Home Environmental Does Every Bathroom Trip Warrant Hand Washing? What Science Says (Video)

Does Every Bathroom Trip Warrant Hand Washing? What Science Says (Video)


We’ve all been taught to wash our hands after going to the bathroom. But CNN reports the dirty truth… 95% of the time we’re still doing it wrong. Buzz 60’s Chandra Lanier has the story.

We all know what we’re supposed to do after using the toilet.

But survey after survey (including one in which scientists secretly camped out in bathrooms) have revealed a dirty truth: people don’t always wash their hands before they leave the bathroom. One study suggested that only 67% of people wash their hands after they go.

Don Schaffner, a professor of food science at Rutgers, has been studying hand washing for years and says the conventional wisdom shouldn’t be ignored.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re peeing or you’re pooping, you should wash your hands,” he told Business Insider.

Here’s why.

Germs can hang out in bathrooms for a long time

Each trip to the restroom is its own unique journey into germ land. So some occasions probably require more washing up than others.

“If you’ve got diarrhea all over your hands, it’s way more important that you wash your hands than if… you didn’t get any obvious poop on your fingers,” Schaffner said. “My gosh, if you’ve got poop on your hands and you have the time, certainly, get in there, lather up real good and do a real good job.”

Compared to feces, urine can be pretty clean when we’re not harboring any infections, though it’s not totally sterile.

Business Insider, excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, Aug. 24, 2018

Video by Buzz60/Chandra Lanier