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hankie versus tissue  RSS feed

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Um, this seems like a borderline topic, but with swine flu out and about, I thought I'd pose the question here and see what folks think.

Someone I know just found oodles of fancy hankies and is wondering what to do with them. She's going to use some to wrap holiday gifts, but didn't at all suggest using them for what they are made for. That got me thinking.

Some folks actually do use hankies, or bandanas, instead of throw-away tissues. I’m so used to feeling more sanitary with the disposable tissues that I'm admittedly balking about switching to cloth in this case.

Can a person use a hankie (um, perhaps more than once before washing) and still feel sanitary? Or, do you use them differently if your nose runs due to cold, wind or dust as opposed to a virus?

If you use them, how many hankies do you keep on hand?
(I’m thinking about my son who gets on these allergy kicks where the laundry would seriously start to pile up…)

I use cloth napkins for most of my meals at home. It makes sense to me, I enjoy it, and a few napkins fit in with a load of towels without adding to the electric or water bills really at all. I don’t have to buy or throw away paper and the time to fold is negligible in my book. This adds up to mean cloth napkins are more eco than paper in my world.

But those cloth hankies…hmmm….gross? eco?
 
                          
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Location: Marrakai Northern Territory Australia
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just think what goes into a hankie, then back into your pocket/bag to roll around with keys small change ect, then you pop it in the wash with your other washing YUK

keep to tissues, plant a tree a year to replace the one you've blown on

Bird
 
                                
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I carry a bandana in my hip pocket all the time. I use it for a sweat rag and other things like loosening a lid or something. Once I've blowed my nose on it big time, I leave it in the pocket and change it out for a clean one when I can. I have about 11-12 that are kept clean and ready to go.
 
                          
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Location: Northern California
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I use a handkerchief most of the time. I'll switch to paper tissues if I'm so sick or allergic that I can't wash the handkerchiefs fast enough to keep up with my nose. And I tend to use them thoroughly before washing them--sometimes I soak them in hot soapy water by hand and sometimes they go into the machine with a hot-wash load.

(I'm also a bidet and cloth user by preference--I just finished the single roll of toilet paper I got six months ago when I started that practice. I think cloth is perfectly hygienic for many more uses than our culture generally supposes, at least when properly washed and dried between uses.)
 
Ken Peavey
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A tissue won't hold up in the environments and conditions in which I work.  A rag will wipe sweat, clean glasses, wipe your hands, clean your tools, hold small parts.  Ain't nothing sanitary about what I do and where I do it.  I can loop a rag in my belt, grab it up when I need, tuck it away easy and do it while wearing leather gloves.
 
Leah Sattler
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to me a hanky or bandana is fine for uses other then mucus collection! I really can't see using a hanky for blowing my nose. but, I have rather persistent nasal congestion right now so my judgment may be clouded. I just use toilet tissue. generally cheaper, or it at least feels that way. I haven't actually sat down and figured square footage cost of facial tissue vs. toilet tissue. I have been making it a point to have some nicer toilet tissue around for my delicate nose. I usually buy the cheapo deapo stuff but my nose was protesting. I'm with the plant a tree to make up for it folks!
 
                              
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If someone is suffering from a cold, the flu or major allergies, a cloth hankie isn't gonna be too nice after a little while so a box of tissues is probably a better choice.  As for something to carry in your pocket just in case (to dry tears, wipe sweat, catch a random sneeze and blow your nose after such events) makes more sense.  A tissue doesn't survive long in a pocket or bag and usually becomes a shredded mess and useless before being used.  Even those little packets of travel tissues are rarely in good shape after being battered around for a while and often get tossed out instead of used unless the carrier has a sinus or allergy problem that keeps them replaced regularly.

So it depends on the situation of course, as with just about everything else.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Water is scarce enough here, that I feel better using paper tissues & napkins.

I compost them all.
 
T. Joy
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I go back and forth on this issue. After getting stuck with only one hanky in pocket and all three of us with runny winter noses I opted for packs of tissues but I just never feel very good about that. When I get more organized I'll stitch a small pack of hankies up for each of us with a wetbag pocket attached to put the used ones into. When completely used up that will take so little room in the laundry as to be negligable, bag included. If we all have 2 sets that should do us, they can be colour coded as well. Easy peasy for a girl with stitchy skills and an afternoon of free time on her hands. Until then, tissues it is  .
 
Chris Fitt
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Location: Eastern Shore VA
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I use a hankie for what you general mucus extraction.  I fold it differently so it drys and stays clean somewhat.  I don't really have a lot of mucus in general.  My partner does have allergies and she uses both.  Kind of depends on the laundry cycle or where we are.  We live in a dry dusty climate, so it is less snot per blow.
 
Brice Moss
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when I was a kid running around the wood with the chronic sinus things an old fashioned cloth diaper folded into a pocket would let me blow all day without becoming troublesome

but I stand a little differently on the sanitation issue than most being a strong believer that exposure to germs at a reasonable level is a big part of building a healthy immune response

so long as you're not sharing it I don't think you have anything to fear from your own germs
 
Bob Carder
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Location: Tasmania, Australia
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brice Moss wrote:
so long as you're not sharing it I don't think you have anything to fear from your own germs


My feelings exactly. I'm amazed to see so many people siding with tissues.

Always have a hanky in my pocket. After all what I've just blown out was inside me, a part of me, I'm not about to start fearing it 
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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I always use a hanky. Your own germs can't cause any problems for you, and hankies are softer on your nose and more eco-friendly than tissues. Also, you know that if you have hankies you are immune to tissue shortages. 
 
T. Joy
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Your pocket and hands are a mess of germs when you use hankies. Something to think about when you have kids, especially one who still sucks her thumb 
 
                          
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Hankie.  The wife and I share germs.  I accept that.

I fold my handkerchiefs in half, then again to make a strip 1/4 the height of the bandana.  Then I fold that in half, and then that into thirds, with the hemmed edge in.  When I use it, I unfold the thirds, open a fold in the layers, and blow.  Then I close it up with the product on the inside.  I keep my earplugs, change, and wallet in my front left.  Front right has utility knife, leatherman, flashlight, adjustable wrench, and keys with whistle.  Back left is for the business card holder.  Back right is for the handkerchief.  This reduces how much time it spends with other stuff. 

If I'm actually sick, I may carry two of them.  Then all bets of sanitation are off, regardless of the cloth v. paper issue.

Or I can tilt my head to the side, push the lower nostril shut, and blow.  Then tilt the other way.

Dan

 
Walter Jeffries
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I prefer cloth.
 
Kirk Hutchison
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Germs are inevitable. May as well develop immunities now instead of being vulnerable when I'm old.
 
                              
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Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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ll might like this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_mucus
AdvantagesAccording to Dr. Friedrich Bischinger, a lung specialist in Austria, those who eat their boogers are happy and in tune with their bodies[1] and also suggests that booger eating is one of the best ways to stay healthy.[9] He encourages booger eating and says, "Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do ... When this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine" due to the antiseptics and antibodies contained within the mucus.[9]

Jane Stephenson compares boogers to vaccines. She says the germs in dried nasal mucus are already dead or weakened and once absorbed through digestion, they help the immune system produce antibodies which fight infection having the same effect as a vaccine. She speculates that children who participate in booger eating may be healthier than those who do not because their immune systems are building off of the ingested germs.[9] Maria Portalatin delves further into immune system benefits with more depth. She claims that ingested mucus stimulates B-lymphocytes which produce antibodies to fight infection. The more the immune system is exposed to nasal mucus, the more effective the antibodies are in recognizing antigens. She concludes, "... as a result, the immune response is improved and becomes increasingly faster."[1]
 
T. Joy
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Oh, ugh. I just threw up in my mouth a little... 
 
                              
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Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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heh heh!
 
Bucks Brandon
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Location: Bucks County, Pennsylvania [zone 6]
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I'm a big cotton hankie user. It's part of my daily pocket "gear" and has been for years. My findings:
-it's great to have something that doesn't fall apart in your hands when you gotta blow your nose.
-an extra hankie makes a great "change purse" for men who don't like loose change in your jeans. Open it up and make a "pocket" in the middle, twist the hank around it and you've got your purse. If a hankie is doing change duty, i DO NOT use it to blow my nose.
-When sick I generally carry two or more, and supplement with regular tissues.
-larger bandannas are a whole different category of usefulness... dust mask, sweat band, sun protection for head and/or neck, expedient filter, etc, etc....
-I usually fold my hanks into a pretty small square [four folds in half], which with some refolding can yield alot of fresh uses!

...hope this isn't too personal - but you asked....
whenever outside and by myself/with close friends or family and I've got a runny nose - standard operating procedure is to cover one nostril and "snot rocket" onto the ground, followed by the other side. Then the hankie is used for a final blow and wipe to make sure I'm not gross.
 
                    
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Location: Asheville, NC USA
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Love how this thread started off seemingly pro-tissue, which surprised me a bit, but wasn't a shock either. Then ended more on the pro-hanky side.

There's a lot more to the manufacturing of tissues than just the involvement of a tree, so -as noble a deed- to simply plant a tree in exchange for the use of tissues seems to me a bit off-balance. Not that I don't use toilet tissue paper -I will use lambs ear or mullein when available sometimes- or that I don't plant trees!, I just don't feel by planting a tree I make up for it. Just saying.. no offense intended. We all choose our battles.

When it comes down to it, for me, it's the hanky all-the-way. Particularly when I am sick! I find that when I have a cold, I can go through many boxes of tissues and destroy my nose in the process. It seems my nose prefers the hanky to the tissue -which dries up my skin. When I'm sick, I just rotate the hankies as needed, washing the used ones in hot water with some soap and hanging them to dry.. they usually dry very quick. Sometimes if the cold is real bad and my nose is feeling it, I'll use the wet hankies which feel soothing.

I'm with many other posters. I have one handy all the time, keeping it in my back pocket. I use it as a dust mask, sun and neck protection, wipe my hands, blow my nose... and so forth (working outdoors for a living, I also use the "snot-rocket" method, then clean residual with hanky). Even after I blow my nose, it goes right back in my pocket. I'm not concerned about sanitation. Anyone I'm going to be close to is going to be exposed, hanky or not (especially my 15 month daughter who I'm holding all-the-time and is giving me kisses). And I'm certainly not afraid of my own mucus. I think sanitation has only become such a  big issue for people is because it sells lots of products. It's very profitable to have people fear something so natural as "germs".

Having a hanky in my pocket is as important and handy as a pocket knife.. always have one on me.
 
                    
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Location: Asheville, NC USA
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also a thought about sanitation. I notice that tissue users are more likely to leave dirty tissues laying around than hanky users are.. who usually put them back in their pocket.
 
Thea Olsen
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I use hankies almost all the time, and don't see how they'd be less sanitary that tissues.  I think most of the time my hands stay cleaner using a hankie because it's thicker.  Even during cold or allergy season, they're so small they don't add much bulk to the laundry.  Most of the time I find them gentler on my nose, although every couple of years or so I get a cold so bad my hankie supply/laundry habits can't keep up and I get some of those awful chemically lotion tissues.
 
mary beth rew
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fascinating discussion. i am glad to see many hankie and even family cloth (cloth t.p.) users among us. i think planting a tree to offset the tp/paper towels/napkins/tissues i use does not quite jive for me, so much of that whole industrial paper system is such a disaster (pollution, deforestation, water and energy use), i don't want to spend money on it. personally i use cloth everything, and that includes cloth diapers for my son, cloth menstrual pads, "family cloth" (t.p.), cloth for nose wiping, cloth for counter wiping, cloth for face wiping at the table. it all gets washed together. i think something about cloth diapering really turns people on to this idea, once they realize they can easily deal with the yuck/germ factor with their kid's poop, the rest is all much less intimidating. i am lucky i rarely need tissues, but when i do i grab a square of our family cloth (organic cotton is so much less scary/gross than all the chemicals used in making paper...) and tend to be single-use with it, but that's easy for me since i've made quite a stash of squares so i never have to use them multiple times. not that i wouldn't, but i'm not really much of a germaphobe. i recently saw a crafty person come up with a "hanky book" which was a book of small cloth squares, and you could blow your nose between the pages consecutively before you toss the whole book in the wash. more high tech than i need, but it seemed like a cool idea if one really suffered from allergies or something like that.
 
T. Joy
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I made a ton of these for craft shows this summer, they are for travel packages of paper tissues but I'll be making some hankies out of an old pillow case for the kids and I to fold up and put into ours. I think these things are super cute. Oh, and I'll make a small pouch to put the used ones into.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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I LOVE this forum.  Frugality and becoming debt free are two of the things most dear to my heart.  I believe that they can solve virtually all of our problems.  However, I agree with some of the above posters - I'll plant a tree and compost my tissues to replace the ones I have destroyed by using tissue.
 
mary beth rew
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those are cute, crafty!
Photo594.jpg
[Thumbnail for Photo594.jpg]
 
Becky Pinaz
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This thread made for some interesting (and funny) reading! I keep wishing that there was a "Like" button to click the way there is on facebook.

Eating boogers is healthy? ROFL
 
                        
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I learned that as a kid and still practice it    Maybe I'm gross!  I feel like washing a hankie every time I do the laundry takes up so little space, and it's rarely "too" gross by the time I do a load of wash.
 
Paula Edwards
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I only use tissues when I forget a hankie. If you have to use a tissue very often your nose gets signal red, with a hankie only res. And it is certainly not a water issue as some hankies hardly take any space int the machine.
 
Joshua Chambers
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I almost always carry a hankie.  My back left pocket holds it.  Clean in the morning, unless I'm seriously snotty, like sick, then one is fine for a day.  You can blow your nose in it, wrap it up and stuff it in your pocket QUITE a few times before it starts to seem snotty, and it dries quickly so you can use it lots if you need to.  If you're out and about, in the summer time you can rinse it off in a hose and hang it briefly to dry if it gets really really snotty.

I highly recommend hankies!
--Joshua
 
Christina Darling
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My daddy always used a hankie as did my grandma. I love pretty embroidered hankies. They seem so very ladylike. Better than a sleeve.    Whenever I'm in the bathroom and washing my hands, I blow my nose into my wet hands and then rinse and wash. Down the sink it goes!
 
Christina Darling
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I mean, afterall, humans have been blowing their noses in handkerchiefs for quite a while and have survived. Remember all the old movies where the girl was crying and the guy offered her his (clean we hope) handkerchief. So chivelrous. 
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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I found this in a paper that is on the reading list from the permaculture institute.  This section is describing the hygiene of native American people as compared to the hygiene of the early Spanish and French explorers.  I thought it was comically relevant to this thread:

"As for the Indians, evidence suggests that they often viewed Europeans with disdain. The Hurons, a chagrined missionary reported, thought the French possessed "little intelligence in comparison to themselves." Europeans, Indians said, were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain dirty. (Spaniards, who seldom if ever bathed, were amazed by the Aztec desire for personal cleanliness.) A Jesuit reported that the "Savages" were disgusted by handkerchiefs: "They say, we place what is unclean in a fine white piece of linen, and put it away in our pockets as something very precious, while they throw it upon the ground."
 
Dave Muckle
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JRTgirl wrote:
I mean, afterall, humans have been blowing their noses in handkerchiefs for quite a while and have survived.


Did they survive?  It seems to me that back in the days before disposable tissues, disease and plagues were much more widespread.  Of course I'm not blaming the handkerchief entirely, but now that you brought it up... I can think of a number of ways it may not have been advantageous.

---------------

I, too, use the snot-rocket technique when working outside.  I am no fan of handkerchiefs being used for snot.
 
Suzy Bean
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Whenever I use a baby wipe for something other than something icky--like when I take babywipe "spongebaths" in the back country--I later throw them in the wash. I keep a stash of the clean used ones for whenever I get a cold. Besides needing less tissue paper, they are much softer on the nose--so I don't get red and raw!
 
                    
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Location: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
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T. Joy wrote:
Your pocket and hands are a mess of germs when you use hankies. Something to think about when you have kids, especially one who still sucks her thumb 


^THAT^

You would be constantly washing up to keep OTHER people protected from whatever your particular yuck is. How many people are that vigilant? If you are, well done. If you aren't... something to think about.
 
                                                                    
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Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
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I take out a new hanky every morning and keep it with me in my pocket.
We used tissues like crazy up until the banker raid of 2008.
I like the hanky much better.
 
Carina Robicheaux
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Location: Oregon Coast Range zone 8b
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Hankie for sure, unless I forget it. Usually it lives in my coat pocket, while my other useful stuff lives in pants pockets. Tissue seems unable to keep structural integrity with the quantity of mucus I can produce. My hand gets slimy using tissue.
I'm down with the snot rocket, which is common cultural practice here, though sometimes I find the viscosity is too high with the velocity too low (=messy). I have about 10 hankies and change as needed (folding helps, as others have mentioned)
Toilet paper is on my list of top ten favorite things about society, and I consider it a waste to use tissue for non-stinky things.
 
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