Festival season is upon us, and as more people shun disposable wipes and non-sustainable quick fixes for freshening up after a night in a tent, focus is turning to how to keep yourself clean in ways that don't harm the environment.
Recently, Glastonbury organisers advised festival goers to go for "strip washes" with a flannel and soap, rather than a showers. This prompted a response from public health experts attempt, concerned about misconceptions about cleanliness.
Speaking about false theories about hygiene habits from the 1990s, The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said that you cannot be "too clean", adding that lessons on cleanliness should be included in the national curriculum in the UK.
The misconceptions about hygiene, they said, were down to the "hygiene hypothesis", which was widely publicised in the 1990s and argued that the rising rates of allergies were caused by "over-cleanliness". One belief at this time was that children should be exposed to a wide range of harmful microbes.
The RSPH has stated that this is not the case, explaining that while people need diverse exposure to microbes that are mostly harmless, people should stay vigilant about hygiene at home.
Their research found that misconceptions persist today about how to practice proper cleanliness, with one in six men thinking there was low or no risk in not washing their hands after using the toilet, while one in 12 believed there was no need to wash their hands after handling raw meat.
Of women surveyed, only half as many shared these views.
When it comes to keeping the home clean, experts suggest "targeted hygiene", meaning a focus on cleaning surfaces, utensils and hands thoroughly during and before food preparation, and washing bedding and towels at 60C. Cleaning this way can help cut the risk of spreading infections like listeria, e. coli or norovirus, according to the experts.
Handwashing is central to keeping the home and other people safe from infection: experts advise that hands should be washed with soap and water before eating with fingers, after using the toilet, after petting or cleaning up after pets, after handling dirty clothes and linens, and after coughing, sneezing and blowing noses.
Experts note that exposure to "good bacteria" - such as that encountered when children play outside - is beneficial for health in many ways, and that an increasing use of antibiotics are cutting exposure to such bacteria found in the natural environment.
Professor Lisa Ackerley, RSPH trustee and food hygiene expert, said: "Getting outdoors and playing with friends, family and pets is great for exposure to 'good bacteria' and building a healthy microbiome, but it's also crucial that the public don't get the wrong end of the stick - this doesn't need to get in the way of good hygiene.
"Targeted hygiene undertaken at the crucial times and places is a way of preventing infection that is cheap on time and low effort, and still exposes you to all the 'good bacteria' your body benefits from."
Professor Sally Bloomfield, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: "The problem is that we have become confused about what hygiene is, and how it differs from cleanliness.
"Whereas cleaning means removing dirt and microbes, hygiene means cleaning in the places and times that matter - in the right way - to break the chain of infection whilst preparing food, using the toilet, caring for pets etc."