If a drinking cup fell in the dirt outside would you throw it in the trash?

United States
July 20, 2008 6:40pm CST
If a cup fell in the dirt outside, would you reuse it? Simply wash it off and stick it back in the cabinet for the next person to use? Earlier this afternoon, my daughter (and our family) was outside and she accidentally dropped her cup of water on the ground. Usually we take a cup of water outside for her because of the heat. Since then, I've washed the cup off and even sanitized it, but I'm not really comfortable with anyone else using the cup. It's one of those cheap small kid's cups, so it's not like I'd be losing lots of money if I tossed it out. So, most likely that's what I'll do. What would you do in this situation?
9 people like this
38 responses
@stcajo1 (99)
• Canada
21 Jul 08
Im sorry but I have to chuckle a little bit. We came from the ground and we will be returned to the ground. Dirt is probably cleaner than hundreds of other things we handle throughout any given day. Heck kids love to eat dirt. Personally I wouldnt have washed it any differantly than anything else. But you are entitled to do as you will. Dale
4 people like this
• United States
21 Jul 08
Two very nice opinions! I am always amazed at the variety of opinions when it comes to germs or dirt. You'd be surprised! Thanks to you both! Have a lovely evening!
1 person likes this
@donsky14 (5962)
• Philippines
21 Jul 08
Well for me, I'm not gonna just throw it away. I'll just wash it and I'll make sure that its really washed. I mean, its kinda like a waste of money to just throw things out because of dirt.
4 people like this
@o2bnocn (2895)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I would probably just wash it really good and reuse it. I kind of understand with it being a cheap kids cup. If I dropped a plastic cup outside in the dirt I would just throw that away. If I needed that cup or it was a nice glass I would keep it. Most likely I would wash it really good, maybe put it in the dishwasher to get it really clean.
3 people like this
@o2bnocn (2895)
• United States
21 Jul 08
when I say plastic cups I mean those plastic cups you usually buy for parties and events.
3 people like this
• United States
21 Jul 08
Sure! I know what you mean. And I feel the same way. Ordinarily if it were real glass, I would feel very confident that it could be washed clean. But after I washed the little cup, there was a weird taste in the cup. And the outdoor cats sometimes go into our back yard, if you know what I mean. So I've never been keen on letting any kinds of dish ware out there. So I'm willing to make the small sacrifice. It's no big deal for me. Thanks for taking time to post!
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164264)
• Garden Grove, California
21 Jul 08
beautyqueen26 If it was a really cheap little cup yes I would just tossit and get her a different one but if it was rather expensive I would sanitize it then use' it again as it would be sterile a nd safe to use. I have done that several times and have not got sick so am sure it was sterile.
• United States
21 Jul 08
Yeah, it's just a little thing. Nothing special. I'm sure I'll just toss it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
21 Jul 08
I would feel good eough if it was washed and sanitized. What difference does it ake if it's dirt from he ground, or the germs from a person's mouth, or whatever else migt happen to that cup? Sanitizer is sanitizer, and if we're constantly tossing things because of the stuf that made them diry BEFORE WE CLEANED THEM, aren't we just being paranoied, and not letting all o that expensive santizing stu we buy, do it's job?
2 people like this
• United States
21 Jul 08
Guess that is a point I hadn't considered.
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
21 Jul 08
since most dish soap has sanitizer in it I would just wash it good and put it in the cupboard to be used again. Even if it is a cheap plastic cup it still coasts even if it cost just a dollar that is a dollar I don't feel I need to spend again.
• United States
21 Jul 08
Our world is filled with germs and waste products. Plastic is killing us because it takes so long to decompose and all of it is not bio-degradeable. Many of us don't wash things or reuse things and we contribute to ruining our environment. Hot water and a good dish washing solution will kill most germs. I wash the dixie cups http://www.dixie.com/ that I use and use them again several times. Some germs are good germs and we often kill the wrong ones by going "totally anti-bacterial". Waste not, want not - is my way of thinking on this!
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jul 08
[i]I wash the dixie cups http://www.dixie.com/ that I use and use them again several times.[/i] Which Dixie cups are you referring too? My mother was so frugal that we had plastic cutlery from my communion (in 2nd grade) at my graduation (in 12th grade)! She reused the cutlery, some of the hard plastic cups (we used as barware) and most of the aluminum cookware...to this day I ask friends, "are you throwing this out?" (referring to the cutlery) and get laughed at...
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I'm like your daughter for I'd save it and wash it in hot soapy antibacterial dish detergent and it would be fine to use again. To me, it's frugal living at it's best and when one is living this way, it's the best way to go. We can't live like a king and frankly, I wouldn't want to either. lol
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jul 08
For sure, the rich do have their own unique headaches and burdens! I would not wish their troubles upon myself!
1 person likes this
@sudalunts (5526)
• United States
21 Jul 08
We eat food which is grown in dirt. Just wash the cup and reuse it. You can never get away from germs, they are everywhere.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jul 08
I'm laughing at myself now! I had not thought about that point. Of course! Vegetables are grown in the ground. My favorite veggie is potato and that grows under the dirt! How ironic, that I would be afraid of dirt!
1 person likes this
@greysfreak (1385)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Oh, that would freak me out! I'm not sure what I'd do, if it was just a plain old plastic cup I would definitely throw it away. If it was a cup I really liked, I would clean it as much as I could, and at the very least I would wash it many times before using it again. If it was something I could go buy another of I might just throw it out and buy a new one. I'm just not sure, because I know how I am if I see one little spot on a dish from the cabinet, so if something fell in the dirt I would really be paranoid. It's probably best to just throw it out and not risk germs and stuff.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Jul 08
Finally! Another person who actually thinks the same way as me over germs! Honestly, I've been sick enough in my lifetime from germs, not the lack of germs. Food poisoning and stuff. Right now, I have toned back my obsession with germs and no longer clean with bleach. But that's as far as I go! If I'm eating off a plate or dish (or it's my daughter's cup or plates) I'm super careful. Some outdoor germs can really make a person sick. The cats used to go into our back yard and they're not just out there playing! You know what I mean. It was a big old kitty sand box back there. Of course, we keep the yard cleared of cat messes so noone can step in it. But over the years, I know that some of that stuff (and germs) have gotten down into the dirt. When we first moved in here, the outdoor cats had totally taken over the back yard. Those kinds of germs can make a person real sick. I've heard there's ecoli in the cat waste. And that cup fell on the same dirt they used to scratch around in! Don't want to risk my kid's health (or mine) over a silly plastic cup. The cup cost 25 cents! I don't need to save money that bad! Definitely throwing it away! Thanks for your comments.
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16192)
22 Jul 08
Yes, I always do, I never throw them away. My kids have probably eaten more dirt than meals to be honest with you LOL. But seriously though, as long as it is washed as soon as it is noticed it is dropped it is not really a problem!
1 person likes this
@ajayrekha (491)
• India
22 Jul 08
Well sometime it depends on the type of dirt. If its fallen in sand only, I would prefer to wash and use it but if its some drainage etc near to it and if I am visually able to judge the badness of dirt, I would not use it. In case of my children is involved, I will not prefer to use it anyway.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Jul 08
I see nothing wrong with taking the cup inside and washing it out. I feel we need to expose our children to different types of bacteria to build up their immune systems. The sun kills a lot of the bacteria that is in the dirt and by you washing it will kill the rest. When washing something off you do not need soap. What gets off the germs is water and friction. When I was in nursing if we did not have soap we where taught that with water and friction you could get most all of the germs off your hands. You have to also realize your mouth is not sterile. What you put in your mouth need to be sterile it need to be fairly clean but not sterile.
• United States
21 Jul 08
I would just wash it in hot soapy water and continur to use it. If you are worried about germs add a little bleach to the water. I no plastic cups are inexpensive, but with prices going up on everything else, we don't need to be wasteful when it isn't necessary. I've always heard, "A little dirt won't hurt you". There is no telling how much I ate as a child...LOL.
1 person likes this
@metschica25 (5405)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Hi , I take drinking cups out during cookouts , and when I am by the pool . Usually , I will just give them a better scrub if they get dirty , or have some dirt . If a kids cup I might throw away , but I dont think so . If it can easily be replaced or you have more than toss it
1 person likes this
@kellys3ps (3726)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I probably would just use it, but if it is bothering you that much, just throw it out.
1 person likes this
@lyzabelle (1668)
• Philippines
21 Jul 08
[b]If my cup fell on the dirt. I will wash it thoroughly and soak with a hot water to kill bacteria it accumulated during the fall. If i'm not really comportable with it. I will just put is somewhere far from clean ones. Then I will decide later what i'm gonna do with it.[/b]
• India
21 Jul 08
Why would you throw it out? I think there's nothing wrong in using a cup that has fallen in the dirt. I for one do not worry much about dirt and dust and all. I'm sure I have a very strong immune system that would protect me from all these small germs and all. So I wouldn't really throw the cup out, rather have it cleaned and use it again! bourne
1 person likes this
@delina123 (2455)
• Canada
21 Jul 08
If it was the kids using it outside I would just throw it out. bUt if it was me and I just dropped it I would wash it. If it landed in something gross I would just throw it ot to.
1 person likes this
@bamakelly (5193)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Oh, of course. These things happen to the best of us. I myself at one time might of thought of throwing the cup out. But I figure that as long as you clean it real good with dish detergent in hot water, things will be fine. So, it fell in the dirt. It isn't going to hurt. So don't worry.