Hand Wash Only?

Podcasters’ Hot Take On Not Using Washcloths In The Shower Goes Viral

They call washcloths “disgusting” and admit to a hands-on shower routine.

Split-screen image of two women in an interview, one smiling with caption "Do you use a washcloth?" ...
Causing A Scene / TikTok

In the podcast Causing a Scene with Sarah and Natalie, Sara Gretzky and Natalie Buck usually talk about the TV shows they think everyone should be watching. But now, they’re going viral for a conversation about how they think everyone should be washing.

Judging by TikTok’s outrage, a lot of people take personal hygiene extremely personally.

The quick clip begins with Sara asking Natalie, “Do you use a washcloth?”

Natalie doesn’t hesitate to answer by shaking her head, “No.”

Sara agrees. “Me either... That is disgusting.”

Natalie repeats the question as if she can’t believe it’s being asked. “Am I scrubbing my body with a washcloth? Absolutely not. That is like a UTI waiting to happen.”

When Sara tells her she thinks they’re in the minority, Natalie goes full blinking-guy meme.

“People use washcloths? Like... for their body? What do you mean?”

Things get real when Sara asks her stunned co-host, “Like, what are you washing your butt with?”

“My hands.” Natalie answers as if there is no other plausible response. Sara is in tears laughing as Natalie continues to just not get it.

“I would never do that. I’d burn the washcloth.”

Causing A Scene Podcast / TikTok

The clip ends there, but the discussion is only just beginning.

One user points out, “Do you see how the need to burn the washcloth after using is a clear indication you should NOT be using your hand?!?!?”

Echoing the sentiment of many other comments, one reads, “Why do people think a washcloth isn’t washed after using it? I’m so confused.”

Another asks, “Hands? That’s like using your finger to brush your teeth.”

A lot of concern is directed toward adequate exfoliation, while some find the very idea of touching their own body problematic. One such commenter wrote, “Bare hand to hole is diabolical.”

Here’s the thing, our own bodies aren’t that gross. Our skin is host to a community of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and bacteria that make up a microbiome. Feel less gross yet? You should, because a healthy microbiome serves as a protective barrier between the body and all the foreign gross stuff in our environment. Not only is scrubbing your skin raw an unnecessary hygiene practice, but potential damage to the microbiome could leave you more susceptible to bacterial infection and other skin issues.

Speaking of bacterial infection, washcloths, sponges, loofas, and other scrubbing devices are more likely to harbor harmful bacteria than clean hands are. It’s totally cool if you prefer outsourcing body washing to another object, just make sure it’s washed frequently and dries fully after each use.

You either believe in the power of soap or not. A gentle cleanser is enough to keep your hands free of most diabolical health hazards. Hand-wash-only baby clothes are a terrible idea, but hand-wash-only showers are fine.