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Personal hygiene has varying degrees of importance to people, but we can probably agree that, at least on some level, it's necessary.

Brushing your teeth, washing your hands after using the bathroom, and laundering your underwear should be second nature. However, according to one Reddit thread, even such basic tasks can be done incorrectly.

Started by platform user HEADAs66, it asked everyone what they think is the most common hygiene mistake people make, and in just a few days has received thousands of replies. Here are the most popular ones.

#1

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Remember the beginning of the pandemic, when the government had to remind people that they should be washing their hands with soap?

Yeah, it turns out a disturbing number of people don’t do that.

buckwheat16 , Marco Verch/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

#2

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not closing the toilet lid before flushing.

Maybe_Glum , Ivan Mlinaric/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

We got in touch with HEADAs66, and the Redditor agreed to have a little chat with us about the discussion they started.

"Before I posted my question on r/AskReddit, I read an article about poor health," they told Bored Panda.

"I came up with the idea of asking Reddit users about poor hygiene because I thought it would provide a real, different perspective."

#3

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Wearing shoes in the house. 99% of shoes tested positive for feces.

Sad-Thought6021 , tdr28/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Little My
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate the idea of shoes indoors, why would you want to? So much dog dirt outside!

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#4

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Sneezing into your hand went you can’t immediately wash them. SNEEZE INTO YOUR ELBOW FOR GODS SAKE

Cokezerowh0re , fromdarkheaven/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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troufaki13
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

3 years of the pandemic and we still haven't learned to sneeze and cough in our elbow

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A survey of 1,813 Americans on what they considered the most critical hygiene habits found that:

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  • 73% of them consider personal hygiene very important;
  • 50% of people won't share their hairbrush with anyone;
  • 1 in 10 people share a toothbrush with their significant other, family member, or friend;
  • Of those who share a toothbrush, 57% do so every day;
  • 35% of people share deodorant with their significant other, family member, or friend;
  • 1 in 2 people share their bars of soap with their significant other, family member, or friend;
  • Nearly 1 in 3 Americans share lip balm or chapstick.
#5

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not washing your sheets and pillow cases regularly. They harbor bacteria and body oils, and can really aggravate your skin and cause breakouts.

People also assume that you need to be harsher if you experience breakouts or dry skin or in areas that you think might be “dirty” like your genital region. People tend to attack these issues and areas of your body with strong soaps, very hot water, and abrasive scrubbing. Often, you actually need to treat these areas more gently, use less harsh products, cool water to wash, non-scented products and lotions, and just generally treat your body kindly. Over-cleaning already irritated or sensitive areas can actually make you more prone to breakouts, dry skin, even infections.

baby_armadillo , Tony Alter/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

#6

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Assuming hand sanitizer is as effective as hand washing.

yourpaljax , Valerie Everett/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Alethea Fletcher
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hand sanitiser is required if you are out and need to use a public toilet. So many don't have working soap dispensers, and some have issues with taps not working properly.

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Skimping on hygiene might seem like not a big deal, but eventually, it can start affecting your life or that of the people around you.

In the most extreme cases, when left unattended, poor hygiene can breed diseases that can affect you or others.

For example, not washing your hands after you use the toilet, handle food, or touch dirty surfaces can spread bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These can lead to infections and diseases, like food poisoning, gastroenteritis, flu, and hepatitis A, just to name a few.

Poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which, in turn, can also affect the heart, while not bathing (enough) can result in a skin condition called dermatitis neglecta and secondary infections.

#8

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not flossing.

Seriously, f*****g floss. Your breath will smell better, your gums will be healthier, you'll feel cleaner.

As annoying as it is, make it part of your habit and you'll stop thinking about it.

If I *DON'T* floss I feel dirty, like I can feel the food in my teeth...

AlphaTangoFoxtrt , Electric Teeth/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Big Chungus
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My dentist has always said if you can't brush your teeth for a bit at the very least make sure to floss, it is more important than brushing

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"Common themes in the responses include misconceptions about ... hand hygiene, poor oral hygiene, and delaying phone calls," HEADAs66 said. "Lack of knowledge and education seems to cause this problem."

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What's interesting is that information on these topics is widely available, yet the myths persist. The Redditor hypothesized that "despite comprehensive knowledge, people may neglect or forget hygiene due to busy lifestyles, misinformation or neglect of the importance of certain features."

#9

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population If you can smell yourself other people have been smelling you. Also wear some f*****g deodorant and reapply before going to the gym.

raar__ , Michael Scialdone/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Donkey boi
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There is actually a condition called 'Olfactory Reference Syndrome', wherein some people think they smell, or can actually smell an odour coming from themselves, which others cannot. I'm not aware of a study to establish how prevalent it is, but it is believed to be surprisingly common. Have you ever thought to yourself 'damn, I'm kicking up a stink today', only for someone to tell you that you smell nice? If so, You could have ORF.

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#10

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not changing their toothbrush more often

abdulbasitkhanani , Jim Winstead/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

#11

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population As a piercer, please, WASH YOUR HOLES. I have so many clients coming in with disgusting, flakey, waxy ears, dirty, smelly belly buttons, unbrushed teeth..... WHY? It feels so disrespectful to have me deal with all that.

braingazpacho , Agung Pandit Wiguna/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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EP
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It doesn’t FEEL disrespectful. It flat out IS!!!!!

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#12

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population If you’re overweight, or lost weight and have excess skin, lift that skin/fat and clean underneath. And dry really well. Ladies, if you’re more than a B cup, lift the girls and wash/dry good.

Whose_my_daddy , Jaysin Trevino/ Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Jill Rhodry
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hehe - you know when it's hot and under your girls get a bit wet, yep, that's called humiditities!😜🤣🤣

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#14

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not washing their goddamn glasses. Yes, wash. With soap and water. The next time I have to scrape a layer of hairy face cheese off someones glasses so I can change a nosepad I might puke.

Corgi_with_stilts , Jet Blaque/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Bored something
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Clean your watch while you are at it. Someone the ones I come across while changing batteries are bordering on growing legs. They smell awful!

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#15

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not brushing the lingual surface of the teeth, it is the side closest to your tongue. As a dental hygienist I see tartar buildup there the most. Also, not angling your toothbrush towards your gums when you brush them.

sytti , Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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WindySwede
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Must brush every surface! And if possible, use a electric brush. The feeling of cleanliness is so much better than with a manual! Could not believe it before I tried one!

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#16

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population My advice is to wash your body after you rinse out your hair conditioner, not before.

Eralynn3 , Armin Rimoldi/ Pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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David
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I always wash hair first. While it probably does not make a big difference, it is just generally good practice with anything to wash top to bottom because the run off goes down. But also, washing your hair first gives a bit more time for your skin to soften up / pores to open / dirt on skin to soften up.

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#17

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not regularly wiping off/sanitizing their earbuds, phone and/or keys. (they aren't a body part, but I think it counts!)

Megdogg00 , StevenW./Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

#18

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not cleaning their ear openings. If I see a ear hole that’s yellow/orange, I gag.

Appropriate-End8877 , Erik Holfelder/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Rosie Red
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Doctors say not to use qtips, that it only pushes the wax in. Mine said the ear will clean itself. I tried it, by the third day I wanted to stick a fork inside to scratch the itchies.

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#19

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Hey. Fellow pierced folks. CLEAN YOUR GODDAMN PIERCINGS. This INCLUDES your jewelry! Gods, the amount of stanky cheese piercings i've smelled walking past someone is far too high.

Even after the initial healing, you gotta still CLEAN them regularly. Bare minimum, rinse and rub in the shower. I take out my actual jewelry every couple weeks and give it a good clean.

nionvox , madaise/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Jill Rhodry
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Alcohol wipes - the piercings and the earrings every time one goes in and out - if I've not been changing them then take them out and clean at least once a week.

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#20

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not washing their hair properly. Which includes thoroughly cleansing the scalp.

Many people just lather shampoo on their hair and expect the shampoo to do all the work. But you actually have to get in there with your fingers and work it into your scalp. Really get in there and scrub firmly with the pads of your fingers (don’t scratch with your nails though, or at least don’t scratch hard) You should focus on the scalp because that’s where most oil and dirt collects and where bacteria can accumulate. You want to help your shampoo loosen all that garbage up and actually cleanse your hair. You will be amazed what a difference this makes in how you feel and how nice your hair looks once dry (it will be lighter and bouncier)

Then, you shouldn’t forget to RINSE thoroughly. You don’t want to leave shampoo or conditioner residue in your hair (otherwise it just gets sticky and attracts gunk and gets oily and spawns more bacteria more quickly). I used to share an office with someone who read this hair “hack” that said to not fully rinse, tge idea being that if you leave a bit of shampoo or conditioner in your hair, then the conditioning ingredients in shampoo/conditioner would continue to condition your hair after the wash… but in practice his hair was just always waxy and gross and had an odor unfortunately… so if you come across that tip, run! Don’t do it! Just rinse your hair! (If you want to condition your hair post-wash then use a product formulated for leave-in, like leave-in conditioner. Don’t just not rinse your normal shampoo and conditioner!)

Walls-Floors- , Karolina Grabowska/Pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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Donkey boi
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sometimes it's better to have someone do it for you. First time I washed the wife's hair for her, she couldn't believe the difference! We regularly give each other pampering sessions, cut each other's hair, and the like. Not only does it improve our time together, you're more thorough in the tasks.

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#21

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population This is not directly related to hygiene but general cleanliness - most people don't realize that dishwashers and washing machines have filters that are supposed to be cleaned regularly. The dishwasher one is particularly important because there is a screen filter that catches food particles and is always wet. The first time I cleaned the filter on our several-year-old dishwasher after learning this, it was horrific - I was retching the entire time I was cleaning it. Made me want to re-wash every single dish in the house, ha ha.

mxt920 , andrea castelli/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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EP
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In a front loader washing machine - where is the filter that needs to be cleaned? All I have is a gasket that I wipe clean and a detergent tray that I pull out and clean.

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#22

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not sanitising door handles. It’s one of the most common places where bacteria lives.

tays-world , Rebecca Siegel/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

#23

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population NOT CLEANING their disgusting STANLEY tumblers.

Namaslayy , ebay Report

#24

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Generally when cleaning your house, body, or whatever clean from top to bottom. That knocks stuff down to the next thing to be cleaned instead of onto the thing you just cleaned

crunchyshamster , Karolina Grabowska/Pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#25

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not drying properly after washing. All those nooks and crannies you (hopefully) spent time washing properly need to be dried as well.

An ex of mine would get out of the shower without drying and just wrap a towel around his waist then sit on the lounge till he completely dried off. Wet armpits and ballsack marinating in water created BO by the time he was dry.

-TemporaryDisguise- , Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#27

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Trim those finger nails, please! It only takes 5 minutes once in a while. Don't need to clean under them if you cut them.

Spirited-Meringue829 , mark gallagher/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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NapQueen
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

With me, I actually find my nails are more dirty the shorter they are....weird!

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#28

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Hikers and bikers at college and work who go nose blind to what they come in smelling like. These guys have no idea they’re torturing the entire office. No use in secretly placing a tube of deodorant on their desk because no way can old spice combat this murder stench.

Gladysfartz , davis pratt/Pexels(not the actual photo) Report

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Lotekguy
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Years ago, a deodorant company ran commercials featuring the phrase "Send a friend a can of Mennen." These days it would become a meme. It's also a way to send a message without an unpleasant confrontation.

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#29

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Using too much detergent or fabric softener. It will actually trap dirt and smells into the fibres if it doesn't rinse clean. Also you don't need fabric softener, if you are using it to stop static you are drying your clothes too long as it's caused by dry fabric rubbing on dry fabric.

wwaxwork , I G/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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David
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Unless your clothes are REALLY dirty (some jobs), you need a LOT less detergent than commercials would have you believe. Especially if you have a high efficiency front loader. I use maybe half an ounce of liquid to maybe an ounce for a really big or dirty load. My clothes come out fine.

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#30

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Going to the toilet with their phones

Familiar_End_8975 , Miriam Alonso/Pexels (not the actual photo) Report

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troufaki13
Community Member
4 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What am I supposed to read? I can't go back to reading the ingredients on shampoos and detergents 😭

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#31

31 Common Hygiene Mistakes Everyone Should Be Aware Of For The Greater Good Of The Population Not brushing the back of their tongue properly and not flossing. It’s literally visible every time they open their mouth that they haven’t flossed and it gives me mad shivers

arminbisexual , southtyrolean/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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