Study Uncovers Gross Hand-Washing Stat
19 out of 20 of us are doing it wrong
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 11, 2013 12:22 PM CDT
Updated Jun 15, 2013 7:00 PM CDT
Some 95% of bathroom users aren't washing their hands for long enough.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Warning: After reading this, you may never want to shake hands again. Following a trip to the toilet, some 95% of people don't wash their hands properly—meaning long enough actually eliminate bacteria, a study finds. Some commit worse hygiene sins: a third don't use soap, and a tenth don't wash their hands at all, LiveScience reports. How did the Michigan State researchers figure this out? By training students to snoop on 3,749 fellow public restroom users.

You should be able to sing "Happy Birthday" twice in the time it takes to wash your hands, according to the CDC—that's 15 to 20 seconds. The average hand-washing time observed, however, was just six seconds. (One interesting finding: If the sink was clean, the time increased.) And, perhaps unsurprisingly, men were less hygienic than women: Just half of guys used soap, while 15% didn't wash their hands. Among women, the stats were 78% and 7%, respectively. Researchers were surprised by the findings: "Past research suggested that proper hand washing is occurring at a much higher rate," said one.

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Showing 3 of 67 comments
crankydude
Jun 19, 2013 8:18 PM CDT
update: Approximately 6-15-13 on How It is Made on Science channel, I saw a pork pie made by handling, with bare hands, the mixing of the meat, the rolling of the dough, the stuffing of the meat and the placement of the finished pie into a plastic packaging. The narrator did not comment on it. He usually never does, lol
JustThinking
Jun 17, 2013 12:46 PM CDT
I usually never wash my hands in public restrooms. I get very dry skin with the water or water and soap in the restrooms leading to paper cuts and risk of more bacteria. I avoid touching any surfaces, open doors with my forearm, or cover my hand with my shirt to keep germs off my fingers when I open or close doors. I flush the non-auto flush toilets with my foot. I know many people who are OCD about hand washing/hand sanitizer, but then they are hugging and touching others so much of the time.
realtruth
Jun 17, 2013 8:26 AM CDT
This study proves.. That everyone is not a germaphobic. My Wife for instance.. Sometimes she sux me off without first brushing her teeth.. Man that grosses me out..