For me, nothing beats feeling clean. It’s a compulsion. If my hair touches the back of the tube seat, I must wash it before bed, so as not to contaminate my pillow. Same goes for a gym mat, because that’s speckled with dead skin, obviously. Shoes must not be worn on carpets at home, though I will reluctantly plead ambivalence to guests who ask "Shall I take my shoes off?". "Nooo!!!! God no," I say, inhaling sharply. (YES! God yes and pronto). Curiously cathartic, I wear pyjamas for a mere 12 hours before showering and putting on a fresh pair. Woe betide you if you put a bag, any bag - one that’s touched the floor of the outside world - on th… No!! Not the non-dry-cleanable eiderdown. What’s wrong with the wooden wipeable floor, huh? Yikes! You think I am a neurotic megalomaniac? My boyfriend sure does. But it's a democratic (and disinfected) dictatorship, because if he doesn't like it, he's welcome to sleep in the garden.
Just kidding. They're not really rules, just staunchly adhered to preferences, and they existed pre Covid-19, though it seems like a good time to talk about being clean now everyone has taken up hand washing as a hobby. It’s not that I prefer things that have been completely unmarred by human contact, but they do have a nicer bacterial aura.
But back to being box-fresh, because there’s one thing that makes me feel cleaner than anything (once I’ve Dettol’d my phone), and that’s Oromovicza Moor Mud Cleanser, £54. Something which I can barely pronounce the name of, let alone spell. Mud sounds like the antithesis of clean, but that’s because you’re unfamiliar with Hungarian mud, which, deemed 'curative' by the country’s National Health Service, is rich in magnesium and calcium. Sludgy but self-contained, it’s not a messy experience - just enlist a flannel. You don’t need much (which is just as well given the price). The spa-y, eucalyptus-y smell will knock you out, but not before cleaning and velvetising your skin to within an inch of its grubby-pored life. Peppermint gives a refreshing zing, like the radioactive looking Original Source, which is helpful in times like these, if you say, erm, get up at 8.50am and have a video call at 9am. But use it at night too, to polish your cheeks before they hit your bright white pillows, that will, under no circumstances be sullied by make-up or life’s muck, thank you very much.