• neil

Day 83 (8 June): Personal Hygiene

I was glancing through the online magazine 'ArsTechnica' today and I saw an article claiming that Americans are drinking bleach and dunking food in it to avoid COVID-19.

I felt compelled to read on as I suspected that “Americans” didn’t mean every single one of them, otherwise I would be busy buying shares in Procter & Gamble instead of writing this post. And indeed, it would appear that it is a minority of Americans who feel compelled to act with such misplaced zeal. Only 39% are doing unsafe things with cleaning products -

and a sizeable proportion of them are doing very unsafe things with cleaning products.

This is an American study conducted on Americans, but I would imagine the results would be pretty similar if carried out elsewhere. My takeaway conclusion is that 39% of the population should remain in confinement permanently unless accompanied by a responsible non-bleach swigging grown up every time they leave the house.

The background to this story is that back in April the Centre for Disease Control had noted an unusual spike in poison control centre calls over harmful exposures to household cleaning products. To get an idea of what was behind the rise, CDC researchers set up an online survey of household cleaning and disinfection knowledge and practices:

  • 18 percent of respondents stated they used household cleaners—not hand soap—to wash their hands or other body parts. This brings tears to my eyes as I envision the application of scouring powders to timid and retracting scrotums.

  • 10 percent said they misted themselves with household cleaners and disinfecting products - who needs Channel when you have Ajax?

  • 6 percent of respondents said they intentionally inhaled the fumes of household cleaners, including bleach - especially effective while smoking a stogie.

  • 4 percent of people reported gargling or drinking household cleaners, soap solutions, and bleach solutions - you mean they are making cocktails? Do they add an olive - or would that not taste nice?

You will be less than flabbergasted to learn that 25 percent of respondents reported unpleasant health effects from exposures to cleaning products, such as dizziness, skin irritation, nausea, and breathing problems. I have not been able to ascertain whether or not death qualified as an unpleasant health effect.

I would imagine that people all over the world are doing similar or even stranger things and I feel obliged to throw my hat into the ring, although I would probably do better to cover my ring with the hat, and offer a few of my personal hygiene practices which not only protect against coronaviruses but also stave off boredom.

The Karcher Pressure cleaner

I find this an effective means of cleaning my skin without resorting to chemical products. I'm quite fashionable in that respect. The only drawback is that I live alone and cannot ask a partner to hold the gun element so I have clamped it into a vice on a workbench in my garage and it works just fine.

Of course, the day I do find a partner we can each power hose the other. Sharing is caring.

Please note it is important to protect your eyes and testicles while doing this. I wear swimming goggles and a cricket box. And do not, I speak from experience, answer the door dressed like this.


I find that as far as spray products are concerned oven cleaner works a treat. It does, however, tend to froth up everywhere and big gobs of it can drop off onto the floor so you should put down a rubber mat or lots of newspaper before beginning. Thin-skinned over sensitive and left-leaning people people might find this stings a bit but as the saying has it, no pain no gain.


Make the most of those petrol and diesel powered cars while you still have them as this little trick will does not work on a Tesla. Fire up that big V8, lie on the garage floor and toke on the tail pipe. No it doesn't make you look gay, just the opposite. Do not do this for more than 15 minutes as a hot tail pipe will give you chapped lips. Do not do it with the garage door open as you don’t want to waste any of those lovely fumes.


I have undertaken a bit of a study of my own and I can categorically state I have not encountered any incidence of COVID-19 among those who regularly gargle with lighter fuel. Don’t be tempted to show off and do fire breathing unless you do not mind singed nostril hairs. On the plus side you will never have to pluck your eyebrows again. I know I don’t.

At the very least, any one of my tips today will ensure that you no longer give a second thought to COVID during the time remaining to you.

I'd hug you all but your skin might fall off.



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