Some things are hard to say but they need to be said. Normally its a parent’s job to enforce hygiene basics. But there are too many people don’t seem to have learned their lessons.
I feel blogging gives me the liberty to enlighten important issues which people normally hesitate to talk about. It is important to understand that proper grooming and good personal habits will help you live a healthier life. These habits are essential in promoting good health. This is a public service message which is meant for information – not to point at anyone.
- In London, its normal for tubes to be stuck underground due to a red signal. In summers during rush hours, the tubes are extremely humid and stuffed with people. I get claustrophobic in such situations and to top it off, I was stuck to a stinky man’s armpit as it was fully packed and there was no space to move. Those were the hardest 20 minutes of my life!
- On my Mehendi, one of the relatives came to hug me and made sure while hugging me, my nose was in his armpit. OHMYGOD! EW I couldn’t breathe for a second and was full of disgust! Can’t they jail people for doing that? And doing that to a bride makes it so much worse!
- In university one of my friends had a stinky-mouth-syndrome. I stayed at an arms distance from her. One day I found her crying over her breakup. Seeing her so upset, I sat right next to her, held her hand and asked what happened. I was literally 10 mm away from her. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and suddenly exhaled all over my face… just like an atom bomb! I struggled to breathe!
Have you had a moment when your patience was at its threshold? How did you handle it?
Personal hygiene checklist
Following are some important hygiene tips:
- 1. Bathe regularly – or at least wuzu & wash armpits every day & apply effective deodorant
- 2. Oral hygiene – Use an electric toothbrush, tongue cleaner & mouthwash every day
- 3. Wear clean clothes – Underwear & socks to be changed daily
- 4. Wash hands often – Keep them clean and don’t touch public surfaces or your face
- 5. Use clean bedsheets & towels – Experts suggest changing them every 1-2 weeks
- 6. Get a haircut
- 7. Trim your nails
- 8. Clean Ears
- 9. Wash your feet
- 10. Respect others personal space
- 11. Groom/wax/shave body hair
- 12. Brush your hair
- 13. Apply perfume
- 14. Wash your hairbrush & makeup brushes regularly
- 15. Wash off all makeup before bedtime
This is the most important hygiene checklist I could come up with. Let’s discuss a few of these concepts in detail below:
Unfortunately, because we avoid talking about it, there is no one bold enough to let the smelly ones know. Even if they’re our best friends, it’s so hard for anyone (except parents) to talk about such personal matters. Once, I joined a company which was in the basement. The moment I entered, the stink in there could peel the paint off the walls. I struggled to breathe. Gadhon jesi badboo a rahi thi! There was no way I could work in an office where no one seemed to own a deodorant.
It’s tragic, we can’t even directly tell the culprits that our nostrills are blasting off because of them.
If only, we all had the sense of washing up, using a reliable deo, and wearing clean clothes every day, this world would be so pleasant. Many people don’t realize that applying perfume will not cover up the underlying cause.
There are many reasons to clean our feet; they-smell-really-bad is unarguably on top of the list.
The sweat produced by our feet trapped in socks and shoes results in a disgusting stink. The solution to our smelly feet is quite simple and inexpensive: wash feet properly. If we shower every day and wear clean socks, we don’t have to worry about washing them.
Washing our hair with a shampoo and conditioner is absolutely necessary. It helps to get rid of dandruff, dirt and smell (esp desi food) from our hair. But we mustn’t shampoo daily unless it is completely chemical free! Our body produces some of the best oils and nutrients that are necessary for having strong and long hair. Taking a break between hair washes helps to restore those nutrients.
It is also important to note that we sweat and smell more in:
- Hot/humid weather – Try to keep the body cool
- During hormonal changes – Keep a track of your cycle, kids puberty and such patterns
- Stressful times – Being aware of such changes will result in taking precautions
- Body hair – Hair in armpits should be removed regularly to keep sweat in check
- Genes play a role – Some families sweat more than others
We all should be mindful of our bodies and take preventive measures accordingly. This Is Why Some People Sweat More Than Others—and How to Manage It.
Few things are a greater turn off than the stink from someone’s mouth. Getting rid of it is should be a #1 priority.
One of the worst impressions one can give is by bad breath. Fresh breath is not only important for our self-confidence but is also vital for relationships. Oral hygiene is essential to prevent dental decay and gum disease.
We don’t even have to regularly visit the dentist. If we use dental hygiene tools which are recommended in this article, we would have a very low level of bacteria. This will result in a reduction of bad breath, in fewer cavities and in a healthier gum tissue that does not bleed. Joan Collins once wrote that the most beautiful women brush their teeth thrice a day (morning evening and night).
Studies have linked poor oral health with cardiovascular disease, lung infections and even cancer.
Proper brushing technique
I feel we waste hours watching pointless videos on YouTube, whereas we can not even spare a few minutes to learn the proper way for brushing our teeth which would save us from tooth decay for the rest of our lives.
Power brush (Electric toothbrush)
Dentists recommend an electric toothbrush as it is more effective than a manual brush. It reaches gaps where a manual brush can’t.
Most brands of mouthwash recommend that we use it twice in a 24-hour period after first brushing our teeth.
According to dentists, we must use mouthwash regularly. It isn’t possible for our toothbrush to reach every area of the mouth so we must use a mouthwash which covers all areas.
It’s important to swish the mouthwash around for about 30 seconds so that it can reach all areas of the mouth, including all of your teeth, the gums, the roof of the mouth, and the tongue. Following is a clear video of how it should be done:
Once a week, dental floss CAN also be used for additional cleanliness. Following is a video showing how to use it:
Interdental brushes (optional)
The truth is, bed sheets can build up a serious collection of unhygienic body sweat, oils, saliva and dirt which we wouldn’t want to know more details about. Many times, we can get pimples on our face from germs on our pillow.
Experts suggest changing bedsheets once every week.
In case it isn’t doable for us. We should just change the pillow covers once a week. Pillow liners can also be used for those who want a fresh pillow cover regularly.
When to change
Changing them depends on your personal sweating situation and weather. Ideally, clothes should be washed after wearing them for 2-3 days.
Experts suggest never wearing new clothes off the shelf. They should be washed before use. We must make sure we wear clean clothes every day.
It must be changed after intense physical activity and before going out for social events, right after a shower, that is. It must be changed on daily basis, period. Consider fully replacing your underwear once a year. Stained underwear needs to be thrown out almost immediately. Liners are a great way of protecting underwears against stain.
They must be changed every day. One must always wear socks. Some people wear shoes without socks which is really unhygienic. If we don’t want our socks to show from shoes, we should get pump socks but socks are necessary for good hygiene.
Outerwears (sweaters, jackets, scarves & burkas)
Many of us are conscientious about washing the obvious items like inner wear but we sometimes forget to also keep in mind the cleanliness of our outerwear. Our jackets, scarves, burkas and even jeans need to be washed every few months also.
Unfortunately, a lot of women wearing burkas smell a lot. They need to realize that they should be more careful about their hygiene as we can’t afford to convey a wrong impression of Islam.
Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.
Your hands are in constant contact with both the environment and your face, providing easy transportation from the surface of an infected object or person to your nose or mouth. Washing your hands with clean running water and soap helps reduce the number of bacteria on your skin, lessening your chance of contracting diseases such as the common cold, influenza (flu), salmonellosis, hepatitis A, typhoid and infections.
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
Hand sanitizer doesn’t replace soap and water if your hands are dirty, but along with regular hand washing, it definitely helps fight many important germs. Here is an article proving that hand sanitizers really do work.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and might not remove harmful chemicals.
Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
Look but don’t touch
This is something that I really wanted to talk about here. It is very important for us to keep our hands clean.
We should make it a habit not to touch our faces or any public surfaces. Germs from public areas can easily be transmitted to us if we are not careful and cause a lot of unhygienic problems.
Following are some points to keep in mind:
- When we go to public places like restaurants, public toilets, buses etc, we should try not to touch anything with our hands unless its necessary (e.g. doorknob). In public toilets abroad, it’s best to use the toilet seat liners which are provided to avoid direct contact.
- We should also use public toilets responsibly and leave them in better condition than we found them. Always keep them dry and clean but try to use quickly as you don’t want to expose yourself to germs for longer. Here’s my article all about clean toilets.
- I also get tempted to touch cute doggies and kitties on the road and often do. Later, I may have to itch my face. So its best to avoid such habits esp when we’re not at home and a bathroom isn’t accessible.
4. If we must itch, we should use the inside of our shirt to itch our face or inside of our sleeve. If we must touch the table in a restaurant, we should lean our elbow on it, rather than our hand. These are small habits which will protect us.
5. Whenever we see others babies in public, we should make sure we don’t touch them. We don’t want the germs from our hands to get to their poor defenses.
6. When we cough or sneeze, its best to cover mouth with our sleeve instead of hands. Trying to keep hands clean is the best habit especially when you’re outside your home.
7. We should also keep separate rubber gloves for cleaning bathrooms and washing dishes. These are to protect our skin from damage and to keep us away from germs.
Our body produces wax as a protective measure against bacteria, bugs and dirt. Sometimes, it can produce so much of it that it becomes a real pain. Apart from affecting your hearing due to clogging of your ear, too much ear wax can actually cause an ear infection. Swabs are one of the most widely used ears cleaning options.
Respect others personal space
Not everyone understands the concept of personal space. Here are some basic rules for defining personal space:
- Never touch anyone you don’t know. (We also discussed this point in my recent article #Metoo and Me. It’s best not to touch anyone to make sure you don’t give any wrong signals).
- Never touch anyone’s children (even if its a friend), without asking parents permission.
- Stand at least 4 feet away from a person unless you know him or her well.
- Never blow/exhale near anyone’s face, even family members.
- Never turn around next to someone so close that your hair hits their face.
- When someone leans away from you, you are probably in that person’s space that makes him or her uncomfortable. Take a step back.
- If you walk into an auditorium or theater that isn’t crowded, leave an extra seat between you and the next person. However, it is acceptable to sit next to someone if the room is crowded.
- Never go through anyone else’s personal belongings.
- Acknowledge personal space on the road. Don’t tailgate when driving.
- Don’t fling your arm around someone’s shoulder or slap anyone on the back unless you know the person very well.
- Don’t enter a room or office without knocking first.
- Don’t cut in front of people in line.
Groom/wax/shave body hair
For the purpose of general hygiene and cleanliness, unwanted hair on the body should be removed. Odor from sweat is caused by bacteria and the bacteria can multiply in the damp area of armpit hair.
Removing hair in the armpits results in less space for bacteria to breed resulting in the effectiveness of the deodorant. It is Makruh to let unwanted body hair grow for more than forty days.
Wash your hairbrush & makeup brushes regularly
Finding hair in a girls hair brush can give a terrible impression of her hygiene.
For concealer and foundation brushes, experts suggest washing them at least once a week (if you apply makeup every day) to prevent a buildup of product.
As these brushes are used on our faces, the cleaner, the better.
Brushes that are used around the eyes should be cleaned at least twice a month, while all others can be washed once a month. I simply use them by dipping them in warm water in a mug with some shampoo or dishwashing liquid.
Wash off all makeup before bedtime
It is vital for you to wash off all traces of makeup before going to sleep. The commercial makeup we cover up our faces with contains harmful chemicals which shouldn’t be left on the skin to absorb overnight. Our face must all be cleansed and moisturized before going to sleep.
20 Most disgusting habits
- Touching our feet in front of anyone. It’s against all manners and so repulsive!
2. Not taking a shower the first thing after returning from an intense sport/gym
3. Coughing without covering our mouth or sneezing on everyone around
4. Licking and sucking our fingers while eating in public
5. Itching our armpits and You-know-where in public (!!!)
6. Chewing hair (Disgusting right!)
7. Spitting anywhere (except the bathroom sink)
8. Shaking hands with people when our palms are wet with sweat
9. Touching face or eyes all the time. It is the worst thing you can do to your face and skin
10. Hugging others when we’re sweaty and smelly
11. (Women) Pulling their hair out and throwing it around (Wierd right!)
12. (Men) Pulling out ingrown facial hair. (Eww!)
13. After chewing gum taking it out of our mouth and sticking it on any public area esp under the table. (!!)
14. Peeing outdoors!! (what the…….)
15. Picking nose when we think no ones looking (a few don’t care about being seen!)
16. Biting nails. Some don’t keep them clean. These things really do matter! Here are 9 tricks to quit nail biting
17. Using water bottles without washing them
19. Smelling armpits
20. Chewing pens
5 Travel hygiene tips
Sharing some tips for traveling especially when it’s difficult to take a shower:
- Carry a lot of wet wipes and clean ourselves with them daily
- Women can make dutch braids before going to keep hair clean and tame without a shower for days
- We must remember to keep hand sanitizer handy
- Always carry a toilet roll while traveling
- Always carry a water bottle and refill it at every stop
- Always carry extra plastic bags for your garbage. Empty them out whenever you see a bin. Never litter.
Consequences of bad hygiene
There can be unlimited consequences but listing down a few here:
- Infections (stomach, eye, nail are some common ones)
- Poor dental hygiene can cause several serious health issues, including heart disease
Tips to address those with poor hygiene
It is never easy to confront someone who stinks or has poor hygiene habits. But it may be necessary when those around them are finding it hard to continue their daily tasks. Just a few basics: We should never ever criticize a person in public. Make sure you talk to the person privately and in a kind tone.
- Talking indirectly can be a good idea. Saying something like “Some people don’t know that they have to apply a good deodorant. That’s why our office smells so bad.” If they’re wise, they will get a hint.
- Leave a kind anonymous note. First compliment them by saying how nice and fun they are so it’s hard to say it on your face. I don’t want to embarrass you because you may not notice it yourself but you have a Body odor issue. Here is a brand of deodorant that works well. You might want to try that out (Thanks Kalifornia for this idea).
- If talking to them indirectly isn’t having any effect, talking to them directly may be the only option. Many times it’s our friends who are the culprits. If everything else fails, say to them:
“Hey I wanted to talk to you about something. It’s difficult for me to say this and you may not feel it yourself, but I think you need to change your deodorant. Its natural for our sweat patterns to change and it may not be working well. Or the clothes may not be cleaned properly. Being your friend I wanted to point that out and don’t want others to think badly of you or make fun of you!”
- I wrote this article so if anyone so it can make your life easier. Now you can simply forward this article to the culprits and they will hopefully get a hint. Also, mostly it happens due to lack of awareness. So once they read this article, they will be educated on this subject.
Funny smelly videos
What do you think?
- I would love to know how you feel about today’s topic?
- Is there anything you find disgusting and want to talk about?
- This is our chance to finally say all that we have been dying to say for so long! Let’s go 😀
- Let’s hear it from you.