Author Topic: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?  (Read 18760 times)

Mr.Macinstache

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Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« on: December 31, 2013, 10:24:06 AM »
MMM still has it. I very much enjoyed this post, and almost started a thread on a similar subject regarding personal aspect of it all.

Our family only showers once a week. We used to shower every other day and wonder why our skin was as dry as a desert floor, but we just don't need it. I think MMM over does it every 2-3 days too, but he is doing manual labor. We don't so we dont need it. Also I have a nice full beard..not because I love looking like a trendy Paul Bunyan, but because all the useless grooming saved adds up probably to an hour or 2 every week that I get to do something besides primping.

I'm with him on laundry too. I wear jeans for the whole week. T-shirts get used 2 days too. We are saving a ton on our water/laundry soap usage. House cleaning.. we could do more, but things are orderly and sanitary. The wife proudly boasts a sign "A clean kitchen is a sign of a wasted life" near the pantry. Words to live by IMO.

olivia

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2013, 10:56:31 AM »
I am 100% on board with wearing clothes multiple times before washing them and not wasting hours a day cleaning invisible dirt.

However, as a person who exercises regularly, once a week is definitely not enough showering for me.  Even if I didn't work out, after 6 days I would look pretty rough and I likely wouldn't smell great. 

JessieImproved

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2013, 11:19:26 AM »
I don't sweat.  I take a shower twice a week, wash my hair once a week (I do the baking soda/vinegar routine).  We do a lot of laundry, but I have two small children, and one of them is still in (cloth) diapers.  I also use cleaning cloths instead of paper towels.  My biggest problem is clutter, but I am slowly but surely working on that.

CommonCents

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2013, 01:26:39 PM »
I wonder if this is in reaction to the cleaning threads of late.

I can skip a day on showering (and regularly do), but my hair gets really greasy after that.  Going around with my hair in a pony tail constantly to (try to) hide my greasy hair doesn't really work at the office.  I also have noticed I use less product if I use small containers.  We have a tons of small shampoos from hotels, and I go through those slower than I do the large bottles.  Scarcity...

But no, we don't wash shirts/jeans/towels/sheets after just one use.  On towels we go longer than MMM's 10 days, but we also have to trek to the basement for laundry, which will soon change.  We don't wash the bathroom floor weekly as he did at one home, and only sweep when we see dirt - which with a cat, is frequently.  (We also sweep instead of vacuum most of the apartment.)

JessieImproved

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2013, 08:22:24 PM »
I can skip a day on showering (and regularly do), but my hair gets really greasy after that.  Going around with my hair in a pony tail constantly to (try to) hide my greasy hair doesn't really work at the office.

Have you tried going no-poo?  When I used to use shampoo, I had to wash it every other day or it would look horribly greasy.  Now it takes 4-5 days before it starts showing any grease (mostly just behind the crown).

http://jessieimproved.wordpress.com/no-poo-hair-routine/

Insanity

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2013, 08:47:56 PM »
Sleep might help, but I need the daily shower to help wake up.  Of course, sleep won't happen until our 10 month old son is a bit older.

I happen to disagree with a lot of the post, but it is more personal opinion than anything.  I do wear jeans and shirts more than once (jeans usually a whole week, shirts 2x) but that's because I am sitting around all day.  Again, that has a whole slew of other repercussions.  The biggest thing I disagree with is environmental considerations.  While I am not a fan of bleaching (which isn't the only way to clean a house), I have worked in restaurant conditions and cross contamination is a high risk and "exposure" doesn't help.  I also think a lot of the "lack of issues" he (or anyone else in a first world country) experiences is do to the vaccination affect -- there are enough people keeping things clean that we don't see a lot of issues that third world country people see.

I do, however, hope that all of you wash your hands after using the restroom :-)

Jamesqf

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2013, 09:19:00 PM »
I can skip a day on showering (and regularly do), but my hair gets really greasy after that.

And my skin.  About the only time I don't shower is when I'm out camping, and even then I try to do a sponge bath before going to sleep.  If I don't get clean before going to bed, I itch and have trouble getting to sleep.

CommonCents

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2013, 09:29:12 PM »
I can skip a day on showering (and regularly do), but my hair gets really greasy after that.  Going around with my hair in a pony tail constantly to (try to) hide my greasy hair doesn't really work at the office.

Have you tried going no-poo?  When I used to use shampoo, I had to wash it every other day or it would look horribly greasy.  Now it takes 4-5 days before it starts showing any grease (mostly just behind the crown).

http://jessieimproved.wordpress.com/no-poo-hair-routine/

Yep in college on some trips where I had to. Just have uniquely fine hair, which already looks dead straight before it turns to limp grease without showering. Too bad I wasn't around in the sixties when this was the sought after look.

olivia

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2014, 08:10:15 AM »
I can skip a day on showering (and regularly do), but my hair gets really greasy after that.  Going around with my hair in a pony tail constantly to (try to) hide my greasy hair doesn't really work at the office.

Have you tried going no-poo?  When I used to use shampoo, I had to wash it every other day or it would look horribly greasy.  Now it takes 4-5 days before it starts showing any grease (mostly just behind the crown).

http://jessieimproved.wordpress.com/no-poo-hair-routine/

Yep in college on some trips where I had to. Just have uniquely fine hair, which already looks dead straight before it turns to limp grease without showering. Too bad I wasn't around in the sixties when this was the sought after look.

LOL sounds like we have the exact same hair.  My friends with super thick hair are always mad when I tell them my hair is this straight without even blowdrying it.  The no shampoo thing just doesn't work for our type of hair!  Which is a shame, because I am super lazy about hair stuff and wouldn't mind not needing to shampoo it.  I don't do much to my hair beyond washing it and occasionally if I'm feeling fancy using salt spray on it.

JessieImproved

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2014, 08:50:26 AM »
Also, for a quick pick-me-up in between washes, dust your hair with cornstarch and brush it out.  Works like a charm.

KMMK

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2014, 11:24:09 AM »
With the towel thing, I'm with MMM and use the same towel many times. DH likes to wash his towel more frequently, so we each have our own towel.

Albert

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2014, 12:26:29 PM »
I agree with the clothes washing part (2-3 days for a t-shirt, a week for jeans), but not with a shower part. I need it to wake up properly plus my hair looks dirty/oily very quickly if I don't shower in the morning. Sometimes I skip it on Sundays, but only if I'm not planning to meet anyone. On work days I prefer to look my best, you never know what kind of opportunities you can miss simply by being smelly and not quite fresh looking.

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2014, 01:27:25 PM »
Something else to think about regarding showering and laundry-- how you smell to others.  I work in healthcare, and some people look clean, tidy, and ready for work... until you get up close to them.  I have to spray air freshener after some of our patients leave, and I wonder if they know.  Sometimes our sense of smell starts to go as we age, but some people just get used to their smell.  A little water and bio-degradeable soap won't kill or bankrupt you, and your healthcare professional (and others who get in close proximity) will thank you! :)

BPA

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2014, 01:34:04 PM »
I can't be the only one who doesn't want to sleep on excessively crusty post-sex sheets.

Call me anally retentive (insert laughing at my own stupid joke here), but the sheets get washed after every visit from my boyfriend.
 

oldtoyota

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2014, 01:54:40 PM »
I get where he's coming from with the post. We hardly use store-bought chemical cleaning products. I make them from water and vinegar. I use cloths for washing, dusting, wiping spills, and as napkins.

As a result, I'll have some more laundry because I am using washable almost everything instead of paper.

That said, I found out from another website that I could save $$ by washing in cold more often. I will experiment with this and see how it goes.

We have dust allergies in the house. Evidently, dust mites are killed with hot water, so I've used hot water on sheets and towels. But, maybe that is not a requirement.

MMM mentions living in a humid area near the Great Lakes. I've been up that way. As far as I know, the humidity up there is nothing like the Southern US. Our towels smell like mildew if left to "dry" in the summer, so I wash them often. However, I can let them go if it's winter and less humid in DC.

To sum it all up, different strokes for different folks. I take the bits I find useful, experiment, keep what I like, and toss the rest.


BPA

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2014, 04:46:51 PM »
I get where he's coming from with the post. We hardly use store-bought chemical cleaning products. I make them from water and vinegar. I use cloths for washing, dusting, wiping spills, and as napkins.

As a result, I'll have some more laundry because I am using washable almost everything instead of paper.

That said, I found out from another website that I could save $$ by washing in cold more often. I will experiment with this and see how it goes.

We have dust allergies in the house. Evidently, dust mites are killed with hot water, so I've used hot water on sheets and towels. But, maybe that is not a requirement.

MMM mentions living in a humid area near the Great Lakes. I've been up that way. As far as I know, the humidity up there is nothing like the Southern US. Our towels smell like mildew if left to "dry" in the summer, so I wash them often. However, I can let them go if it's winter and less humid in DC.

To sum it all up, different strokes for different folks. I take the bits I find useful, experiment, keep what I like, and toss the rest.

I agree with all of this.

I live in the Great Lakes region and even with the humidity in the summer, there is enough wind to dry clothes and towels in less than a day. 


Ian

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2014, 05:56:19 PM »
I don't have hard evidence on this, but I grew up being told that most cloth materials wear out not from being worn, but from being washed excessively. Air drying things is simple in an arid environment, so you can wear things multiple times easily. I'm not entirely sure what I think about infrequent bathing, but I know Europeans who always insisted daily showering was crazy, so I think it's at least worth experimenting.

I also think a lot of the "lack of issues" he (or anyone else in a first world country) experiences is do to the vaccination affect -- there are enough people keeping things clean that we don't see a lot of issues that third world country people see.

Speaking for Tanzania, very few places in the entire country use chemicals for cleaning and once a week is about the highest frequency for any cleaning besides sweeping. My experience hasn't differed significantly from MMM in this regard. The biggest health concerns of this variety are from shockingly basic problems, like inadequate separation of waste and drinking water. You need to be more careful about some things (I wouldn't eat anything that had touched most floors) but for the most part a less cleaning-focused lifestyle is the norm in much of the third world without significant repercussions.

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2014, 07:48:57 AM »
I really enjoyed this post.  I wash my hair about 3 times every two weeks.  In between, I use a washcloth or take a shallow bath just to shave.  My husband showers every other day because he works on the farm all the time.  Our 1 year old gets a bath once a week.

We have to wash cloth diapers every three days or so.  I do 1 load of laundry a week other than diapers.  I used to be really lazy about putting clothes away so they had to be washed more often.  I wash the sheets and towels whenever they are crusty or stinky.

I think worrying less about cleanliness has always kept me healthy.  When I do get sick, it lasts for only a day or so.  Also, I have no allergies or skin problems.  I eat veggies/fruit straight out of the garden all the time.  I think the reason some people need probiotics now, is because our food is too clean and everyone is afraid of germs.
I can skip a day on showering (and regularly do), but my hair gets really greasy after that.  Going around with my hair in a pony tail constantly to (try to) hide my greasy hair doesn't really work at the office.

Have you tried going no-poo?  When I used to use shampoo, I had to wash it every other day or it would look horribly greasy.  Now it takes 4-5 days before it starts showing any grease (mostly just behind the crown).

http://jessieimproved.wordpress.com/no-poo-hair-routine/

Yep in college on some trips where I had to. Just have uniquely fine hair, which already looks dead straight before it turns to limp grease without showering. Too bad I wasn't around in the sixties when this was the sought after look.

LOL sounds like we have the exact same hair.  My friends with super thick hair are always mad when I tell them my hair is this straight without even blowdrying it.  The no shampoo thing just doesn't work for our type of hair!  Which is a shame, because I am super lazy about hair stuff and wouldn't mind not needing to shampoo it.  I don't do much to my hair beyond washing it and occasionally if I'm feeling fancy using salt spray on it.

I have limp, fine blonde hair that was disgusting when I tried no poo.  Now I can wash my hair just over once a week.  At night I brush my hair and put it in a bunch of buns so I have soft curls for work in the morning.  By day 4-5, I have to wear my hair up.  I wash my hair with bentonite clay or this recipe:  http://wellnessmama.com/3701/how-to-make-natural-shampoo/ 

Insanity

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2014, 07:51:57 AM »
I don't have hard evidence on this, but I grew up being told that most cloth materials wear out not from being worn, but from being washed excessively. Air drying things is simple in an arid environment, so you can wear things multiple times easily. I'm not entirely sure what I think about infrequent bathing, but I know Europeans who always insisted daily showering was crazy, so I think it's at least worth experimenting.

I also think a lot of the "lack of issues" he (or anyone else in a first world country) experiences is do to the vaccination affect -- there are enough people keeping things clean that we don't see a lot of issues that third world country people see.

Speaking for Tanzania, very few places in the entire country use chemicals for cleaning and once a week is about the highest frequency for any cleaning besides sweeping. My experience hasn't differed significantly from MMM in this regard. The biggest health concerns of this variety are from shockingly basic problems, like inadequate separation of waste and drinking water. You need to be more careful about some things (I wouldn't eat anything that had touched most floors) but for the most part a less cleaning-focused lifestyle is the norm in much of the third world without significant repercussions.

Oh, I didn't mean to imply the harsh chemicals and bleaching were needed.  Just that the care of food and showering (at least washing hands frequently) and doing some cleaning more frequently is.  Sorry about that confusion.

Oh, separation of waste and drinking water -- MUST!

CommonCents

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2014, 08:38:11 AM »
I really enjoyed this post.  I wash my hair about 3 times every two weeks.  In between, I use a washcloth or take a shallow bath just to shave.  My husband showers every other day because he works on the farm all the time.  Our 1 year old gets a bath once a week.

We have to wash cloth diapers every three days or so.  I do 1 load of laundry a week other than diapers.  I used to be really lazy about putting clothes away so they had to be washed more often.  I wash the sheets and towels whenever they are crusty or stinky.

I think worrying less about cleanliness has always kept me healthy.  When I do get sick, it lasts for only a day or so.  Also, I have no allergies or skin problems.  I eat veggies/fruit straight out of the garden all the time.  I think the reason some people need probiotics now, is because our food is too clean and everyone is afraid of germs.
I can skip a day on showering (and regularly do), but my hair gets really greasy after that.  Going around with my hair in a pony tail constantly to (try to) hide my greasy hair doesn't really work at the office.

Have you tried going no-poo?  When I used to use shampoo, I had to wash it every other day or it would look horribly greasy.  Now it takes 4-5 days before it starts showing any grease (mostly just behind the crown).

http://jessieimproved.wordpress.com/no-poo-hair-routine/

Yep in college on some trips where I had to. Just have uniquely fine hair, which already looks dead straight before it turns to limp grease without showering. Too bad I wasn't around in the sixties when this was the sought after look.

LOL sounds like we have the exact same hair.  My friends with super thick hair are always mad when I tell them my hair is this straight without even blowdrying it.  The no shampoo thing just doesn't work for our type of hair!  Which is a shame, because I am super lazy about hair stuff and wouldn't mind not needing to shampoo it.  I don't do much to my hair beyond washing it and occasionally if I'm feeling fancy using salt spray on it.

I have limp, fine blonde hair that was disgusting when I tried no poo.  Now I can wash my hair just over once a week.  At night I brush my hair and put it in a bunch of buns so I have soft curls for work in the morning.  By day 4-5, I have to wear my hair up.  I wash my hair with bentonite clay or this recipe:  http://wellnessmama.com/3701/how-to-make-natural-shampoo/

Thanks for all the ideas folks, but I'm going to continue showering (with shampoo) every day or every other day.  I get most of my shampoo for free (hotels from DH's work travel) or heavily discounted (couponing+sales) so it's not a significant expense for me, and one I choose to pay.  (I even had enough products to give away a huge bag to a local women's shelter this summer.)  I don't wish to risk not looking professional in my job and I enjoy my showers!

ace1224

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2014, 08:47:19 AM »
meh, i'm down with the no washing of clothes, if they get light usage.  if only my son and his dad could figure out that this meant not rolling around in dirt and smelling like squirrel at the end of the day. 

i like things clean so i clean.  i grew enough bacteria in microbiology class to know there is scary shit there even if you do clean.  i try not to think about it too much. 

laundry gets done when the hamper is full and i do sheets and towels once a week.  and vacuum the bed.  no thank you to sleeping in fungi, dust mites, dust mite feces, and sloughed off skin and sweat.  i wish i could wash them more, but i realize that resistance is futile and i must live with these things.  i can only try and reduce them

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2014, 09:22:06 AM »
For some reason, when I read this post I thought of that Far Side cartoon where the rats are in their dirty, broken living room and one of them says something like, "It's supposed to be a rat hole!"  I honestly find it difficult to believe that their home is swept and vacuumed as infrequently as MMM thinks it is.  I suspect that either Mrs. MM is doing work that he just "doesn't see" or that they are doing cleaning as part of their routine and he just doesn't think of it as cleaning. 

Personally, I'm not a bleach-crazy clean freak, and I switched over to cleaning with vinegar and baking soda a couple of years ago.  But, as one of the commenters said, there is a certain amount of sweeping and vacuuming that is part of the maintenance of flooring and extends the life of it.  It is not frugal to allow flooring or other household fixtures to deteriorate due to lack of maintainence.  This is also true of showers or bathrooms where mold might grow.  The fact that the MMM household doesn't have mold growing in their bathroom tells me that there is cleaning/maintenance going on that MMM either doesn't realize is happening, or maybe doesn't even identify as "cleaning" because it doesn't involve lots of caustic chemicals. 

They probably do a lot of preventative maintenance that means they don't have to clean that often.  For example, in our shower we use a squeegee to remove the water and soap from the walls every time we take a shower.  We also leave the shower curtain open and use a fan to remove moisture.  As a result, we only have to clean our shower every 3-4 months.  In addition, the MMM family doesn't have pets, and I'm sure they remove their shoes at the door, so they probably don't have a lot of dirt on their floors, and I imagine they just sweep up after meals, etc., when necessary.

In short, I doubt that they are living in an UNSANITARY!! rat hole.  ;-)

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2014, 09:47:34 AM »
I can skip a day on showering (and regularly do), but my hair gets really greasy after that.

And my skin.  About the only time I don't shower is when I'm out camping, and even then I try to do a sponge bath before going to sleep.  If I don't get clean before going to bed, I itch and have trouble getting to sleep.

+1.  I sweat quite a bit (I prefer to think my internal cooling apparatus is superior to others ;-)  ), live in a humid region, and need to shower every day.  It's not the soap or shampoo or towels that are setting me back the most, it's the hot water.  A week or so ago, right before the MMM post, I tried something different as I was avidly monitoring our electricity usage and teasing out how we use so much damn electricity compared to others (30 KWh a day without using the broken heat pump that is currently being replaced!!!  Some was the space heater in the bedroom, but still...).

Get wet, turn off shower, shampoo (15 seconds of hot water).  Rinse hair, turn off shower, apply conditioner, rinse hair (30 more seconds of hotwater).  Bathe body thoroughly, fully rinse (1 minute of hot water).  All it does is work.  I can get close to a week from a towel before it starts to smell something other than perfectly clean (again, a humid region will do that).

The hot water is the most expensive part of the cleaning experience, so that's where I am focused on saving the money going forward.

I am an avid strategy board gamer and for whatever reason too many strategy board gamers tend to have less than perfect hygiene.  Your nose will notice this unfortunate tendency if you ever go to a gaming convention.  Do they know they smell?  I don't know....  So when I read posts about how some can get by without bathing (even our esteemed MMM) I find myself thinking, well, that may be the case, and that may not be the case.  I've been around too many people that smell bad and folks are too polite to tell them so.   I'd so rather err on the side of being too clean.

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2014, 09:51:14 AM »

It is not frugal to allow flooring or other household fixtures to deteriorate due to lack of maintainence. 

I was thinking a similar thing this morning as I was cleaning the range top. I could view it as a Sisyphean task, since the grease and crud from frugal home cooking are going to return with the next meal. I see it as maintenance to extend the useful life of the appliance, and fire hazard mitigation. Around these parts, proactive steps to maintain cars are rightfully seen as a good thing, and cleaning habits can be viewed similarly. There is definitely overkill out there, and marketing tactics designed to part a fool and his money, but neglect can be costly as well.


Also, hubs is an infectious disease specialist, and has this gem posted in his office: http://xkcd.com/1161/



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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2014, 10:02:41 AM »
i like things clean so i clean.  i grew enough bacteria in microbiology class to know there is scary shit there even if you do clean.  i try not to think about it too much. 

Agree.  DH hates cleaning and refuses to do it, but he has a PhD in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology from Harvard and apparently that means he'll ignore dirt that is piled in from of him, but he gets annoyed at certain bacteria-producing things/habits in places like the kitchen because he knows more precisely how unhealthy/bad it is.  Ironically, he is oblivious to the bacteria in the bathroom and when I started dating, hadn't cleaned his tub once in 5 years when he moved in.  I showed him an article on the bathtub having more bacteria than the toliet to no effect, but showing him that mold was starting to grow seemed to motivate him a little more.

He is also annoyed if he thinks we aren't taking good care of our nice stuff (e.g. cleaning the good knives promptly rather than letting them sit).  And in return, I get annoyed because he usually complains they are sitting there after I've cooked, but doesn't actually clean himself (all too often the statement "we" ought to clean it really means that yours truly should)! 

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2014, 11:38:38 AM »
I agree with some of this blog post.  Most cleaning products are a waste, and I definitely think a lot of people over clean their houses.  However, as far as only taking a shower once or twice a week, I think that people who think they smell clean may just not be able to smell themselves very well.

Quote
I've been around too many people that smell bad and folks are too polite to tell them so.   I'd so rather err on the side of being too clean.

Albert

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2014, 12:07:51 PM »
Speaking for Tanzania, very few places in the entire country use chemicals for cleaning and once a week is about the highest frequency for any cleaning besides sweeping. My experience hasn't differed significantly from MMM in this regard. The biggest health concerns of this variety are from shockingly basic problems, like inadequate separation of waste and drinking water. You need to be more careful about some things (I wouldn't eat anything that had touched most floors) but for the most part a less cleaning-focused lifestyle is the norm in much of the third world without significant repercussions.

They live on average almost 20 years less than we do and have high infant mortality. It would have to be proven that none of it is because of poorer sanitation and cleanliness.

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2014, 12:09:59 PM »
However, as far as only taking a shower once or twice a week, I think that people who think they smell clean may just not be able to smell themselves very well.

I've asked people I completely trust (that bathe way more often than me) if I smell, and they say no.  And when I do smell, I can smell it immediately, and wash up accordingly.

**Edit: I don't think this works for everyone.  I think you need to figure out how often that you personally need to bathe, and not worry about how often society says you should. 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 12:13:41 PM by JessieImproved »

Albert

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2014, 12:13:59 PM »
Not sure if it was mentioned already, but I actually enjoy taking a shower early in the morning. For me it's a substitute for coffee which I don't drink.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2014, 12:19:13 PM »
However, as far as only taking a shower once or twice a week, I think that people who think they smell clean may just not be able to smell themselves very well.

I've asked people I completely trust (that bathe way more often than me) if I smell, and they say no.  And when I do smell, I can smell it immediately, and wash up accordingly.

**Edit: I don't think this works for everyone.  I think you need to figure out how often that you personally need to bathe, and not worry about how often society says you should.

I was in the habit of doing so every other day, even in the winter and wondering why I had dandruff and dry skin. It was overkill. If you work a low stress job, don't break a sweat, then yes, 1-2 times a week is plenty for most people. At least during the winter.

NinetyFour

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2014, 12:25:32 PM »
I sometimes wonder if "smell clean" to some folks actually means "smell like perfumy shampoo, soap, or cologne" in the case of a person or "smell like perfumy soap or fabric softener or bleach" in the case of clothing or linens.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2014, 01:01:05 PM »
I sometimes wonder if "smell clean" to some folks actually means "smell like perfumy shampoo, soap, or cologne" in the case of a person or "smell like perfumy soap or fabric softener or bleach" in the case of clothing or linens.

Yes, like a face of war paint equates to being beautiful.

Smelling like a chemical shit storm ≠ clean.

ace1224

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2014, 01:18:34 PM »
I sometimes wonder if "smell clean" to some folks actually means "smell like perfumy shampoo, soap, or cologne" in the case of a person or "smell like perfumy soap or fabric softener or bleach" in the case of clothing or linens.

good point.  for me i hate the perfumy smell as much as musk from body odor.  i am sensitive to strong smells and a lot of things make me sneeze, my coworker (bless her) changed her shampoo for me once bc i couldn't stop sneezing. 
i know people who could go 2 weeks without showering and not have an odor, and then people who start to smell after like 12 hours. 
i like the smell of nothing, that smells clean to me

MicroRN

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2014, 03:16:15 PM »
There's a big difference to me between cleaning and CLEANING.  I clean daily for about an hour - I have to, with 2 toddlers and 3 cats.  What I don't do is use a ton of cleaning chemicals.  Most of my cleaning is with basic water, baking soda, vinegar, bleach.  I buy F&C laundry detergent, a very rare bottle of Windex, and I have some borax, washing soda, peroxide, and Murphy's.  Vacuuming/sweeping at least part of the house is a daily occurrence.  Most messes get cleaned up with water and a rag or scrubbie, because I'm not paranoid about bacteria.  I hate seeing cat-fur and crumbs everywhere, but sweeping it up is adequate.  The kitchen floor gets the most dirty, so it gets mopped with plain soap and water at least twice a week.  Similarly, visibly dirty toilets and tubs gross me out, but I just use a brush or scrubbie and a little baking soda.       

I do a ton of laundry though.  I can't/wouldn't rewear my scrubs to work - gross.  I don't even commingle them with the regular laundry.  They get used once, stored in a bleachable laundry bin, and washed on hot.  We cloth diaper 2 kids, use reusable swiffer pads, rags for cleaning, and I use cloth menstrual pads, which adds up to a lot of extra loads of laundry.  We reuse towels many times over, and I'll rewear jeans as long as they don't smell.  Our sheets only get changed as needed, since we both shower right before bed.  Kid's sheets get changed as needed, but that's much more frequent.  We don't go through a lot of toiletries.  I only wash my hair twice a week but shower pretty much everyday, especially when I get home from work.  My hands get washed continually at work, so I absolutely need some lotion for them.  However, I don't use anything with strong scents, and have a really minimal makeup supply that gets used 2-3 times a year.       

the fixer

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2014, 03:18:03 PM »
An interesting activity: search a thread like this one for the phrase "I need" and see what comes up. For the record, I used to "need" a shower every morning to wake up, too. This is just a habit and can be changed with some effort.

153

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2014, 04:18:39 PM »
I can't/wouldn't rewear my scrubs to work - gross.  I don't even commingle them with the regular laundry.  They get used once, stored in a bleachable laundry bin, and washed on hot.   

+1. Even though peri-op and maternity are two of my least favorite areas clinically, I am jealous of the scrub-x machine.

Ian

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #36 on: January 02, 2014, 07:13:48 PM »
Quote from: Insanity
Oh, I didn't mean to imply the harsh chemicals and bleaching were needed.  Just that the care of food and showering (at least washing hands frequently) and doing some cleaning more frequently is.  Sorry about that confusion.
Ah, we didn't disagree as much as I was thinking. No problem.

Speaking for Tanzania, very few places in the entire country use chemicals for cleaning and once a week is about the highest frequency for any cleaning besides sweeping. My experience hasn't differed significantly from MMM in this regard. The biggest health concerns of this variety are from shockingly basic problems, like inadequate separation of waste and drinking water. You need to be more careful about some things (I wouldn't eat anything that had touched most floors) but for the most part a less cleaning-focused lifestyle is the norm in much of the third world without significant repercussions.
They live on average almost 20 years less than we do and have high infant mortality. It would have to be proven that none of it is because of poorer sanitation and cleanliness.
I don't think this thread is really about sanitation and I noted it as a problem in my first post. If those two are inextricably linked in your mind, then it's inarguable.

To me, there is a huge difference between a massive lack of infrastructure and people not showering enough. Glancing at WHO numbers, only 53% of the population has access to clean drinking water and 12% to modern sanitation. None of the lower life expectancy being due to cleanliness issues is a pretty high bar. But I will point out that HIV/AIDS is a major factor (20% of all deaths in Tanzania), as is malaria (8%), and infant mortality due to causes like low birth weight, birth trauma, and the mother's malnutrition (combined 11%). I don't have numbers on medical care to hand, but the state of medical care has a significant impact on death rates.

If all you're saying is "The third world has lower life expectancy due to sanitation problems" then we don't really disagree. But in the context of this thread (personal cleanliness), it comes across as suggesting it's partially because people in the third world just don't know how to stay clean. I think it's clear that the majority of the difference is caused by broad structural issues that have nothing to do with the kind of habits discussed in the original blog or this thread.

cats

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2014, 07:28:24 PM »
I also had to wonder about the accuracy of his self-reported cleaning schedule.  Don't get me wrong--I agree with the general message of the post and for the most part have a fairly relaxed attitude about cleaning. We are two adults with no pets, do things like take off our shoes ASAP upon entering the apartment, and don't live in an excessively humid, dusty, or muddy environment.  Basically, there is no good reason (that I can think of) that we shouldn't be able to follow a similar cleaning schedule to MMM and enjoy a clean/tidy household.  But if we cleaned that infrequently, our place would definitely start to look grungy.

For example, our kitchen and other high-traffic areas does require a weekly (or more) sweeping or vacuuming, and the counters need at least a quick wipe down after any intensive use (i.e., preparing a meal).  The area involved is small and only takes a few minutes to deal with in any one go, so I don't really think of it as "cleaning" or "chores", but the fact is that if it doesn't happen, the kitchen floor becomes unpleasant to step on, and stuff starts getting tracked onto the carpeted areas, which is no good long-term.  I don't throw food all over the place while cooking, but we do prepare all our meals at home and that means a lot of chopping, etc. at least 2-3x/week.  I don't disinfect the place with bleach every time I pour a glass of milk, but I do wipe up and dispose of stray bits of food matter, grease, etc.

The other thing I have a hard time believing is that his bathroom shower is getting cleaned so infrequently and not getting moldy, especially if he is using more "natural" (not bleach) cleaners.  I use vinegar+baking soda to scrub out our shower.  If I don't stay on top of it (scrubbing weekly), mold does start to accumulate.  Once there, it is VERY hard to get out without resorting to bleach or harsh cleaners. I have had this issue in multiple apartments in multiple states of the US.  If someone could enlighten me about better cleaning methods that would involve less time spent scrubbing out my shower, I'm all ears, as this is not a chore I particularly enjoy.  But in the meantime, I just don't believe MMM is quite accurate in his self-assessment!

hybrid

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2014, 09:26:44 AM »
However, as far as only taking a shower once or twice a week, I think that people who think they smell clean may just not be able to smell themselves very well.

I've asked people I completely trust (that bathe way more often than me) if I smell, and they say no.  And when I do smell, I can smell it immediately, and wash up accordingly.

**Edit: I don't think this works for everyone.  I think you need to figure out how often that you personally need to bathe, and not worry about how often society says you should.

I was in the habit of doing so every other day, even in the winter and wondering why I had dandruff and dry skin. It was overkill. If you work a low stress job, don't break a sweat, then yes, 1-2 times a week is plenty for most people. At least during the winter.

For me the best answer is YMMV.  If other folks can get by with less and they have better skin as a result, kudos to them.  But the amount of money I could supposedly save on soap is akin to the coupon clipping argument.  Well, no, I could definitely come out ahead taking the time to clip coupons vs. the pennies I lose on personal hygiene products each day. 

dcheesi

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2014, 10:50:08 AM »
When I first got out of school, I would wear my shirts twice and do the "sniff test". But over time it seemed like my shirts would trap body odor, so that an older shirt that smelled clean in the morning would nonetheless stink to high heaven an hour after I put it on?! Even freshly laundered shirts would do this if they were old enough. Yet new shirts wouldn't do this, even on a second wearing, so it wasn't simply fresh perspiration causing the stink.

Since I switched to washing my shirts every time (or twice if I wear an undershirt), I haven't had this problem any more. However, I did continue to have gradual discoloration issues until I switched to non-antiperspirant deodorants. It may be that the antiperspirant was involved in the odor buildup as well, but I haven't wanted to risk ruining my current shirts just to find out.

As for personal hygiene, it seems like everyone has their own quirks. My brother will gladly skip showering, but can't ever leave the house without performing his full tooth-brushing ritual; meanwhile, I'm good with a mint or some mouthwash for my breath, but if I don't shower I feel dirty all day...

dragoncar

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #40 on: January 07, 2014, 10:19:10 PM »
When I first got out of school, I would wear my shirts twice and do the "sniff test". But over time it seemed like my shirts would trap body odor, so that an older shirt that smelled clean in the morning would nonetheless stink to high heaven an hour after I put it on?! Even freshly laundered shirts would do this if they were old enough. Yet new shirts wouldn't do this, even on a second wearing, so it wasn't simply fresh perspiration causing the stink.

Since I switched to washing my shirts every time (or twice if I wear an undershirt), I haven't had this problem any more. However, I did continue to have gradual discoloration issues until I switched to non-antiperspirant deodorants. It may be that the antiperspirant was involved in the odor buildup as well, but I haven't wanted to risk ruining my current shirts just to find out.

As for personal hygiene, it seems like everyone has their own quirks. My brother will gladly skip showering, but can't ever leave the house without performing his full tooth-brushing ritual; meanwhile, I'm good with a mint or some mouthwash for my breath, but if I don't shower I feel dirty all day...

My amateur hypothesis is that after the first wear, bacteria is left in the shirt, but becomes dormant when it dries.  Then, when you sweat a little again, the water activates the old bacteria, plus the new. 

Anyways, I wear my work shirts at least twice, and it's mostly dictated by whether the collar has visible dirt.  But I have enough shirts that it may be a couple weeks in between wears.  Perhaps this is long enough for the armpit bacteria to actually die instead of just going dormant?

Cinder

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2014, 09:38:40 AM »
I also had to wonder about the accuracy of his self-reported cleaning schedule. 
...
The other thing I have a hard time believing is that his bathroom shower is getting cleaned so infrequently and not getting moldy, especially if he is using more "natural" (not bleach) cleaners.  I use vinegar+baking soda to scrub out our shower.  If I don't stay on top of it (scrubbing weekly), mold does start to accumulate.  Once there, it is VERY hard to get out without resorting to bleach or harsh cleaners. I have had this issue in multiple apartments in multiple states of the US.  If someone could enlighten me about better cleaning methods that would involve less time spent scrubbing out my shower, I'm all ears, as this is not a chore I particularly enjoy.  But in the meantime, I just don't believe MMM is quite accurate in his self-assessment!

I follow the advice found at http://www.johnbridge.com/articles/showers/tile-showers/
Quote
So hereís the recap: Clean it, seal it, and wipe it down each time itís used. Do this and most of your shower maintenance problems will be behind you.
A towel for yourself, a towel for your shower.  I usually use my 'starting to get grungy' towel that I'd been using for 1~2 weeks before hand as the 'shower' towel.

We have a 'river rock pebble' floor which is un-squgee-abale.  I use a wash-rag to push most of the water toward the drain to take the place of the squegee, and then I go over the walls, the cut in shelf, and finally the floor with my 'old' towel. 

Also, the DW has less of a tolerance for reusing towels then I do, so She gets the fresh ones, I use hers when it doesn't suit her anymore, and then the shower uses it when I'm 'done' with it. 

As an aside... Does anyone actually separate laundry any more?  I never have, other then 'bulky' items like comforters and sometimes sheets/blankets, but never by color. 

oldtoyota

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2014, 09:46:24 AM »
I started washing laundry only in cold water. So far, the world has not ended.




RetiredAt63

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2014, 03:04:52 PM »
As an aside... Does anyone actually separate laundry any more?  I never have, other then 'bulky' items like comforters and sometimes sheets/blankets, but never by color.
I separate - clothes are in one load, in cold water, on delicate with an overnight soak.  Sheets are a load by themselves.  Towels get their own load, mostly because I don't want their lint all over everything.  Anything that might not be colourfast gets hand washed in the bathroom sink first (sink is white, any colour shows) and once it is reliable it goes in with everything else.

the fixer

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2014, 04:14:18 PM »
I separate synthetics but only because I don't like to put them in the dryer, but we have a hard time line-drying thick cotton items. It's just easier for me to separate the loads from the beginning than try to sort 'em out after they've been through the washing machine.

LucyBIT

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #45 on: April 15, 2014, 04:54:30 PM »
Colorado is dry, yo. I don't know everything about mold, but I've only ever had problems with it when my bathtub/shower was improperly caulked (or whatever) and moisture was allowed to seep everywhere. In my current place, I have no troubles at all, probably because it's so goddamn dry here (maybe, again, not an expert). The lack of humidity is another reason we can shower less than people in more tropical climes, and the reason why excessive showering can dry skin out. It is DRY here.

Which brings me to my point, eloquently stated by JessieImproved: do what works for you, and that's probably not the same thing as what works for me.

I showered very little in college, and my best friend was always telling me how great I smelled (this was not the type of best friend who lies to you, btw), and I couldn't figure it out until I realized it was my deodorant. I really think that people who insist that not showering means you smell and you just don't notice are extrapolating from their own experience. Just because YOU smell without a shower doesn't mean I do, because different people are different (shocker!).

And yeah, there's also the thing where we've decided "clean" smells like chemicals, and we're used to different smells now than we used to be, and the definition of "clean" has varied widely throughout history and between and within cultures. "Cleanliness" is not an absolute moral imperative, unless you believe absolute moral imperatives are subject to change?

Cassie

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #46 on: April 15, 2014, 04:58:52 PM »
My first hubby never smelled no matter how long he went in between showers but I would. Also now that I live in a dry climate it is very different from humid. In a humid climate during summer you might take 2 showers a day to feel clean.

LucyBIT

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2014, 11:54:50 AM »
In a humid climate during summer you might take 2 showers a day to feel clean.

LOL when I first moved from Colorado to Indiana for university, I did indeed take 2 showers a day until I got used to the humidity :)

oldtoyota

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #48 on: April 17, 2014, 02:33:20 PM »
I was in CO recently and thinking about this very post. I left clothing out to dry and it was dry in hours. My skin was dry. My nose was dry. My clothes were dry. Everything in CO is dry.

Um, it doesn't work like that back home.


soccerluvof4

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Re: Are You Cleaning Out Your Own Wallet?
« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2014, 03:15:53 PM »
This is one of those areas where we do the best we can buy making most our own cleaning supplies and have cut all Grocery shopping products including personal hygiene products from probably 350 a week for a active Family of 6 to ave 180$ a week.  We reduce shower times but with 4 kids in sports practicing nearly everyday there is no way we cant shower for the most part everyday. I probably 4 or 5 out of 7 but again sometimes its about trade-offs.