Is there any end to the bacteria?

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When you dry your hands after washing them, you obviously want to do that in the cleanest way possible. In class we found out from our pop quiz that either a paper towel or an air dryer will both work just as effectively. But what about the act of washing your hands properly? If you do not wash your hands in the most effective way then drying them will not even matter. After a bit of searching, I think I found the best detailed description on the most effective way to wash your hands. The website states that you should follow these steps:

1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.

2. Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

3. Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.

4. Rinse your hands well under running water.

5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

This looks pretty legitimate but how do we know if this is really the correct or most clean way of washing our hands? It might be hard to imagine another way but I really challenge this way of washing our hands. I challenge it not because of the method, but how we get the water to wash our hands. In order to start the water, we must turn a knob or handle to get the faucet to run. In article on about the most germ infested places in our houses, it states that the bathroom faucet handle has, "6,267 bacteria/square inch." That seems like a lot of bacteria to me.

This leads me to believe that maybe the issue we should be focusing on is not how you wash or dry your hands, but how clean the faucets are that you are turning on the water with. There is no possible way to clean your hands with a dirty faucet because when you turn off the water, you are just putting back on the bacteria that you were trying to get rid of. After looking at all of these issues with washing your hands, is it possible to actually remove all the bacteria you started with? I think that there has got to be a better way and dispenser system to wash our hands that someone could invent and make millions off of. 

1 Comment

I really respect this post since I did one similar on my sponge on my kitchen sink: which you may also like haha! I have forever thought that it is soo counter productive when washing our hands and then touching the faucet and then the door. And I have seen those people who take the paper towel and use it on the faucet then the door but in the end aren't we just going to touch something else that is gross? I am curious if we instead making a big deal of washing our hands after using the bathroom made a bigger deal out of doing it before we eat if that would be better?

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