Completing normal every day tasks, such as washing clothing, should be easy. But OCD makes everything complicated. If you are one of the lucky ducks who doesn’t suffer with OCD, I encourage you to try this routine ( it’s one of my easier ones actually) and step into our shoes for a bit.   

Open your washer lid as wide as it will go. You do want any clothing items to touch the lid. Dump your dirty clothes on to the floor and separate. First, inside clothes from outside clothes. Clothes worn outside are germier. Separate the clothes you wore when you walked the trash out. Separate the ones you were wearing when that lady bumped into you at the store. Separate the ones your husband was wearing when he had to use a public restroom. Each pile will be washed on a separate hot water cycle. Carefully place each article of clothing inside the washer one by one, making sure clothing does not touch the outer portion of the washer or the rim. If clothing touches the outer area of the washer, you must wipe the outer area with antibacterial wipes, and let stand for at least 4 minutes, according to the sanitizing directions on the packaging. Alternatively, you can spray an aerosol disinfectant, such as Lysol, on the outer portions of the washer, and let stand for at least 10-15 minutes according to package directions. If you must sanitize the outside of the washer, wash your hands first to prevent any clothing germs from ending up on your disinfecting products. If you have sanitized your washing machine with wipes, you will have to repeat this handwashing process, as you came in direct contact with the germy washer.Wash your hands in the laundry room sink with antibacterial soap, making sure to suds up for at least 45 seconds. Rinse hands slowly, taking great care not to touch any part of the sink, as this will cause you to rewash your hands. Leave the sink water running and grab at least 3 paper towels. After drying off your hands, fold paper towels in a way that will allow you to turn off the faucet without touching it. Once the faucet is turned off, hold the towels away from your body so they do not touch your clothing. Transfer them to the kitchen trash can, making sure you do not change your grip on the towels and accidentally touch their underside, as this will cause you to rewash. You may feel as though the paper towels touched your clothing when you were transferring them to the trash can. In this case, you will remove your clothing and place in the appropriate pile to wash later. Repeat your hand washing process if you feel you have touched the same part of your clothing that the paper towels may have touched. Once you have washed your hands, cleaned the outer washing machine area, possibly washed again(if you used wipes instead of aerosol disinfectant), and waited the appropriate time for disinfection, you may go back to loading your clothes. Once finished, repeat the above handwashing process. Next….watch some Netflix until you have to start the process all over again… because you’re just plain exhausted.

1 Comment
  1. ana-kathleen 11 months ago

    I feel for you, my parents asking me to do the dishes or the laundry was my worst nightmare. My ritual was less complicated, but I had to wear a trash bag to prevent any germs from touching me.

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