so I use cold. I sometimes don't wash at home unless I'm headning into the kitchen to prepare food. I wash most of my laundry in cool or warm water. I usually refrigerate food as soon as feasible, but I have no problem eating leftovers that have been sitting in the fridge for 10 days. I don't mind sharing food/drink with friends as long as they're not obviously ill, but if I'm dining with people I don't know well, I'll try to be more "polite" mainly to avoid offending them in case they're germophobes. If a piece of food falls on the floor and I can easily wipe any lint off, I just eat it. Hell, I live with three cats who use the catbox and then jump on the bed! I can't afford to be paranoid about germs.

On the flip side, I do seem to take longer to wash and dry my hands than most other women I see. I almost always wash my hands well with hot water and soap immediately before handling food. And during cold/flu season, I've been known to walk around with a can of Lysol, disinfecting handles, knobs, telephones, and the like.

Did you read about that study where they concluded some asthma may be triggered by living TOO clean?

Amy SF 09-08-2006 11:51 AM

I voted for very careful. I'm not tempted to wear a mask, unless there's somebody at work who obviously has a cold, or if I'm standing in a crowded elevator with somebody who's coughing a lot. I also don't walk around with a can of Lysol, but I do use paper towels to grab doorknobs at work. And I also have cats (2, not 3) who use the litter box and then jump on the bed. So I guess I'm at about the same level of carefulness that you are, Tess.


I ALWAYS use toilet seat covers. If there aren't any available, I use toilet paper. In some situations, I keep a few seat covers in my purse.

bstutzma 09-08-2006 12:06 PM

I agree that sometimes you can be TOO clean, but I think that applies more to the daily-clorox-floor-scrub people than the average person. I ALWAYS wash my hands after going to the bathroom, and I don't even sit on public toilets.... I am talented at the "hover" position. And NO, I do NOT splatter, hehe. I also attempt not to touch doorknobs and other frequently touched surfaces - there is a bottle of purell on my work desk, and a mini-bottle in my purse. I work for a large company and germs spread like wildfire, so my precautions are not "excessive", they are pretty commonplace.

I ALWAYS, ALWAYS wash my hands very well before handling food, for myself or others. Its really irresponsible to do otherwise. I throw away food that has been in the fridge more than 3-5 days (luckily I don't throw out much, we try to eat everything fast).

But there are other ways where I am not as strict. I wash most of my laundry in cold water. I keep a *reasonably* clean home, as I only dust a bit about once a week or so. I don't use a lot of cleaning products, the ones I DO use are organic and not very strong. I use a lot of vinegar/baking soda for cleaning. You won't find bleach or harsh chemicals in my home.

Elena99 09-08-2006 01:48 PM

I'm pretty casual about it. Germs are a part of life, and while you can minimize your exposure, you can't rule it out complete and still go to work/have hobbies/live.

I wipe up my keyboard/workstation before using it, I wash my hands when I need to (after the restroom, etc), but I don't wipe doorknobs or hover over toilets or anything like that.

IamJen 09-08-2006 02:14 PM

I'm pretty casual too. Perhaps spending the past 11 years of my life primarily surrounded by kiddos under age 6 helps a bit. Kids are germy. Plus, being exposed to germs can be a good thing, too.

misq17 09-08-2006 02:16 PM

I'm very casual about it all, I have more important things to do than stress over than germs.

karenlovessnow 09-08-2006 02:30 PM

I voted for somewhat careful but it really depends on the situation. When I use the restroom at work I roll out the paper towel before I wash so that I don't have to touch the paper towel dispenser handle once my hands are clean then use the paper towel to open the door to leave! I never sit on a toilet sit without using some kind of paper. But when it comes to my kitties I am quite lax. I don't freak out if they jump on the counter or if there is a cat hair in my food. I simply remove it. I am very conscious of people around me if they are sick with a cold. I will wipe down my work area if a co-worker has a cold, especially office equipment that is shared. I won't share food or drink but not so much for the germ aspect, more that I just skeeve other people's spit. It could have something to do with the fact that I have worked at a Health Dept for the last four years. If we celebrate someone's birthday with a cake we use a paper plate to blow out the candles.

Blue Plastic Straw 09-08-2006 03:12 PM

I'm careful in certain situations. After having five colds last year, I've become slightly obsessive about washing my hands at work (at the pre-school). I wash my hands or use hand sanitizer at least every half hour, and I scrub like I'm going into surgery before I leave for the day. I also make an effort to practice good food safety when preparing food for other people, as I would hate for someone to get sick from something I made.

Outside of that I tend to be a little more casual. I make an effort to avoid buying antibacterial products and bleach gets used very sparingly at my house.

ETA: I've also started using hand sanitizer after leaving the computer labs at school. There have been outbreaks of the Norwalk virus locally, so I figure it's better safe than sorry.

tearhsong2 09-08-2006 03:21 PM

I wash my hands frequently--after using the bathroom, before and during cooking, after handling germy things, etc.

I clean things around the house mostly with vinegar and baking soda, but I do have some stronger cleaners around for heavy duty disinfecting and cleaning when it's warranted.

I don't like using hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps anymore. I still have some around the house, but as they are totally used up, I've been replacing them with regular hand soap.

I rarely if ever use bleach and rarely use hot water to wash clothes.

Tesseract 09-08-2006 03:26 PM

Computer keyboards/mice and telephones are all things that collect a lot of germs that many people never think about disinfecting or even cleaning.

Sevenseas 09-08-2006 03:37 PM

I'm pretty careless about them, I've never thought about them. Once when a broccoli had mold on it, I just cut the mold part off and ate the rest, so I don't seem to be very concerned about getting diseases (or is that food poisoning? well whatever )

Ludi 09-08-2006 04:03 PM

I voted "totally casual" but realised I do wash my hands frequently (plain water, not soap usually). But I have pretty much a "live and let live" attitude toward germs. I rarely get colds or flu or apparent foodborne illness.

nowoutonvinyl 09-08-2006 04:07 PM

i love the germs. darby crash is a great guy....oh sorry wrong thread....

snownose 09-08-2006 04:21 PM

I voted "I do what is socially acceptable."

Before I eat lunch everyday I use hand sanitizer if I can't get to the bathroom to wash my hands.

I can and could never share drinks or food. I don't know why, I just find it gross. Even with family members.

I always buy high vit c drinks when some virus is going around school.

GhostUser 09-08-2006 04:22 PM

I voted for "very careful." But I'm not a psycho.

raw jess 09-08-2006 04:36 PM

I'm pretty lax. I usually rinse my hands after going to the bathroom, sometimes I use soap. I pee too much to use soap every time, my hands just get too dry. I use soap and wash my hands a lot when I prepare my cats' food (raw meat.) I don't use TP seat covers. I don't use lysol or anything like that. All my laundry is washed in cold (and I don't separate colors or anything like that.) I'm the only person in my entire office at work that didn't get the flu last year. I didn't get a flu shot. My mom did and still got the flu twice, too. I haven't been sick in years.

Ludi 09-08-2006 04:39 PM

I think exposure to germs makes us healthier.

WonderRandy 09-08-2006 04:58 PM

I agree with Ludi.

I take an extremely casual approach. I wash my hands infrequently in my personal life. I don't worry about drinking after someone else. I have never used a toilet seat protector thingie...

at work (food service) I'm the complete opposite. I wash my hands constantly.

But in daily life, I'm a complete slob.

raw jess 09-08-2006 05:28 PM

Forgot to add that I don't care about sharing drinks or food.

And my animals lick my mouth & face and eat off my silverware & plate.

Dirty Martini 09-08-2006 05:34 PM

I wash my hands after the bathroom and before preparing food, and I shower every morning. That's about as far as I go.

I chew my nails regularly, so I figure if I can do that and rarely get sick, I'm in good shape.

MZCsmpsns 09-08-2006 06:20 PM

I voted very careful.... I try not to think about germs because when I do I freak out then go into like a 48 hour disinfecting craze that ends up driving me insane!!! There's always going to be germs everywhere... and all my animals are gonna drag 'em all over the place anyway. I try to just concentrate on the basics... washing my hands after using the bathroom and being in public, disinfecting doorknobs/lightswitches/phones, keeping the bathroom disinfected, cleaning off counters before prepping food, cleaning food before I eat it etc... I don't like sharing silverwear/drinks w/ppl, but for me that has nothing to do w/germs-I HATE saliva, makes me . As far as public restrooms, I usually squat over the seat, although sometimes the toilets are too high for me to do that, so as long as the bathroom isn't nasty and I really really gotta go, I'll sit on it.

Dirty Martini 09-08-2006 07:35 PM

Yes, but we have immune systems for a reason. Our bodies are developed to deal with germs.

raw jess 09-08-2006 07:38 PM

I put my big ol' butt right on the seat. I think "Hey, maybe my butt germs are stronger than their butt germs."

ETA: Not much is grosser than a warm toilet seat, by the way. Ew.

compassionate1 09-08-2006 08:03 PM

Originally Posted by raw jess View Post

ETA: Not much is grosser than a warm toilet seat, by the way. Ew.

Hmm, I'm not a big fan of the cold toilet seat, so I have a stand in (you know those people who are seat fillers at the academy awards so that there's never an empty seat? --one of those) to go in before me and get the seat all nice and warm.

mm. mmmm, I love me a warm toilet seat!

raw jess 09-08-2006 08:05 PM

Originally Posted by compassionate1 View Post

Hmm, I'm not a big fan of the cold toilet seat, so I have a stand in (you know those people who are seat fillers at the academy awards so that there's never an empty seat? --one of those) to go in before me and get the seat all nice and warm.

mm. mmmm, I love me a warm toilet seat!

compassionate1 09-08-2006 08:14 PM

Originally Posted by raw jess View Post


Please keep in mind that 80% of what I write is complete rubbish.

The other 20% is total crap.

ETA: I'm actually quite agnostic on the toilet seat temperature debate.

raw jess 09-08-2006 08:27 PM

When she was little, my cousin thought that farts were just passed around. One person would fart and the little cloud would float around until it got sucked up by someone else's to come out later.

compassionate1 09-08-2006 08:47 PM

Originally Posted by raw jess View Post

When she was little, my cousin thought that farts were just passed around. One person would fart and the little cloud would float around until it got sucked up by someone else's to come out later.

You mean that's not true?

Man, first Santa Claus and now this.

What's next, are you going to tell me the tooth fairy was just my mom stealing my teeth and selling them on the black market all along?

Ayrlin 09-08-2006 09:13 PM

I'm pretty meh about it, I use common sense.

Wash hands, clean up messes , keep things reasonably clean.

I do not freak out if I leave my soup out overnight, I'll eat it anyway.

I use lysol quite a bit and bleach but face it fostering animals and having kids is a germy way of life and I like to keep disease to a minimum.

astro 09-08-2006 09:19 PM

<-------- me on my way to the mall

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