12 Highly Debated Hygiene Conundrums, Demystified

Must I wash jeans? Can I share soap? How about double dipping?

November 8, 2016 9:00 am

You’ve got the clothes, the cologne and the hair products to look clean.

But you still pull your phone out when you take a sh*t. That’s a problem.

To lend you a helping (and recently washed) hand with hygiene, here’s a definitive guide to navigating 12 conundrums every man has at some point pondered in the shower.

Do I need to wash out my coffee mug?
No, as long as you’re the only one using it.

Is double dipping that big of an issue?
No. If you’re hanging out with friends, tell your germaphobic pal that dip already has bacteria. Although if you’re at the office party, no need to cause unnecessary double-dip drama.

Can I share my toothbrush with my [insert sexual partner here]?
No. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been married. Gums bleed, so you’re basically rubbing their blood into your mouth.

The founder of Levis said I can stop washing my jeans. Should I listen?
He sort of said that, but you should wash them every 2-6 months depending on whether or not they smell. Always hang-dry.

I love a good Q-tip swab after a shower. Those don’t really hurt your ears, do they?
Yes they do! Stop using them immediately! If you want to avoid rupturing an eardrum, wash the surface of your ears in the shower with a soft washcloth and soap. Remember to clean behind them, too.

Can I turn a condom inside-out and then reuse it?

Does using my phone on the throne make it any dirtier than it already is?
Yes. Deep down you know you shouldn’t be tweeting and sh*tting, but you still do it. Think about it like this: you wash your hands after using the bathroom, but you never wash your iPhone. Keep it in your pocket; don’t be one of the 16% with a fecal phone.

Is it hygienic to share a bar of soap?
No. Despite being soap, the bar form can transfer disease. The Centers for Disease Control recommend going liquid.

Do I need to immediately wash my hands after taking public transportation?
No, unless you ride the New York City subway. Travelmath studied public transportation cleanliness in five major U.S. cities, concluding “that, aside from the New York subway, public transit may not be teeming with as much bacteria as you may think.”

I don’t have my deodorant. Can I use my buddy’s?
Sure, as long as you’re fine rubbing someone else’s hair and skin cells all over your underarms and neither of you have any infections. This is a one-time-only thing, though. Get your own stick.

How often should I wash my sheets?
Every 1-2 weeks. But if you sleep in the nude, you’re probably not washing them enough.

May I yell at that guy who doesn’t wash his hands in the bathroom?
Yes. Someone needs to, because most people are not washing their hands at all. We don’t expect you to hum “Happy Birthday” twice, as the CDC recommends, but if you’re an adult, you can remember Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse and Dry. It’s time.

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