Are you one of those lazy souls that obsessively smothers their germ-flimsy hands with hand-sanitizers just because it takes too much effort to get out of bed solely for washing your hands? It is winter time, and it is an even harder time to convince yourselves to wash your hands incalculable times each day. Well, here we are to push you out of bed. Let’s start with a story. An entrancing incident that belongs to the 19th century tells us about the enthusiasm of a Hungarian obstetrician named Ignaz P. Semmelweiss. He was able to prove that hand washing substantially killed germs in newborns. He was so persistent about his findings that he wanted to tell everyone he knew. His persuasive attempts were so striking and so full of substance; so much so that his colleagues had had enough! He was taken to a lunatic asylum. 1

We admit that you might find our efforts akin to that of Dr. Semmelweiss but such are the reasons behind washing your hands!

Your washroom is aggressively contaminated

A person flushing a toilet to denote that flushing causes rise of a fine mist containing E Coli and Staph in the toilet atmosphere.
Source: https://www.gettyimages.ae/photos/flush

Toilets, each time they are flushed, give rise to a fine mist containing bacteria such as E. Coli and Staph. A contaminated atmosphere such as this covers about 6 square meters of an area, which means that every corner of your bathroom is dirty! Now, you can only imagine the level of contamination of a public bathroom. 1

Your entire hand is filthy

Sit and ponder, how have you always been washing your hands. The answer, most likely, is “incorrectly”. Most people simply wash their palms, while they miss everything else when most bacteria on our hands stay on the fingertips and beneath the nails.Do remember that after using the bathroom, the number of bacteria on our fingertips multiply. 1

You have two hands

The bacteria count on the dominant hand is the most. However, the ironic fact is that left-handed people wash their right hand more thoroughly than their left hand, and vice versa.

Is Antibacterial soap healthier to use?

This one is a myth so many of us have nurtured all this while. The Federal Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found no evidence that using antimicrobial soap keeps us healthier than regular soap. Also, regular soap tends to be less pricey than antibacterial soaps.2

A fabric house of bacteria

A person drying hands with cloth towel to denote that cloth towels are unhygienic.
Source: https://www.123rf.com/photo_100984544_woman-holding-towel-and-drying-hands-in-bathrrom.html

Although not more than 20% of people dry their hands post washing; but the ones who do, use cloth towels. Those are something that we like to call a fabric house of bacteria. Better alternatives are disposable paper towels that are much more hygienic. 1

Does washing your hands with soap and water kill germs?

Washing your hands with plain soap and water does not result in pathogen destruction (water would have to be over 130°F to do that; scalding of the skin occurs at 120°F).3

The use of any soap is better than plain water during hand-wash.

A person using a soap to denote that a soap acts as a surfactant to lift off dirt surfaces.
Source: https://depositphotos.com/95752730/stock-photo-hygiene-cleaning-hands-washing-hands.html

Soap isn’t meant to kill bacteria! Instead, it is meant to act as a surfactant to lift dirt off surfaces in order to rinse away the dirt.4


Here’s to hoping that motivation has been rendered, and that you make it a habit to conform to good sanitary principles. Adorn your hands with a good layer of cleanliness and lace them with wonderful fragrances such as citrus or tea tree, rose or cedar-wood. The choice is yours!

By Ravjyot Kaur- Ravjyot loves to express herself through her writing. She is an aspiring architect and an intern with Mistpoffer®

References:

  1. https://b4brands.com/blog/facts-hand-washing-hygiene/
  2. https://www.aurorahealthcare.org/patients-visitors/blog/facts-and-myths-about-hand-washing
  3. www.handwashingforlife.com/files/HandwashWaterv2.doc
  4. https://www.beckersasc.com/asc-quality-infection-control/9-myths-about-hand-hygiene.html

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