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?
(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.)
So it depends on the situation of course, as with just about everything else.
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
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
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.
AdvantagesAccording to Dr. Friedrich Bischinger, a lung specialist in Austria, those who eat their boogers are happy and in tune with their bodies and also suggests that booger eating is one of the best ways to stay healthy. 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.
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. 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."
-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.
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.
I highly recommend hankies!
"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."
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.
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
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.
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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