After the success of my post yesterday about Cinderella’s fridge, I shall return to some more lunacy I mentioned briefly a little while ago.

Here’s what you can now buy. Antibacterial clothes wash. Yes, that’s right.

The manufacturers play heavily on the idea of giving parents a good old-fashioned guilt trip. This goes along the lines of, ‘Your child’s clothes may look clean, but what about the bacteria you can’t see?’ The implication here is that Jolanda and Tarquin are at risk from infection because you’re a bad parent, since you use eco-friendly cool wash programmes.

Let’s assume they’re right, and cool wash programmes don’t kill all the bacteria, unlike this product, which kills up to 99% of bacteria. Spurious statistic there if you ask me. Up to could mean anything from zero to 99%. But again, lets take this at face value.

When your washing is finished, you have to take the laundry out, by hand. Now a microbiologist once told me the human body is one of the filthiest objects in the know universe, and the hands are up there with much less savoury areas of the body in terms of contamination. So your nice, clean, aseptic washing gets contaminated again immediately it comes out of the machine.

Then you shove it in the tumble drier. Yeah, they’re pretty bacteriologically sound aren’t they? Especially if you’ve been lax about cleaning the fluff filter.

Then when your little tyke’s clothes are all fresh and dry, you fold them up, by hand, possibly with the assistance of your chin. Then they go in the airing cupboard or a wardrobe. Where they are subjected to an unremitting assault by bacteria, fungal spores, and general airborne grot.

I genuinely don’t understand the current obsession with cleanliness. A bit of dirt never did any real harm, and exposure to bacteria and viruses is the basis for a healthy immune system. But if you’re a manufacturer you can always play the be a better parent card, and guilt ridden fathers and mothers will accept it.

And any adult who has never eaten an earthworm, or can’t remember the characteristic taste of a sucked facecloth, had a sheltered upbringing.

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