Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Washcloth or no washcloth? (cleanliness and personal hygeine) ( No Answer,   4 Comments )
Subject: Washcloth or no washcloth? (cleanliness and personal hygeine)
Category: Health
Asked by: scrubbin2some-ga
List Price: $2.50
Posted: 10 Oct 2006 00:02 PDT
Expires: 08 Nov 2006 23:02 PST
Question ID: 772194
Cloth or No Cloth

My partner and I are arguing about who has better personal hygeine. To
cleanse himslef, he uses his hands and a bar of antibacterial soap in
the shower once a day. To cleanse myself, I use a WASHCLOTH along with
the antibacterial soap in the shower.

I wash the washcloth every week with the rest of our towels. He would
like you to know that I hang the washcloth on a hook in the shower
against a wall that he views as moldy. He also wants you to know that
the washcloth is "crunchy". I am pretty darn sure it'd due to the
residual dial antibacterial deotorant soap and the lack of a fluff
cycle. However, he suspects "foul play"?? that there is another reason
for the washcloth crunchiness, but he does not hazard a guess as to
what may cause the crunch.

Keep in mind, he goes washcloth-less.  Trust me, the crunch is soap
and lack of the fluff from the dryer. As I type, he recites "and mold
and hair". Trust me, I rinse the wash cloth out with soap before and
after I use it each time, and run it through the wash every week.

BOTTOM LINE: Who is the stankiest? 

Does MY washcloth 

(he suggests that I specify MY washcloth as opposed to a washcloth
that is replaced daily, say in a swanky hotel) . . .

Does MY washcloth help clean me better than 

his NO WASHCLOTH gentle hand caresses??


Please reply and SOON!!!

We will continue to be at each others' throats and shower heads
(PRAYING to change the others' hygenic habits or lack thereof) until
we hear from the Google geniuses.


- Josh and Jen
- Jen and Josh

wash cloth
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Washcloth or no washcloth? (cleanliness and personal hygeine)
From: keystroke-ga on 10 Oct 2006 22:55 PDT
I would say that the biggest problem that both of you have is to be
using antibacterial soap. It's a bad idea.

"I am almost totally opposed to the general use of antibacterial soaps etc.
There are a few studies ( I seem to recall one by Dr. Eli Perencevich) that
indicate these soaps select for resistant strains of bacteria.  Most
microbiologists seem to agree (including me) that these soaps are
unnecessary, and pose certain dangers. For my own personal health, I would
never use antibacterial gels, washes, lotions etc. Soap (i.e.,
non-antibacterial) and water is by far a better approach since this age old
practice sufficiently cleans hands and does not contribute to the
advancement of resistant bacterial strains, nor does it eliminate all the
"commensal bacteria"."

"At one conference, Dr. Stuart Levy, a microbiologist at Tufts
University, cites these studies to conclude:

    Dousing everything we touch with antibacterial soaps and taking
antibiotic medications at the first sign of a cold can upset the
natural balance of microorganisms in and around us, leaving behind
only the 'superbugs'."

They might not cause any problems, but regular soap does just the same
job without any possible health hazards. Washcloth or not, ditch the
antibacterial soap.
Subject: Re: Washcloth or no washcloth? (cleanliness and personal hygeine)
From: myoarin-ga on 11 Oct 2006 03:41 PDT
So much for the choice of soap.

You could make a small concession with the washcloth and hang it
outside the shower.  Tell him you like a scratchier washcloth  - I do.
 (Why does he care about that?)  Maybe it does rub off the dead outer
layer of skin better than bare hands.  Maybe it saves a little on the
amount of soap used.
If that is of interest for an argument, you could start with separate
bars or containers and test it.  It WOULD be good for an argument: 
whose body surface is greater; who doesn't wash as thoroughly; who
more often/less often/too often/not often enough?

Incidentally, my urologist says it is best to wash one's private parts
 - fore and aft -  with one's bare hand.

Finally, you might settle the matter by agreeing that both can
continue to wash themselves as they wish, but once a week both have to
allow the other one to wash them their way.

For a short time at least, that should eliminate any accusations about
each other's level of cleanliness.

All in the interest of good clean fun, Myoarin
Subject: Re: Washcloth or no washcloth? (cleanliness and personal hygeine)
From: elids-ga on 11 Oct 2006 08:01 PDT
I was about to post last night when they locked this question, why
don't researchers find the question locked when I'm about to post my
comments? ;-)  Anyways, below what I meant to post.


Although the subject is about a different matter entirely, according to this study antibacterial
soap is no better than regular soap.

"The investigators found that handwashing is effective and that plain
soap is as effective as antibacterial soap. This is not surprising, as
it is the mechanical removal of bacteria from the hands that is
important; soap facilitates this removal, and antibacterial products
add little to the overall effectiveness of soap.11" other studies
indicate that the use of anti-bacterial agents on your daily life
increase not decrease your chances of infection due to bacterial
evolutionary processes.

That said, IMO the cloth helps scrub your skin better removing any
impurities/toxins you may have on your skin. However the cloth itself
also serves as breeding grounds for all types of micro-organisms, not
all of them are bacteria, nor does antibacterial soap prevent all
bacteria from multiplying. Specially if you rinse the soap out of the
washcloth after you use it. So, basically you have a rag collecting
micro-organisms all day (most likely mold) the moisture and skin
residue (molds are parasitic, get their food by absorbing minerals,
sugars and water from the plants, soil, animals or decaying matter
upon which they live) in the washcloth serves as a the perfect
environment for them to develop. So, you clean your skin better with a
washcloth, but the washcloth adds at least mold to your skin. Quite
possible other life-forms as well, likely archaea. Archaea branched
off from bacteria long ago it is not likely to be affected by
anti-bacterial soap residue (if there is any present), unfortunately
we don't know if archaea affects humans or not, a recent paper seems
to suggest some do become
human pathogens. Without the washcloth you may not scrub as deep but
you certainly will not add anything to you skin. So basically it boils
down to how clean is your bathroom, if you can say your bathroom is
free of microbial life, then the washcloth is better, otherwise you
are better off without it. Unless of course you have an appliance in
which you can kill all microbial life, and you expose your washcloth
to it every time before it gets used.
Subject: Re: Washcloth or no washcloth? (cleanliness and personal hygeine)
From: ccakbtch1-ga on 24 Oct 2006 23:06 PDT
I prefer a buff-puff. the cheapy ones last about 2 weeks, so i spend
only 2$ a month to exfoliate my skin. I rinse em in scalding hot water
and air dry. then toss it out when it starts getting old.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy