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Do you attempt to train house guests? UPDATE - Msg 164


Pegasus
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I have a house guest for the next 2 weeks.  I'm not sure I am going to make it that long.  Soon after arriving, she washed her hands in the kitchen and pulled four paper towels off the dispenser, dried her hands and left the paper crumpled on the counter.  So, I removed the paper towels, hung a hand towel on their rack, and showed the guest where our trash and recycle receptacles were.  Wish me luck.

Edited by Pegasus
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If it's a child/teen, yes I would without making a big deal out of it.

 

One recent guest wash their hands and mouth in my kitchen sink and then wipe their mouth with the towel hanging from the oven handle, after every meal. Ewww!! (I didn't say anything as his parents were staying too and it was only for a few days). It drove me nuts.

 

 

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I think it is kind to show them how things are done in your house.  They don't have a clue and they don't mean to be disruptive or rude.  We have a long term house guest right now and it does take some tactful, diplomatic training on my part to keep things sailing smoothly.

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It seems odd that she didn't ask what to do with trash, but maybe she was embarrassed to. (I could imagine a young person who has not stayed as a houseguest not having a clue what to do.  Of course I don't know if your guest is young and inexperienced.)  In any case I wouldn't assume from that one thing that she lacks manners!   I have always taken a few minutes to show houseguests where things are, where to put trash, etc.  

 

 

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Her age is mid-50s so not a youngster and a relative so she is not shy/embarrassed to make herself at home.  She walked down and used the laundry machine this morning, for example, to wash one outfit on high with 4 times the amount of detergent I use for a full load.   :confused1:

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Her age is mid-50s so not a youngster and a relative so she is not shy/embarrassed to make herself at home.  She walked down and used the laundry machine this morning, for example, to wash one outfit on high with 4 times the amount of detergent I use for a full load.   :confused1:

 

How do you know how much detergenet she used?

 

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How do you know how much detergenet she used?

 

 

Ha!  Yes, I'm spying on her.  I was on the phone with a co-worker as she came downstairs and started the laundry; otherwise, I would have jumped up to help her.

Edited by Pegasus
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Is this her normal routine?  Wash one item with huge amounts of detergent, use 4 paper towels to dry her hands?    Have you had her in your house before?  

 

Just wondering if this is all new to you or if you were somewhat aware of her habits.

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The massive overuse of paper towels is really thoughtless and leaving trash on the counter is ick, but what's so horrible about washing your hands at the kitchen sink? What am I missing there? I wash my hands at the kitchen sink all the time. Am I disgusting you all? Ugh, the things I learn on this forum. How is that gross? I'm so baffled. It's a sink!

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The massive overuse of paper towels is really thoughtless and leaving trash on the counter is ick, but what's so horrible about washing your hands at the kitchen sink? What am I missing there? I wash my hands at the kitchen sink all the time. Am I disgusting you all? Ugh, the things I learn on this forum. How is that gross? I'm so baffled. It's a sink!

 

Oh, I didn't catch that there was a problem with washing hands at the kitchen sink.  I wash my hands there all the time, and not just when I'm about to cook or otherwise deal with food (but certainly then).   I don't even mind using dish soap to wash my hands.  

 

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Oh, I didn't catch that there was a problem with washing hands at the kitchen sink.  I wash my hands there all the time, and not just when I'm about to cook or otherwise deal with food (but certainly then).   I don't even mind using dish soap to wash my hands.  

 

 

I read it again... maybe I'm misunderstanding that element. But then another poster also complained about someone washing hands and face at the kitchen sink. In that case, ew that she wiped her mouth on the communal hand towel, but I still don't get what was gross about a quick wash at the sink in the kitchen vs. the bathroom.

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The massive overuse of paper towels is really thoughtless and leaving trash on the counter is ick, but what's so horrible about washing your hands at the kitchen sink? What am I missing there? I wash my hands at the kitchen sink all the time. Am I disgusting you all? Ugh, the things I learn on this forum. How is that gross? I'm so baffled. It's a sink!

 

 

I think this must be a personal thing.  It doesn't bother me, either, but it drives my husband nuts when my boys come in from outside and wash their dirty hands in the kitchen sink.    I didn't know this until recently, because he used to work in an office so was not home that much to comment.   I think in his house growing up, the kitchen was the sacred place of his mother and it was her territory, KWIM?  

 

I think it also oogs out my DH to have sloppy, messy boys splashing all over the kitchen, especially when he is cooking.  (And he does most of the cooking here.)

 

In our case we have a sink in the mud room, so the boys do have another option as they come in.

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I don't think it's the washing the hands, it's the wasting of paper towels and then not disposing of them that is the problem.  

 

I will say that my kitchen is tiny- like, if the dishwasher or oven is opened, the kitchen is impassible, that sort of tiny.  I prefer people wash their hands elsewhere just so they aren't underfoot when I'm cooking, but I wouldn't correct a guest about that, only my own kids.  And while I'd be a lot more careful while guests are staying, I occasionally only rinse my hands, then dry on the hand towel, so that I can quickly move to some urgent task- pulling an item out of the oven or whatever.  I change my kitchen towels every evening, but still, if you decided to wash hands in the kitchen during meal prep and then use the hand towel, I can't promise it is clean for drying hands on!  lol.  

 

OP, I would probably just let it go as quirky behavior.  You can offer to help as much as you can- "Do you want me to throw some of your things in with this load?" type stuff, but otherwise, two weeks isn't impossibly long...  

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Like Farrar, using the kitchen sink would not bother me.  After all, isn't that what it is there for?  Even the numbers of towels used wouldn't bother me.  Unless perhaps money is very tight?  I mean, I don't use that much but it's just paper towels.  Not throwing them out would irk me some but it would be a minor irritation that would be gone as soon as I had tossed them.  Out of sight, out of mind.

 

The laundry.  Again - weird but not a huge deal.  It didn't hurt the machine and while it is wasteful, I would count it as part of the cost of entertaining.  My mom and my SIL have never regained their very good relationship after SIL was reprimanded for doing laundry all wrong - 25 years ago. 

 

 

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I have family members that I find to be difficult house guests... I believe it to be polite to ask your hostess/host how they would like things handled (such as stripping beds) ... this guest believes there is only one correct way to handle such things and it is NOT the way I want it handled in my home. Thus guest also had a disregard for other people's time and schedules that grates on me.

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It wouldn't worry me.  But I'm not particular about how people leave my kitchen. If it was getting to me, I might say something like "I saw you left the paper towels on the counter. I'm sorry, I must not have told you where the garbage goes.  Next time just toss them there. And if you don't want to use paper towels for drying your hands there is always a clean hand towel in the bathroom next to the sink."

 

But I'm not going to judge someone for using paper towels or using more laundry soap than I do, when they are a guest in my home.  it also rubs me the wrong way, for environmental reasons, but part of being a host is being generous with your home and your heart. That also means accepting that not everyone does things like I do.

 

 

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We have paper towels put away with cleaning supplies, so the hand towels are the only appearing option. I don't think I would say anything about the detergent, but I would offer to throw in anything of hers in our washing. With 4 kids, I'm pretty much always doing laundry. I can't fathom a guest not asking before doing laundry! If you live somewhere with strict water rationing, then yes, I would definitely say because of XYZ, let's work out laundry together. Seriously shuddering at the thought of a house guest for 2 weeks!!!

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My ex-husband used to brush his teeth at the kitchen sink after meals, despite several available bathrooms from which he could also accomplish the task. I guess his kids feel the same draw to the kitchen sink because despite a mudroom sink and multiple open bathrooms, they'll also use the kitchen sink for muddy hands, paint clean-up, and just about anything else they can think of (though at least not teeth-brushing!)  It gives me a brief heart skip, but I figure it's the price I pay for living with people I mostly like. Sigh.

 

In the OP's situation I'd probably put out some cloth dish towels to conserve the paper towels. I'd toss the dirty paper towels and in passing on the next occasion remind the guest where the trash compactor is. I'd do nothing about the laundry, and pray they'd wash their sheets at the end with as much soap they'd wish to use LOL.

 

But I never consider 'family' as house guests, and we're a pretty tight, share what you really think kind of people. So when faced with a cloth towel, my guest would probably ask where the paper towels went and I'd respond that I heard the forest cry the last time Guest used seven times the needed amount.  Upon seeing a wad of dirty paper towels on my counter I'd probably throw it at the person and tell them WE BOTH missed the trash can. And at seeing excess detergent, I'd ask aloud if they planned to wash any laundry with that soap or just clean the inside of my washer.  All said, and received, in good nature. Our relationships can handle the gentle sarcasm, and really - we'd all rather just know than to be resented.

 

* Note, I don't buy paper towels because I can't stand the feel of them. My mom is at my house nearly every day and she prefers paper towels, so she keeps a supply in my laundry room to use while she's here. She buys it, stocks it, and tries leaving it on my counter every single time she comes over LOL. I don't like seeing it on my counter, so I gave her a dedicated spot in a kitchen cabinet to keep the open roll. Every day I put her open roll into its spot in the cabinet so I don't have it on my counter. Would it be nice if she did that herself? Uh, yes! But she's more important to me than the 2 seconds it takes to do it myself so I let it go without a thought. It's a small price to pay for our relationship.

 

Now if it were anyone else, I'd probably hide the unopened rolls and keep the open roll in its designated spot. And then when/if they asked where the paper towels were I'd send them on a scavenger hunt - clues and all - all around the house, ending in the designated spot where they'd find a large note taped to the cabinet that read: PAPER TOWELS. And I'd even put that note on the outside of the cabinet for all posterity so there'd never be any guessing where to find and PUT BACK those paper towels. Because apparently I get my passive-aggressive from my mother! :D

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I admit to being a paper towel waster.  :blushing:

 

Once I was staying with a friend, and I thought I would be helpful by wiping the table down after dinner.  The daughter said, "What are you doing?"  I said, "Wiping down the table, don't you do that?"  and she said, "Yes but we don't use Windex and half a roll of paper towels!"  In my defense, I did not really use half the roll.  But clearly they were a damp sponge family.

 

I do use paper towels for lots of things and more than one to dry my hands.  Sponges gross me out.  I am happy to do what I'm told though!

Edited by goldberry
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I admit to being a paper towel waster.  :blushing:

 

Once I was staying with a friend, and I thought I would be helpful by wiping the table down after dinner.  The daughter said, "What are you doing?"  I said, "Wiping down the table, don't you do that?"  and she said, "Yes but we don't use Windex and half a roll of paper towels!"  In my defense, I did not really use half the roll.  But clearly they were a damp sponge family.

 

I do use paper towels for lots of things and more than one to dry my hands.  Sponges gross me out.  I am happy to do what I'm told though!

 

I hate damp sponges too! We use a fresh napkin/cloth (the 79c dishtowels from IKEA) and a crunchy wood cleaner. ;)

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I don't believe in paper towels, and I never buy them.

 

But recently I was cohosting a mixer at a professional office, and while sweeping up afterwards I had trouble getting those last bits into the available dust tray.  Someone who worked there came along with a paper towel and grabbed them all up with it and threw it away.  I thought that was interesting--it would never have occurred to me, but it was a good idea.

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Ewww, now I am not squeamish, but I would NEVER use a 'damp sponge' to clean my counters or table.  That does nothing but smear the germs all over the place.  I have a large number of washable cloths, some I have knitted myself, others are just washcloths. I wet one, use it and toss it in the laundry. I wash them at least once a week in their own load. 

 

Damp things that sit are a breeding ground for germs.  I would rather use a paper towel for something like that.

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no, not an adult and not if they're staying for 2 weeks & not actually moving in. They're a guest. They're to be extended all possible comfort and convenience. 

The only exception would be things like septic, and weird toilet issues (such as places where you can't flush tp or how much tp clogs pipes etc) and that would be explained right at the beginning. 

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I admit to being a paper towel waster.  :blushing:

 

Once I was staying with a friend, and I thought I would be helpful by wiping the table down after dinner.  The daughter said, "What are you doing?"  I said, "Wiping down the table, don't you do that?"  and she said, "Yes but we don't use Windex and half a roll of paper towels!"  In my defense, I did not really use half the roll.  But clearly they were a damp sponge family.

 

I do use paper towels for lots of things and more than one to dry my hands.  Sponges gross me out.  I am happy to do what I'm told though!

 

:lol: Sponges gross out my mom, too. She always microwaves my sponge if she's going to use it.

 

I have issues that I'm certain will send my kids running towards paper towels when they're living on their own. We have one sponge and it's for the counter. Please don't use it on dishes, that's what the dish rag is for. But don't use that dish rag to wipe the table, that has it's own rag. And heaven forbid, don't use either rag to clean up any spills on the floor! Use a new rag from the drawer and then throw it right into the hamper. 

 

These kids could tell you the name of every Thomas train that ever graced Earth ... every line from every single movie, new and old, from the Star Wars series ... lifelong stats for every single player on our local MLB, NFL, and NBA teams ... and every single wrong a sibling has ever committed against them, and half of what each sibling has committed against another ... yet they can't recall a few kitchen rules to keep their old mama sane.

 

Like I said, I have issues LOL.

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I don't believe in paper towels, and I never buy them.

 

But recently I was cohosting a mixer at a professional office, and while sweeping up afterwards I had trouble getting those last bits into the available dust tray.  Someone who worked there came along with a paper towel and grabbed them all up with it and threw it away.  I thought that was interesting--it would never have occurred to me, but it was a good idea.

 

But how do you drain your bacon?

 

:lol:

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I was just visiting for a day at a friend's house and washed my hands in the kitchen sink. Coincidentally, about ten minutes later, she got out disinfectant spray and cleaned the kitchen sink. She didn't say a word, but I don't think I'll wash my hands in her kitchen sink again!

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I was just visiting for a day at a friend's house and washed my hands in the kitchen sink. Coincidentally, about ten minutes later, she got out disinfectant spray and cleaned the kitchen sink. She didn't say a word, but I don't think I'll wash my hands in her kitchen sink again!

 

I still don't get the problem.  What is the kitchen sink for?  Dirty dishes, right? 

 

I can understand not wanting people to come in all dirty and wash hands in the kitchen while food prep is going on. But the sink is used for washing - if not hands, then dishes, pans... I guess the glass bowl that held my marinating steak or chicken has more potential nastiness in it than my hands (unless I was doing  yard work or using the toilet right before washing them).  

 

Edited by marbel
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I don't train guests because - they're guests.

 

I might handle it the way Tita Gidge mentioned - tossing the paper towels and giggling. Or make a joke about the soap. But that's it.

 

For the sake of creative problem solving: you could put away the laundry soap and put a small pack of laundry pods on the washer. No measuring - one per load. It works for teens who use too much soap, too. :)

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I still don't get the problem.  What is the kitchen sink for?  Dirty dishes, right? 

 

I can understand not wanting people to come in all dirty and wash hands in the kitchen while food prep is going on. But the sink is used for washing - if not hands, dishes, pans... I guess the glass bowl that held my marinating steak or chicken has more potential nastiness in it than my hands (unless I was doing  yard work or using the toilet right before washing them).  

 

 

I can only speak for myself.  And .... there is no logical explanation LOL.

 

When my sons get off of their laptops and want to wash their hands before dinner, I'd rather that laptop ick go in the bathroom sink. Even if it's just an illusion that my kitchen sink is cleaner for it.

 

When my mom comes in and washes her hands after transplanting and feeding houseplants, I'd rather that plant food ick go in the mudroom sink. Same illusion.

 

When my daughter comes home from the library, or my brother gets off the bus, or my niece comes over after hitting the mall, or my nephew comes in from petting our outdoor cats ... yeah, I'd just rather they wash that ick down the bathroom drain.

 

I just get icked out easily and like to maintain the illusion that the kitchen sink is for food ick only.

ETA: We don't prepare meat at home, but we've owned restaurants so I know that's way more gross than anything else!

 

And I'm not normally a germ-a-phobe. I don't wipe down grocery carts, I don't keep hand sanitizer around, and I don't always wash my apples before I eat them. I just have kitchen issues LOL.

Edited by Tita Gidge
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 I've never heard of that phobia about kitchen sinks. I mean dirty dishes go there, don't they?  With utensils that have been in people's mouths. 

And if you actually prepare meat in that kitchen, that sink is full of really nasty germs. 

Edited by hornblower
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My mom uses paper towels in certain rooms and then lays them out to dry and reuse!!  I throw them away without thinking, and then she is disturbed by the waste.  To her, they are cleaner, being used a few times on freshly-washed hands, than a towel that gets reused and rehung.  She's probably right.

 

To quote my Dad, "To each his hang-up."

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OK my weird thing isn't in the kitchen... it's in the laundry room. In my house we NEVER EVER EVER put dirty clothes in the clean-clothes baskets. Everyone has a hamper in their bedroom, there's even one in the guest room and one in the laundry room for catching jmisc towels and whatnot.

 

I am completely skeeved out by dirty clothes in my clean clothes baskets.

 

I know this makes me weird. I'm okay with being weird. I'm not okay with people piling dirty clothes in my baskets... which my inlaws invariably do. Then I have to bleach the baskets.

 

Edited by theelfqueen
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OK my weird thing isn't in the kitchen... it's in the laundry room. In my house we NEVER EVER EVER put dirty clothes in the clean-clothes baskets. Everyone has a hamper in their bedroom, there's even one in the guest room and one in the laundry room for catching jmisc towels and whatnot.

 

I am completely skeeved out by dirty clothes in my clean clothes baskets.

 

I know this makes me weird. I'm okay with being weird. I'm not okay with people piling dirty clothes in my baskets... which my inlaws invariably do. Then I have to bleach the baskets.

 

I don't think that's weird at all. It makes sense to me not to put clean clothes in a basket that has held dirty clothes, and vice versa.  I have dirty clothes baskets but not clean ones.  We just hang up or fold and put away clean clothes. 

 

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My guess is it was just absent mindedness with her leaving it there.

 

Maybe it's just habit?  My mom does the same thing with paper towels - washes her hands, dries them on a paper towel, then leaves it on her counter.  She uses that paper towel to dry her hands a few more times before throwing it away.  So that's how I was raised.  The first time my future dh saw that, he let me know how gross it was [to him and his family].  My mom buys the most expensive, durable paper towels so, in her mind, she's just getting her money's worth out of them. 

 

When she visits us, she does the exact same thing, even though I have clean dishcloths/handtowels hanging by the sink. Mom thinks drying your hands on a dishtowel is disgusting, and will loudly search for paper towels if I don't have them out on the counter.  FYI - I do NOT buy the most expensive, durable paper towels so ours disintegrate pretty rapidly.

Edited by OhanaBee
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Most of these things don't gross me out enough to be upset either... I mean, the paper towels on the counter aren't great, but they wiped clean hands so I wouldn't think of it as contaminated, just thoughtless and a bit annoying. Even the mouth on the towel thing, I'm like, ew, that's not considerate, but it wouldn't freak me out.

 

I don't think of much as being contaminated though. I mean, we're all germy. Sinks are all germy. Hands are all germy. Walls, door handles, light switches, ATM buttons, drinking fountains... all super germy. I just tend to suck it up. When we all ran out of water at the park today, I let all the kids drink from our large bottle. Not my kids, mind you. Because... oh well. Everyone is germy.

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