Hand towels, bath towels, tea towels. These are the bane of my life! Particularly tea towels, which are often ominous and soggy and can usually be found slumped apologetically over the handles of oven doors. Why are they so soggy? Allow me to explain. They are grotesquely soggy because people often wipe down the kitchen sides with them (which, by the way, are teeming with bacteria – has nobody seen the Dettol advert?!) and then proceed to dry up the plates and cups with them, only to replace the germs that they have just spent the last half hour scrubbing off whilst washing up! I could scream! Or cry.
As for hand towels, the situation is similarly dire, although people tend to reserve the swarms of E-Coli and Salmonella for tea towels. With hand towels, the enemy is other people’s hands. I find this with bars of soap too. Why, in a public toilet, or any toilet for that matter, would you smear a rather forlorn-looking bar of soap all over your hands when it has already been clutched by hundreds of pairs of dirty hands before you?! Seeing as people come out of the toilet before they use the soap, chances are they have been wiping their bum, shaking their penis and so forth. Therefore, guess what, that bar of soap is teeming with bacteria. As is that hand towel which you have just used to dry your bacteria-ridden post-soap hands!
Now, Queen Mary toilets house a very intriguing type of towel. It is somewhere between the paper towel and the tea towel. I call it the Pully Towel, because you pull it down to get to the clean bit of towel. Initially, I was impressed with this. It avoids the whole soggy, bacteria-infested hand towel situation. However, you still have to put your hands on the soggy bits that have already been used in order to get to the clean towel, which results in the need to re-wash your hands, by which time somebody else has used the clean towel and you’re back to square one!
Thankfully, most places seem to have installed Dyson hand driers, which are actually brilliant, unlike the standard old driers which just hum slightly. Too many times have I had to use toilet paper to dry my hands after using one of these, resulting in sad little flakes of tissue all over the floor. All I ask for is clean, individual paper towels or a good old powerful hand drier, and the world’s beauty will be restored.