Washing your hands is the easiest and most effective singular method for preventing illness and maintaining a strong immune system. You probably believe that you are washing your hands responsibly and regularly at the right times; most people do. But, you might be in for a shock!
Germs Aren’t Always Visible
Let’s look at a sampling of some quite surprising, and illuminating, numbers from a survey conducted by the GOJO polling group using Opinion Research Corporation’s CARAVAN National Omnibus. This survey involved telephone interviews which were completed from May 6th, 2004 through May 9th, 2004, with 480 adult men and 520 adult women 18 years of age and older who lived in the contiguous United States at the time.
- 64% of the public think that a public restroom doorknob has more germs than an ATM machine keypad, but this has been proven wrong. The big difference? It’s the number of clean versus dirty hands that touch each of these items.
- 75% of the public believe that a toilet seat in a fast food restaurant has more germs than one on a commercial airplane, when in fact the airplane’s toilet seat is more germ-riddled. Research concludes that this is at least partly due to the frequency with which the different toilet seats are cleaned each day.
- 76% of the public believe that a Port-o-Potty has more germs than a picnic table. Once again, this is false. And once again, the difference comes down to how frequently each one gets cleaned.
- While 98% of people said that they always or usually wash their hands after using the bathroom, and 73% said the same about washing their hands before eating in a restaurant, only 33% and 17% respectively say they always or usually wash their hands after using public transportation or shaking someone’s hand.
- 61% of people strongly agree, and another 30% somewhat agree, that most people (besides themselves) don’t wash their hands as often as they should. This means that 91% of people believe that other people’s hands aren’t as clean as they should be-even while, in all probability, their own hands aren’t as clean as they should be!
- The great majority of people believe that either the toilet bowl or the bathroom sink is the dirtiest object in the home. No, and no. The home’s dirtiest object is the kitchen dishrag. The second dirtiest is the kitchen sink.
Use Sanitizer Often
But today, you have a convenient and highly effective way for you to wash your hands constantly: non-water hand washing cleanser. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are proven more effective than soap and hot water at removing bacteria and germs (although they aren’t good for cleaning off blood, human waste, toxic chemicals, or grime).
Carry around with you and place around your home these plastic bottles of hand sanitizer, and keeping your hands clean becomes easy. You don’t need to find soap or run water, and the liquid quickly dries by itself.
We also don’t always wash our hands like we should even when we do. When we wash our hands with water and soap we need to take about 15 seconds and rub every part of both hands: palms, backsides, in between fingers, and wrists. Then we need to dry thoroughly. When we use hand sanitizer we need to squirt some in the center of one palm, then rub both palms together, and then rub all parts of each hand with the other hand until we feel the sanitizer has dried.
In our fast-paced society it’s almost as if properly washing the hands is a lost art. But if you want to be truly clean, you need to bring that art back into your life! Wash hands often, wash hands thoroughly.