"I Was About 27 Years Old Before I Realized It Was Disgusting": Adults Are Sharing The Stomach-Turning Behaviors They Used To Do As Kids Until They Realized It Was "Gross"

Let's be honest: the majority of us do things that may be considered "gross" to others, so when I saw Reddit user u/one-droplet ask: "What have you always done, but later found out was gross?", I thought it would be enlightening to hear all the "gross" things people do. Here's what they had to say below:

1."All my life, I wiped my toothbrush on the hand towel to dry it up until my sister asked what the fuck I was doing."

tooth brush on top of a sink

2."As a child, I would dig up bits of clay from the local sandbox. It wasn’t as good as Play-Doh, so I would cast it aside and continue digging. Maybe I didn’t have a very good sense of smell at that age because I was well into adulthood before I realized it was probably cat shit."


"As a cute memory thing, my mom did a tape recording of me telling her about my first day of school. I very enthusiastically recounted my tale of finding a stick on the playground and picking it up but it was actually dried dog doo-doo and the recess monitor made me wash my hands. Precious memory tape = kind of ruined."


3."I pick my nose (privately then wash my hands). I just can’t deal with a clogged nose and my fingers work better than a tissue ever could."

a person picking their nose

4."I flushed my tampons my whole life until I was about 30. No one had taught me they weren’t flushable. I stupidly thought they were like toilet paper. One expensive and embarrassing plumbing problem later, I never did it again."


5."Not washing newly purchased clothing items."

a person opening up a package with clothes inside

6."I love to eat the crispy, crunchy white yucca flowers from my yard. I ate them for years before discovering there are tiny white waxy worms that live in the flowers and blend in. I eat other bugs and stuff, but not raw, so I started to wash them out of the flowers before I ate them. I learned the flowers are nowhere near as nutty, crunchy, and delicious without the worms, so now I leave them in."


7."Not washing behind ears."

the back of someone's head

8."Not brushing my teeth when I wake up. I would only brush my teeth after breakfast, and I would rarely eat breakfast. So most days, I would only brush my teeth at night. I figured 'Well, I brushed last night and haven’t eaten anything since, so why should I brush again?' Then I learned about all the bacteria that feed on the tiny bits of food left in your teeth and they literally expel gas and feces in your mouth as they consume it. And this is what causes awful morning breath. So I have this mental image of bacteria poop and farts coating my mouth and have brushed every morning since regardless of eating breakfast or not."


"Brush at night to keep your teeth. Brush in the morning to keep your friends."


9."I didn’t use to close the lid on the toilet before flushing. Oh, the sharticles."

a closed lid toilet
Madhourse / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10."I used to take shits and wipe for a bit, but if it was taking too long, I would just stuff a wad of toilet paper in my butt crack and deal with it later."


11."When I was like five or six years old, I would love going to the grocery store with my mom because the vegetable and fruit and meat tables always had the best ice to chew on."

ice from the seafood section of a grocery store

12."As an Asian, I was always taught to throw used toilet paper in the trash bin growing up. It wasn't until I went on a school trip to Italy where the chaperone mentioned to everyone: 'The plumbing system here isn't as good as the USA, so you guys are just going to have to throw it in the trash bin' and everyone went 'ew.' That's when I learned that it was gross to throw toilet paper in the trash bin since the issue was you're basically having shit-bits sitting around in a bin."


13."I use my earring to scrape out the muck from under my nails then put the earring back in my ear."

a set of earrings on top of a table
Jason Dean / Getty Images

14."I was in my late teens before I learned you're supposed to wipe from front to back, not back to front. I started doing it the right way. I could never get a good clean front to back. I figured I just needed practice, but I did it for six months, and it never improved. I went back to the way I've always done it. I've never had a yeast infection or UTI. I don't know how far you guys are wiping, but I don't have an issue keeping the shit out of my vagina."


"It's a zone defense. I don't know why anyone would ever take one long sweeping drag from back to front or vice versa. Separate zones get separate treatment."


15."I used to really like those self-service lollies/candy buckets with the scoops. They were in most big box stores in Australia, like Kmart, Target, and Big W. It was so much fun mixing and matching. But then, one day, I started working at Target and every single day, I caught old people and kids with their hands directly inside the buckets, grabbing out the candies and munching down all slobbery-like. It turned me off forever. Though not too long after, they started disappearing from businesses, so obviously someone got the unsanitary message."

food scoops from grocery stores
Sergeyryzhov / Getty Images

16."I was taught to wash my sheets once a month. I realized you’re supposed to do it way more."


17."I used to pluck my eyebrows on public transport. So sorry to anyone who got those sticky little living hair follicles stuck to their clothes and skin."

a person plucking their eyebrows
Thana Faroq / Getty Images

18."I put eggshells back in the carton. I didn’t know it was gross because I saw my mother always do it. I can’t believe it took me until last year to realize the error of my ways."


19."Eating snow. Just take the same handful of snow you might see a kid stuffing in their mouth and let it melt in a glass. I bet you wouldn’t drink it!"

a person hitting an icicle

20."When I was a teen, I would get in bed with my outside clothes on, sit on my bed with outside clothes on, and keep my shoes on while sitting on my bed. I might put my legs on the bed with the covers on but that’s fucking disgusting and it bothers me when anyone does it in the movies or my house (because anyone else in the world can do whatever they want — just not in my house). I’ve made it a rule to change out of your outside clothes before getting into a bed."


21."Wearing shoes inside. My family was not a shoes-off family, and they always wore outside shoes inside. I remember a few friends' homes were strict shoes-off homes, but I thought that was the minority. I was about 27 years old before I realized it was disgusting and people were definitely judging my etiquette."

a person sitting on the couch with shoes on
Deagreez / Getty Images/iStockphoto

22."I pee in the shower, shave over the toilet, and let my dogs sleep in the bed with me. I still do it, but I’ve been told those are all gross."


23."Using a loofah because you don’t wash it like washcloths."

a person using a loofah in the bath
Zenshui / Getty Images/PhotoAlto

Is there something you used to do (or still do) that you later realized was actually gross? Tell us what it is in the comments below.