Wednesday, 20 Mar 2019

Polishing up on new household rules | Letters

Virginia Smith is intrigued by the psychology of cleanliness, Mike Hoskin is feeling overwhelmed by the proposed schedule and Nicky Ford is concerned about the environmental impact

Absent from your otherwise fascinating survey of towels and toilet brushes (Ditch your loo brush, 21 February) was any recognition of the weird psychology of cleanliness. Beyond a certain point, it becomes irrational. To get or follow instructions from an OCD cleaner is very problematic – just look at the extent of her daily routines (and the amount of water she uses for washing).

With OCD, a vivid imagination will supply all the motivation needed to spend every waking moment fighting against “dirt” seen or unseen. To those who have it, it is no joke; even worse is how the psychology can leach into the imaginary metaphysical world, with whole races, classes and genders becoming stigmatised as “unclean”.

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