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Fun Fact: early in my career, I worked for a beauty and skincare chemist. I learned a ton from him about the beauty and skincare industry - and a fair chunk of it is kind of terrifying.


I'm not going to get into it because I'd be here all day ranting about breast cancer ribbons, deodorant, baby soap, and farm fresh eggs. And how noooobodyyyyy cleans properly. Like Nobody.

Like a massive amount of the industry depends on how poorly we understand hygiene. Sorry. I said I wasn't gonna get into it...

What I *aaaam* going to do is turn the mic to Reddit. Proud_Silver1576 asked:

What is a hygiene tip/trick that everyone should know?

And you know how you read these Reddit list articles and you ask yourself "OK but does whoever they paid to put this list together even know what they're talking about or are they just picking responses at random or what?"

Welp, if you wanted an article compiled by a writer who is passionate about this one weirdly-specific bit of knowledge, I'm definitely your gal. So let's get into it.

And then go clean something.

The Smell

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"Floss your teeth. If not daily, at least a couple of times a week. Why? Go floss them & smell that floss. That sewage smell? It's from the food rotting between your teeth." - JeF4y

"If your breath still reeks to high heaven, take a light and look at your tonsils."

"You might have tonsil stones, which are deposits of things that get stuck in your tonsil creases. They look like white little lumps that can be poked out with a toothbrush or finger (depends on your gag reflex)."

"They're not harmful per se, but they stink horribly and definitely aren't helping your situation." - PlethoraOfSquids

"I resisted flossing my teeth for so long, only doing it when I could see or feel something between my teeth."

"Then one day when I was 31 I finally flossed everywhere just to see what else was lurking in my mouth, and UGH, it smelled awful, like an old person on the verge of death."

"Now I floss at least 3-4 times a week, if not every day. I do not want that death smell in my mouth." - VisualCelery

Really Wash It

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"Washing my hairbrush. I used to just get rid of the excess hair but that was it: I never rinsed it out. I wash it in a mild soap solution and rinse in very hot water and it makes my hair smell so much better." - IrishAmerican

"I did this the other day, I was pretty grossed out by how dirty the water was afterwards." - spitfire07

"Omg. Bc of product buildup, natural oils, dry scalp, wtf I'm doing this tomorrow thank you! Seems like common sense that a brush would need cleaning too 😂" - rayne-drops

A Safe Sexytime Shower

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"If you have plans to shower before sexy time, guys, know that a vag is a sensitive thing, and although some guy-marketed body washes smell amazing, the "smell good" ingredients can be really irritating for her during and afterward. Look for something unscented." - rach_jeffries

"Also, anything with a "cooling effect" or eucalyptus or menthol is a big no-no. Even if it doesn't burn on your penis, it can still sting in the vagina." - yeetingsmillenials

"And ladies, if you are sexually active and struggle with recurring UTIs or yeast infections, ask some questions about your partner's hygiene. Having them wash any bits that touch yours with hypoallergenic soap could help." - hananobira

Nasty

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"Occasionally wipe down your doorknobs and light switches."

"When I was a maid I'd clean people's light switches and they'd be covered is brown gunk because they'd never been cleaned before. We touch them multiple times every day. They get nasty." - yarnfrog

"At the start of the plague I deep cleaned the office."

"The worst part was the door. Not the handle but the door itself, because everyone touches the same spot to hold it open when they pull their key out."

"Also the armrests on chairs. I swear I went home and took two showers from how nasty it all was." - shiguywhy

Feet Aren't Magic

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"Wash your feet!"

"Most people I know seem to believe their feet magically become clean from having soapy water run down them while they are showering. That is NOT the case!"

"You really need to wash your feet. Also a good idea to take a pumice or foot file to calluses and use a hard nail brush for toenails."

"Keeping your feet clean will prevent a lot of problems, particularly with fungus. Funguses live and thrive on dead skin cells so if you have toenail fungus you will have a really hard time getting rid of it till you get rid of dead skin around the nails!" - internet_commie

When Your Brand Changes

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"If your body odor starts to get REALLY STRONG out of the blue it can indicate some health issues."

"Slightly sweet, fruity/funky odor? Could be presence of excessive ketones in your blood. You might even notice it on your breath as well."

"If you're on low carb diet or on a weightloss regimen, this is relatively normal. If not... time to ask your Dr to do an A1C to check for diabetes. Ketoacidosis is no bueno."

"Smelling like fresh-baked bread? Wash yo sh*t."

"Change the bedsheets, scrub your mattress, wash your pillows. Especially wash the office chair you've been sitting in during this whole pandemic."

"You've been building up a yeasty sourdough starter. Alternatively, could also be due to the fact that you're eating toooo much bread and your gut is starting to grow its own yeast buildup."

"Also having excessive blood sugar/ketones due to diabetes can promote yeast growth on your skin."

"Low vitamin C, Zinc and Magnesium are also known to negatively influence your body odor as well."

"With the exception of diabetic ketoacidosis, these symptoms aren't immediately worrisome or direct indicators of a serious issue. Just something to keep in mind if you start to notice other symptoms popping up that may lead to a potential underlying issue."

"It's also worth mentioning that everyone had their own "brand" whether they like it or not. The thing that's important to note is what it smells like when it changes." - Campbellschunkycyst

Scrub

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"Soap up a rag and actually scrub at smelly areas."

"After about 5 years of my wife complaining about how she always smells and sweats (I never noticed) during a joint shower I did it to her and the next day she said 'I never knew scrubbing was a needed thing…it worked wonders today, I always just lathered and rinsed!' " - neo_sporin

"I didn't for pretty much all my adolescence and most of my 20s."

"I think it's how I was taught to bathe, but once my mom was confident I was old enough to not drown, I was left to my own devices and just got lazy I guess."

"Finally read a comment thread similar to this one and thought 'okay, I'll try it.' Felt so much better after my next shower!" - Felix-Goldenrod

The Truth About That Vinegar Wash

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"Chemist here. Vinegar is an acid. Soaps are bases."

"Everyone raves about how adding vinegar to your wash gets things cleaner and brighter. All that is happening is that you are neutralizing some of your soap."

"Most people in the US use way more detergent than needed. And when you do, it doesn't all get washed off. That leaves a film that can then attract extra dirt. Now instead of your clothes being dirty with your scum, they're dirty with leftover soapscrum and it attracts all the scum."

"Another, cheaper, way to get the same effect you are experiencing is to cut the amount of detergent you use to like a third what the manufacturer recommends."

"Oh and towels seem extra sensitive to this. I will do a vinegar-only wash on my bath towels every few months. Helps get rid of musty smells developing and makes them softer and more absorbent." - quiltingbean

Bidet Buddies

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"Buy a bidet. If you're thinking at all about buying a bidet- just buy one. Buy a f*cking bidet."

"They make ones you can install in about 20 minutes. Just get a bidet.:

"You don't think you need a bidet? You need a bidet."

"Not sure about if you need a bidet? You need a bidet."

"Already got a bidet? Buy your buddy a bidet." - seasaltmaple

Now then ... everyone got all that?

Go. Wash. Something.

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