Now, the news is not so good - my dad is ill with pneumonia (and some complications). He's being very well cared for in hospital and my sister, aunts and uncles are around for him, but it's a worrying time. Your prayers would be very much appreciated.
But I can still talk about handkerchiefs!
- So, lots of people use them, and others are freaked by the germ issue. Understandable. My mum would never let us use cloth hankies (memories of nasty ones from childhood I assume) but I had a friend whose mum always kept a bucket of disinfectant/water in the bathroom and the used hankies got thrown in there until wash day, which seemed one way to handle it.
- I have learned, since going over to the cloth hankies, that there are certain habits you need to get into if the hygiene is going to work out. NEVER leave one in your pocket when you take off a piece of clothing! Rediscovering an elderly used handkerchief is a total no-no! (And, Sarah, for me pockets are best if but all else fails sleeves will do - the problem comes with summer dresses...)
- On those terms, there is no way I am getting my boys to go over to cloth hankies. Their hygiene standards do not meet my own (see below) and they are going to have to stick to paper tissues thrown straight onto the fire after use. Anyway, they don't do the dainty, ladylike, keep a hanky in your bag just in case thing... The one time I had a really bad cold since I had handkerchiefs I used loads in one day and put them into a tub to soak before washing on that same day. I'm really only talking about general, light, everyday use, here.
- I wash mine on the normal wash (eg quite ecological low temperatures) but line dry them (I agree with Sherri B that the sun is a disinfectant - so do the 'experts' I've read) and I also iron them very hot, which is going to have the same effect.
- Having used cloth nappies and gone through similar concerns about the hygiene there, and with having a biologist husband, I am fairly familiar with what ACTUALLY makes us ill rather than what we might just feel is nasty. I have a fairly sturdy approach to hygiene, the way I like to imagine our ancestors did in the days before antibacterial kitchen sprays. However, each to his own - if it feels yucky for you, it is yucky, so fair enough!