October 30, 2018 2 Comments

Today is Global Handwashing Day! It’s a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness about washing hands. So, in honor of such, I’d like to bust 3 myths about handwashing. Ready?

Myth 1: Using Antibacterial Soap is Better

washing hands with hyssop tree soapI think by now most of us understand the importance of washing our hands to prevent disease. But recently, the FDA issued a final statement regarding antibacterial soaps. Their director of research had these words to say, “Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water…In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

Fascinating, right?

Myth 2: Sharing Bar Soap Transfers Bacteria

The liquid vs. bar soap debate has been going on for quite some time, and it’s not my intention to revive that argument. But I think people perceive bar soap as being dirty.

Can we take a step back in time for just a minute? Before the rise of liquid soaps, I remember growing up when we had one bar of soap for the family shower. I guess I never really thought about it’s potential danger until I heard people tell me they were skeptical about returning to bar soap. So I decided to do some research.

What I found is basically that bacteria can remain on the surface of the soap (just like on any other surface), but that “little hazard exists in routine handwashing with previously used soap bars,” according to this article. The article went on to mention other articles that found similar results.

So, go ahead and use that beautiful bar of soap to wash your hands with routine handwashing hygiene.

Myth 3: Soap and Water is All You Need

handwashing with soap on a missionGood handwashing hygiene starts with soap and water, but time and technique matter. A little elbow grease is necessary to get all those pesky germs off your hands. The CDC recommends washing for at least 20 seconds and making sure not to forget your thumbs, finger tips and in between your fingers.

The pay-off is fantastic, though. The CDC says washing your hands is like a “do it yourself vaccine,” and that it helps prevent almost 1 in 3 diarrhea-related sicknesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections.

All in all, singing happy birthday to yourself - twice should take about 20 seconds - every time you wash your hands might be worth it, especially as we knock on the door of fall and winter.

So, what about you? Do you have any tips or tricks to good handwashing hygiene? I’d love to hear them…Leave me a comment below!




2 Responses

Dorathy
Dorathy

November 06, 2018

Hi Shirley!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. I have changed my handwashing techniques, too!

Shirley Green
Shirley Green

November 06, 2018

Love the myths. Good information. Was never concerned about the tips of fingers.

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