Getting Clean Through Good Personal Hygiene

With Good Personal Hygiene, Our Body Odor Can Be Pleasurably Unique!

A dog's nose can recognize any individual smell.

 

Without it, we can be pretty foul and funky!  Every one of us has a unique, natural smell.  Our pets can identify us through the odors we give off – even though our noses aren’t tuned in well enough to detect the differences in each other – unless our scent gets extraordinarily pungent and overpowering.   So, let’s get with the “good personal hygiene” program!

We get dirty and need to clean ourselves.

When we get dirty, grimy, and sweaty – when our bodily functions expel liquids and solids – we offer the natural bacteria that hang around on our bodies an abundant source of proteins and sugars that they flock to.  Those sources could be located just about anywhere and everywhere – feet, groin, armpits, hair (both on our heads and between our legs), belly button, around our ears (especially behind them), in, on, and around our unmentionable parts – and, even other skin surfaces to some extent.

Bacteria love to eat sweaty protein and sugar.

After feeding on the proteins and sugars they discover, these bacteria excrete acid waste on us.  That’s right!  They actually deposit bacteria poop on us!  And, that waste will soon turn us into a mass of putrid, rancid stench that even our lovin’ momma would not appreciate!

Peeeeee – Yeeeeeewwwwwww!!!

 

Personal Hygiene Over The Centuries

Most four-legged animals practice bathing with regularity.

 

For millions of years, most four-legged animals have practiced bathing with regularity.

But, we humans have only been actually cleaning our bodies with soap and water for a few millennia – a tiny scrap of time in the grand scheme of things.

 

 

Soap is a new invention - only 5,000 years ago.

Soap didn’t make an appearance until about 5,000 years ago,  Until then, cleanliness was limited to a dunking in water, being scrubbed with pieces of clay or sand – and getting anointed with one of several oils to preserve the skin – and to mask the odoriferous, fetid fragrance that was left over.

The Egyptians made a crude soap by mixing animal and vegetable oils with a derivative form of baking soda – soda ash.  It was better than nothing.

Skunks smell better than folks who only bathe 1 or 2 times a year.

Before the 1700’s rolled around it was common for folks to go 6 months or even a year without bathing.  I bet even a skunk smelled better than them!

It wasn’t until the late 18th and early 19th century that everyone came to the realization that frequent cleaning of the body promoted better health – much less better overall hygiene.

In the mid 1800’s, a controversial assumption was made by Ignaz Semmelweis that germs caused disease.  This went against the grain of the entire medical profession.

Until Semmelweis’ hypothesis was accepted as fact in the late 1800’s, doctors didn’t even wash their hands before surgery!  They were wondrous at how much infection rates decreased after they adopted a cleaner, more hygienic practice.

Imagine that!  And, they called themselves doctors!  Gawd!

 

All God’s Creatures BatheA dog waiting for his bath.

Getting the body clean is a ritual performed by every 2 and 4 legged critter on earth!  And, it’s not just about the smell.  It’s also about getting rid of dirt – and grime – and dead skin cells – all of which can lead to health problems if left unattended.

It’s ingrained in the nature of all mammals to rid their bodies of skin toxins and irritants – as well as disease causing bacteria and germs.

 

Getting Clean – The Basics

A shower is the preferred method for attaining a clean body – because, all the dirt and soap scum can be easily washed away – something that isn’t possible in bath water.

By all means, enjoy soaking in a bathtub full of hot, sudsy water – but, when it comes to getting the grit and grime and soap scum off, a trip into the shower is definitely warranted.

A QUICK NOTE

Grungy, scummy, gray lookin’ showers, shower curtains, and bathtubs do not make for good places in which to get your body clean.  Scrub them down – remove all the grime – and get them back to their natural color.  Remember – all that accumulated dirt came from the bodies that were washed in there.  And, if the shower or bathtub isn’t clean – you won’t get clean either!

We feel clean when we wash in a clean bathroom.

  • Wash your hair with a quality shampoo and conditioner. After rinsing out the shampoo, apply the conditioner and let it soak in while you clean the rest of your body – then rinse it out of your hair as you rinse your body.

NOTE

Conditioners are needed to make hair softer, more manageable, and more hydrated.  Without the conditioner, hair will dry out quickly and have that fly away look – and, in winter, conditioner will prevent hair from being damaged.

  • Use regular soap or antibacterial soap. Truthfully, either one is fine.  I like using body wash like Irish Spring or Nivea – my wife loves the Nivea Orange Blossom scented body wash.  They are easy and efficient – and surprisingly economical if used correctly.  Plus, they leave a fresh scent that lasts for hours and hours.
  • Wet your body down before soaping up.

TIP

To save water, shut off the shower head while performing the next step.  I have an on / off valve located above my shower head – making it easy to turn the water off and on without changing the water temperature.

Use a wash cloth to clean your body with soap and water.

  • Use a wet, soapy wash cloth to scrub your entire body. Always use a wash rag.  Never just apply soap directly and rub it in with your hands – you will never get completely clean.  Wash all the body’s cracks, crevices, and crannies – leaving no place untouched.  Don’t forget those places like your belly button, places south of the belly button (front and back), between your toes, and up north – under those armpits and behind your ears.  They are all great places for stink causing bacteria to thrive.
  • Thoroughly rinse everything – from top to bottom – inside and out.

Use only fresh, clean towels to dry off with.

  • Dry your body using a fresh, clean bath towel – each and every time. The thicker the towel, the better and more absorbent.  HERE’S A GINORMOUSLY BIG TIP:  Never used yesterday’s towel – or last week’s towel.  Why?  Because every time you dry off, your towel is also capturing naturally secreted body oils and bacteria from your skin.  Those oils go sour quickly with those bacteria munching on the body oils in a wet towel.  It happens almost immediately.  And, using a towel a second or third time before washing it will put that sour, nasty smelling odor back onto that nice clean body – which defeats the purpose of taking a shower.  You may not smell it – but, watch how folks react to you when you get close to them in public.  Do they back off?  Do they hurriedly excuse themselves – trying to get away from you?
  • Don’t forget the deodorant! A lot of folks use baking soda – and that works for some.  But, for those who are prone to getting dirty easily or sweating a lot, a strong, long lasting deodorant is crucial.  The best I’ve found is Mitchum – not just for the armpits – but, for anyplace that bacteria can grow and proliferate.  Get the picture?  Mitchum for ladies is available, too!

Only put clean clothes on a clean body.

  • Finally, get dressed using only fresh, clean clothes. Don’t put on any clothes that you wore BEFORE you took a shower.  They may smell like roses to you but, I double-dawg guarantee that they won’t smell fine to people around you!  If you throw all your clothes in a pile and don’t know which ones are clean and which ones are dirty, you can assume that they ALL are dirty!  Find clothes to wear that you know for sure are 100% clean.  You don’t want the nickname, “Stinky”, do you?  I’ve known a few “Stinky” folks over the years.  I could tell you a few true stories – but, don’t get me started – that’s for another time and place.

 

Leaving You With A Poem

 

Ode To Cleanliness
by Noah

Dirty towels and wash cloths piled on the floor.

Please understand – I’m not tryin’ to be mean.

But, when you bathe, dry off with a towel that’s fresh and clean.

 

Drying off with a towel that’s been used before

Smears you with juicy oils previously removed – and more.

 

Those “yesterday” oils will ferment, get ripe, and smell sour, you see.

So, with that dirty towel, you contaminate your clean body, don’t you agree?

 

Taking a shower or bath should make you feel fresh and flirty.

Don’t ruin it by smearing your body with something stinky and dirty.

 

Adding some deodorant in the moist, dark places is also a good thing.

It keeps odor-causing bacteria from having a place to dance and sing.

 

There is another thought, too, as the saying goes…

Make sure that your clean body gets covered with ONLY clean clothes.

 

If you faithfully follow each tip and trick,

Chances are good that people will like you much more – pretty quick.

Don't get the nickname "Stinky" - stay clean and healthy.

 

You may be used to your own rancid smell throughout your lifetime.

But, other folks smelling you may hold their nose – and look for a wall to climb.

 

So, give them a break and take care of all these things – though unseen.

And, you will be rewarded for your excellent hygiene!

 

Now, go forth – be confident – with your sanitary self!

‘Cause you’ve just learned another way to boost your health!

 

Lookin’ for comments – feel free to respond below or by email: noah@apathtoabetterlife.com!

 

Noah

Lookin’ on the lightside!

8 thoughts on “Getting Clean Through Good Personal Hygiene

  1. Bryan Reply

    Hey Noah!

    Great article & very informative. I had no idea that using the same towel multiple times was so detrimental for your hygiene, That is a mistake i definitely won’t make again!

    This may be a dumb question, But is there a benefit to cold or hot showers in conjunction with bacteria elimination as well? Or is that just a matter of personal preference?

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    Bryan

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Hi Bryan,

      Using the same towel over and over again without cleaning it is not only detrimental to your hygiene – but, it’s injurious to other folks if they get close enough to the perpetrator – and they experience a whiff of the sour bouquet permeating their immediate vicinity.

      Hot water helps to open the skin pores and allow a more thorough cleaning of the body during a shower.  After rinsing off the soap, using cool or cold water will close the pores and help keep the clean freshness intact within the body.

      There’s an old saying, “Never the hot without the cold.”  Both are a necessary part of a successful body cleansing.

      Noah

  2. Babsie Wagner Reply

    I would really really love to show a few friends your article, lol.  I have a wonderful group of Deadhead friends who do nothing but follow the Dead around.  Now the Grateful Dead is gone with the passing of Jerry, and so things have changed quite a bit in their world, but they still find other “festies” and the Dead & Company concerts to go to.  Anyway, they always come and stay with me when they are on the road and a concert is nearby, in their ’69 VW bus, I’m not even kidding.  

    The problem is that my family wishes they wouldn’t.  I try, I really do, I try to offer them the shower, a hot bath, ANYTHING to get them to bathe, but they just don’t want to.  They smell SO BAD.  OMG.  I don’t know why they don’t realize how bad they smell, and I’m two couples, four people.  Yuck.  It is terrible.  Ha ha.  

    They usually only spend one or two nights, and thankfully they are out and about for most of their visit, but I love them so much, I don’t have the heart to turn them away when they are in town.  It’s usually only once a year, sometimes twice.  Anyway, maybe I should just have your page open on my computer the next time they come to visit?

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Hi Babsie,

      It’s been a long time since I thought about the Grateful Dead – since Jerry Garcia died over 20 years ago.  My favorite Grateful Dead songs – Truckin’ – Casey Jones – and a few others.  Those were the days!

      But, your Deadhead friends definitely need to learn some personal hygiene!  I’m not sure I would be as tolerant about their offensive odors as you have been.  Good luck with that!  I’m sure that they leave behind a bit of unpleasant tanginess that lasts for a while during their absence!

      😉

      Noah

  3. Mahin Al Banna Reply

    Hey Noah,

    This is a unique and informative article I must say. It’s true that every one of us has a unique body smell and our pets and dear ones can easily identify us by that. But sometimes body smell can be so stinky and annoying. So maintaining personal hygiene is very important. I liked that you have given such helpful tips on this matter.  Moreover I loved your poem on cleanliness which motivated me a lot.

    I will be looking forward to get more articles like this from you. Thank you very much.

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Hi Mahin,

      I’m glad you liked the poem.  It really drives the point home that we all should pay close attention to keeping our body smells in the “pleasant zone.”

      Stay tuned for more – on the horizon.

      Noah

  4. Stella Reply

    I wonder how those ancient folks managed to perform their day-to-day activities without bathing regularly. If I don’t take my bath every day, that is, in the morning before I leave for work and at night before I go to bed, I wouldn’t be comfortable. Cleanliness is not only next to godliness but also next to healthy life. There is nothing that can be compared to a healthy, clean hygiene.

    You are very correct, a used towel gives off an awful odor which when used over again can make the body stink. I love to keep my body fresh and clean smelling. This is an interesting review about personal hygiene. Well done.

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Hi Stella,

      Ancient people became so used to the stink that they didn’t even notice it – especially, since the folks around them smelled just as bad.  But, today, since most of us clean ourselves regularly, the stinky ones are much more noticeable and stand out like a sore thumb!

      Noah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *