The dramas of confusing a liquid hand wash for a hand cream in a public toilet




liquid soap and cream

Washing our hands after toilet use is a good etiquette that prevents the transfer of microbes or bacteria. We’ve been in a toilet where someone leaves the stall without washing their hands. It could leave us in such disgust and wonder how low people’s sense of hygiene could be. As they disregard the negative impact some bacteria could have on their health. There are a variety of toilet episodes or incidents that could make us laugh and see the funny side of life. We’ve covered some of those experiences like queuing in front of a vacant toilet and thinking it’s in use. We’ve touched on the embarrassing drumbeat or sound that could be released when we are emptying our bowels. These are a few awkward or funny toilet moments but our focus will be on mistaking a hand cream lotion for a toilet wash and vice versa.

Public toilets in prestigious places like hotels and luxury shopping malls do stock unique liquid hand wash and hand lotion. These products are usually from peculiar brands. The product names of these items are sometimes unclear with italics and graphics that do not explicitly indicate that these are liquid soap or lotion. You are excited there is liquid soap and moisturiser to keep your palms smelling fresh.

Washing your hands after completing a number one or two tends to be therapeutic or gives you a refreshing sensation. The similarity in design of the liquid hand wash and lotion could sometimes leave us confused before a wash. We gently press the lotion on the assumption its soap and wash our hands. Suddenly, we realise there is no foam as we wash our hands. Is it a special type of soap, we wonder? Our hands are thoroughly washed and we reach out for some hand wash thinking it was a lotion. We rub our palms and expect it to moisturise. The thickness of our palms requires moisture penetration to keep it soft. Hence, hand creams or lotions are expected to be rich and full of moisture-binding ingredients to achieve this goal.

Our mistake becomes glaring when someone else walks towards the sink and uses the soap (which we thought was lotion) and afterwards applied some cream. It leaves us with a smirk and contemplates either going for a second wash or walking away in amusement or disappointment. Going for a second wash looks like the best decision as you wouldn’t want to shake the hands of people with a palm smelling of liquid soap.

How to avoid confusing a hand lotion for soap

1) Look closer and read the product label: The product label will clearly estate if it’s a hand wash or lotion. This will prevent any toilet drama from erupting.

2) Judge the product positioning: In most cases, the liquid soap is located closer and the cream slightly farther. The bottle to your left is usually the soap and that to your right is the cream. This is not always set in stone as a closer look is advised.

3) Pay attention to users ahead of you: It is not always advisable to blindly follow what an earlier user of a toilet facility does but paying a close look to those ahead of you in the queue will help you identify the hand wash and cream.

4) The state of the tins: People tend to use the hand wash more than the lotions. Some individuals have sensitive skins and react differently to hand cream. As such, the hand wash will be in slightly run down state with spills due to constant use.

These few tips will help you avoid the liquid hand wash and lotion drama in public toilets.


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