Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Open hate letter to hand sanitizer

Dear hand sanitizer,

Lots of people love you, so you don’t need my love.  Well, good.  Because I think you suck.  Why are you everywhere?  I hated you long before I had kids, but with only a mild loathing.   You were easy to avoid back then.  Just bypass those little canisters on the wall and go actually wash my hands.  Like, with soap and hot water.  You know, so that they get clean.  Unlike what you do, which is make a new film on top of the dirt that for some reason, people have agreed to call clean.

You have your place.  Like at the petting zoo when I run out of the sanitizing wipes I keep in my purse instead of you, and one of my friends has a handy bottle of you to squirt on my kids’ hands after they feed goats.  But you know what? Even after my friend squirts my kids’ hands with you, I STILL don’t want them putting their hands in their mouths, because I don’t trust you, f**ker.  I think you are a big fat lie perpetrated on society.  So basically your purpose in that situation is to make it socially acceptable for my children to eat and rub their eyes and stuff, even though they still have goat saliva on their hands covered in a layer of stinky goo.  (That stinky goo is you, hand sanitizer, in case you are as dumb as you seem.)

We’ll start simple.  Why do you smell so bad?  You are, as I understand it, rubbing alcohol in goo form.  Rubbing alcohol smells like alcohol, but it doesn’t smell gross like you do.  Why do you smell like weeds mixed with cheap candles?  You give me a headache. 

But the bigger issue is this: Why do people think that you make them clean?  You do not remove particles of anything.  OK, let me give you an example.  If, say, my child wiped their own butt after dropping a deuce, and accidentally wound up with crap all over their hand.  And then they rubbed you on there and mixed you with the crap to make a crap-goo paste that now covered both of their hands, would you say their hands were clean?  NO!  They have just created a crap emulsion and rubbed it into every crevice on their hands.  That is gross!  That is what you do, hand sanitizer.  You do not remove the goat saliva, or fecal matter, or whatever gross thing we are skeeved enough by to squirt you onto our children.  You just move it around and make it smell like the back room at Yankee Candle.

And you. are. everywhere.  At every child’s birthday party, the guests are made to line up and rub you on their hands before they are allowed to have cake.  You know what that is, hand sanitizer?  That’s f**king extortion.  The first few times my kids went through the birthday cake shakedown line, they didn’t even know what you were.  I was so proud when they rubbed you on their hands and then looked around for a sink, assuming you were soap.  Because that’s what you should be, sanitizer.  You should be soap.  And hot water.  Because that’s how hands get clean.

OK, I understand you want to justify your own misguided existence, but think about this.  When surgeons go in to operate, do they just squirt a little of you on their hands and call it done?  NO!  They use soap and water, because that is how people get clean. 

But you have even insinuated your deceiving little ass into the medical field.  To get into the NICU to see my preemie daughter, I had to scrub my hands with a nail brush at a sink hooked up to a timer.  I had to scrub for three minutes.  It doesn’t seem that long, but let me tell you, my hands were good and clean after a minute or so.  But no, I had to clean them again and again just to get in the door.  But the nurses in there?  They change some other baby’s crap-load diaper, and then come over to my baby.  And do they do a three-minute scrub?  NO!  They effing squirt you onto their hands, make a crap-emulsion, and then use their crap-emulsified hands to adjust my not-quite-five-pound baby’s IV.  That’s bullshit right there, hand sanitizer.  Bullshit and baby shit, both.  

You know why everyone loves you so much?  You are convenient.  That’s it.  You are a convenient lie, like “ketchup and pizza are vegetables.”  They’re not vegetables.  They’re not even made of vegetables.  I mean, even if you’re talking about the tomatoes, tomatoes are a fruit.  WTF?  And just like pizza is not a vegetable, hand sanitizer, you do not make our hands clean.  You make our dirty hands smell funny and give us a false sense of security.

Except me, sanitizer.  I’m onto you.  So suck it.


  1. My problem with it is that no one applies it properly. Do people focus on fingertips? No! Just some palm work mostly. And a perfunctory back of the hand swish. But not between fingers, not fingertips. I had a nurse in canada who was giving me a shot, use this instead of gloves. She didn't get her fingertips at all, you know, the part that would actually get bloody.

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