Week of:
Dec 04, 2020

Soap and water: Proper handwashing fodder

Dear Alice,

I live on a college campus and have noticed many people do not wash their hands after going to the bathroom! I was so shocked, I confronted one of my friends. She replied: "If I don't get anything icky on my hands, I just rinse them withOUT soap. If my hands do get 'dirty,' I wash them with soap." Is her handwashing philosophy correct? Does rinsing your hands withOUT soap do any good?

How often to wash hair?

Dear Alice,

The last time I was at the hair cutting salon, the person who washed my hair asked me if I washed my hair everyday. I said I did, and she said she could tell. I'm not sure what she meant by this, but please tell me how she could determine this, and what is the best overall practice for washing hair in terms of frequency. I'm interested in the health of my hair as well as the health of my scalp.

Thanks for you help!

Does a good washing before anilingus remove bacteria?

Dear Alice,

My professor was giving a lecture today about oral stimulation and she brought up anilingus. She said that the risk for contracting unwanted bacteria is high. I know that dental dams can be used, but how effective is a good washing before anilingus to rid you or your partner of bacteria?

Okay to reuse bath towels?

Dear Alice,

Some of my family members insist on using the same towel for drying themselves perhaps 2 or more times before washing the towel. They claim that dirt and germs are washed off during bathing and that using the same towel and rehanging it to use several more times is not unhealthful.... I disagree and say the towel then becomes bacteria infested and when they re-use it to dry themselves that they are putting this bacteria on their bodies. Thanks for looking at this.

Are washcloths and other body scrubbers bacteria factories?


My question is about the cleanliness of loofahs and other body scrubbers. Since they usually hang out in the shower where there is constant warmth and moisture, wouldn't they grow bacteria? How often should they (scrubbers) be changed or how do you clean them? The reason I ask is that I am experiencing some hives, and the only thing I can think that is causing it might be the scrubber gloves in my shower.