Thursday, 28 October 2010

What's Wrong with Soap?

RIGHT everyone, this is my Wednesday Whinge. Yes, I know it’s a day late, but yesterday I had a Wednesday Witter instead, so I guess this should really be a Thursday Tirade. Or possibly a diatribe (because I like the word!)

Anyway, whatever you call it, today’s moan is about those annoying adverts for no-touch hand wash systems which, apparently, overcome the problem of germy soap pump handles.

Now I can’t say this particular difficulty of modern life is something that has ever given me sleepless nights.

Personally I still favour a bar of soap and lots of hot water, but as far as I can see you press the handle, out comes the soap, enabling you to wash your hands thoroughly before using hot water to rinse off the germs along with the foam. Simple.

Come to that, if germy soap pump handles are such a threat to our health, what about things like clothes, door handles, light switches and the handles or buttons on toilet cisterns?

Perhaps we should have self-flushing loos to help eliminate the threat of spreading infection?

And if you are that concerned about bacteria on a soap dispenser, why not clean the top of the container?

It’s the same with all those anti-bacterial cleaning sprays and surface wipes. Manufacturers seem to be preying on our fears, making us feel guilty and inadequate if we are not using these products.

We are urged to protect our families by killing the germs that could make them ill. The implication is that if we do not we are ‘bad’ mothers who have dirty homes and are not caring for our nearest and dearest as we should.

As I have said before, although I hate housework I am always seduced by lotions and potions which promise to transform my house into a gleaming show home with very little effort on my part.

But I would question the methodology behind those adverts – and ask whether we really need to turn our homes into sterile rooms where kids are scared to move to fear of spreading the dreaded germs.

I am not denying the importance of good hygiene (which includes hand washing and wiping surfaces), but perhaps we need to get things into perspective, chill out and enjoy family life, with all the mess, dirt and upheaval it brings.

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