Does anybody still use cotton handkerchiefs?

So if you did not eat it you should still have it, but please don’t tell me where you keep it, that would be reportable thread-snotting.

“…so I guess I’m gonna have to learn to live with it.”

I almost always carry a cotton cloth with me. It’s usually just a plain old bandanna, available pretty much anywhere for about a buck. Unless it’s on one of those rare days when I have to wear a suit, it’s in my back right pocket.

However, I would never blow my nose on it and then put it back in my pocket. That seems to me to be kind of disgusting. Also, for some weird reason, the need to blow my nose just doesn’t seem to happen to me.

But carrying around a piece of cloth can be incredibly handy. Except for blowing one’s nose.

Basically, I absolutely get the Japanese habit of always carrying a cotton cloth (hankachi – is that right?). Drying one’s hands, drying the seat of one’s bicycle, about a zillion other uses. It’s a great tool to have in the pocket.

Plus they’re great for wiping the chrome on a Harley.

Not on Urban Dictionary yet, so what’s it mean?

I seriously do iron them, and fold them into small squares, and iron the folds. That way they take less space in my pocket and if I have to pull it out in public it doesn’t look like a, pardon the French, snot rag

Either polishing the shiny metal on a motorcycle, or rubbing one off, aka wanking.


It seems to me that cotton handkerchiefs - those that people actually blew snot into - lost popularity right around the time automatic laundry machines were becoming more popular as household appliances. Could it be that hardcore cotton snot blowers secretly had a fetish for washing gobs of snot out of cotton rags by hand? Once laundry machines became the norm, washing snot out of rags ceased to become fun.
Kind of makes one wonder why washable cotton toilet rags never caught on back in the day. I mean if washing snot got your jollies off, you’d have thought the next step . . .
Just a thought.

The former not the latter.

But clean the chrome with the diaper before blowing your nose into it. Snot streaks are unbecoming on a V-Twin.

I prewash my handkerchiefs I the sink before adding to the washer.

Today’s washers don’t soak and wash in a tub of water anymore. I’ve noticed my clothes for yard work don’t get clean in our modern efficiency washer. So anything heavily soiled gets prewashed in our laundry tub.

My handkerchiefs get heavy use in allergy season. :slight_smile:

Not since I was a kid/youth, circa 70s. But one of the best ideas I’ve had is to keep a few paper towels stuffed in my back pocket which frequently come in handy. Usually to dry my hands in a bathroom with only air dryers, especially the obnoxious loud ones with jet engines. Or as a napkin if I need one, or to wipe a car window, blow my nose, wipe my brow, etc., etc.

I have never used a cotton handkerchief. I am Genx and only remember them from older relatives in the 70’s

Same. If it’s cold out my nose may start running but I just wipe it with a tissue, rarely have I actually had the need to do the whole blowing routine.

My Mom used to iron my Dad’s hankerchiefs and would let me iron them when I was 5 or 6 (BTW, I’m a guy).

I still have a bunch of cotton ones, but I use them as napkins since I switched to microfiber cloths. Much better to clean your glasses and more absorbent for blowing you nose. I’ve got some 16"x16" or 18"x18" ones from Amazon. The only thing is they have zigzag edge unfinished edges.

Ahhhh…memories of my Dad pulling it out blow my nose, then putting it back into his pocket! Mom had the frilled lace ones and they weren’t as good.

And one of the best feelings is using Dad’s 'kerchief to dry your tears. Hopefully before he uses it to blow your nose!

Glad to see this thread pop up. As shops have been opening up, I finally have a chance to buy more handkerchiefs. The places I found on line wanted me to buy a few dozen, and I know I can get just 3 of them at the store in the next town.

I have weirdly unpredictable allergies. Despite much testing when I was younger I don’t know what causes them.

Thankfully I seem to have grown out of them to some extent and an attack is now rare. Nonetheless, at any given second I can suddenly find myself sneezing and my nose running. I consequently feel naked and at risk of an Embarrassing Situation if I’m outside my home without a handkerchief.

Keeping tissues in my pocket doesn’t work for me. They make a mess if they go through the wash. It doesn’t matter if I accidentally leave a hanky in a pocket - which may not be ideal but is at least not counterproductive, and I’ve occasionally been saved by a hanky that I didn’t even know was there because it had inadvertently been left in a pocket

I didn’t answer the poll as I do not use cloth handkerchiefs nor have I ever done so.

My husband, however, did grow up using them, but mostly gave it up years back. I recall once pulling a load of laundry out of the dryer, and found one that had somehow survived the wash with, well, its load intact. BLEH!!!

He got back into the habit of using them, at least some of the time, last year with the concern over shortages of paper products. He has some decades-old ones that are worn nearly transparent with use, but he bought more.

A big disadvantage of them is that once used, you’ve got to carry a messy wad of cloth around until you can get it home for laundry purposes. If you’ve got major allergies, tissue is a lot more practical. My spouse mainly uses the cloth ones now when he uses his neti pot, which eliminates the carry-around-afterwards concern.

We do use far less disposable paper around the house now than we did pre-COVID - more dish cloths for quick wipes, cloth napkins, and with bidet seats, even less TP than before.

I’m currently getting a lot of use out of my cotton handkerchiefs, as some kind of tree is pollinating and my allergies are in overdrive. When my nose runs continuously, the product is no more substantial than tears. It’s not like I’m blowing loads of green snot into my handkerchief.

I bought 2 dozen of two different types, for the same reason. One bunch is indeed some kind of blend that does not wrinkle much. OK for quick mealtime face-mopping but would not be great for a massive spill. The other is pure cotton, looks bad due to the wrinkles, and would be nicer-looking if ironed - but that ain’t gonna happen. They’re for everyday use. We have damask napkins for holidays etc., which we’ll iron.

IIRC, the two bunches were fairly similar in price at Amazon.