Sanitizer, disposable hand towels and a question

October 19, 2011

The Purell line of sanitizing products must be a gold mine. We’re all more conscious of hand-washing and sanitizing these days, with even grocery stores getting into the act. And that’s all good: have you seen the reports of e. coli on those shopping carts?

And don’t even think about how many baby bottoms have been in those wire seats. Yes, yes, I am still the girl who sanitizes after the sign of peace at Mass.

I also like that handsoap now comes in pumps, so that sharing a soggy bar of soap in a guest bathroom is no longer necessary.

But there’s no explanation for why some things catch on and others don’t. Case in point:

Like everyone else, I have an artful little arrangement of lovely terrycloth towels hanging on my bathroom rack. Here’s the current look:

But when I have guests, I put out pretty, disposable bathroom guest towels, like these:

They’re attractive, and, I thought, guests would appreciate having their own, single-use hand towel. But for some reason, guests won’t use them. They prefer the towels I have hanging for “decor.” Now, I don’t mind them using those towels, since I do know how to wash them. But I can’t understand why they’d prefer communal terry cloth to something that hadn’t been used before. A more sanitary option.

Maybe they’re just too attractive, I thought, making guests hesitant to use them. You know how we used to “save” clothes we really liked for some special occasion in the distant future, and then never wore them? Maybe it was like that. “Too nice” to use. That was my theory, anyway.

So when I saw this genius little product, I was excited:

They look more industrial, and they are clearly for use after hand washing. Oh, Kleenex is definitely on to something, I thought. (I am a frequent guest in a household that hosts groups of people. The only soap is a communal bar and the only hand wipes provided in the guest bathroom are the family’s already-used bath towels. It makes me crazy. I’d love to bring a box to that house!)

So, even though they aren’t anywhere near as cute as the disposables that sit unused in my drawer, I bought a pack, figuring that folks would be more apt to use them.

Unfortunately, there’s a window sill above the guest bathroom towel rack, and the box won’t fit. So the next time I had a group over, I put the box out on the counter and arranged my cute little bees and blue terry towels nicely on the rack. For “show.”

Not a single person used the disposables. Then or since.

Even when I have groups of people in, they’d rather use communal towels.

I can’t imagine it. I just can’t.

If you have an explanation for this, please do share. I want to hear it.

Thank you.

8 comments on “Sanitizer, disposable hand towels and a question
  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh the fear of germs in reality is the fear of people and the fear of dying gently wrapped in a sanitize billion dollar industry of consumerism. 🙁 Germ-A-Phobics are afraid of everything and everyone. In the end my therapist used to say…”All fear technically is the fear of dying.” I am not afraid to die, use a towel, give a hug, kiss, shake a hand, share a drink or eat off a fork of a friend. I think most of us have really stopped living. This made me sad. 🙁 I have lived and visited all over the world with out hand sanitizers, toilets that work, peeing in a porcelain hole, pooping in the woods, eating foods that I had no idea what they were and so on and so forth. I never once caught a disease or had food poisoning. I lived in a military tent in a rain forest for a month once and did not even go home with as much as a real bug bite. I guess those days of freedom are over for some. I still believe in the 30 second rule too. Call me a cave woman please! LOL


  2. It’s one thing to live in the rough by choice, but sanitation is a hallmark of a civilized society and an entirely different thing! A horrible bout with giardiasis, likely brought about by a food worker & misdiagnosed for weeks (this was years ago)taught me the value of handwashing.

  3. From one germ-phobe to another, I appreciate your efforts. Too bad your guests don’t recognize your friendly–and healthy–gesture. Don’t get rid of the towels. Somebody is bound to get it.

    P.S. Perhaps you could cover the industrial looking box with some cute bee fabric to match your decor.

  4. LOL–good advice on not giving up! but if I did a bee cover, for sure they wouldn’t use it–they probably wouldn’t get what it was!

  5. Anonymous says:

    There is a huge difference from WASHING YOUR HANDS WHEN YOU WORK WITH FOOD and being afraid of everything else. I worked in catering in college and was very sanitary. I am not talking about NOT washing your hands after you PEE. I am talking about the abundant FEAR that goes with the germ trip. I am talking about how PHOBIC people have become in relation to touching things and people. Must have missed my point. 🙂 I used to be a journalist hahahahaha.


  6. devin jack says:

    I am not afraid to die, use a towel, give a hug, kiss, shake a hand, share a drink or eat off a fork of a friend.

    industrial mops and buckets

  7. Not really a lot of people fear germs as you might think. And if they do too they will be careful and use necessary tools in eating or cooking to prepare it properly.

  8. John says:

    Hand Sanitizer is very useful for killing germs.

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