Three quarters of us are failing to wash our hands properly, according to the results from a survey by Initial, Ireland’s leading experts in hygiene. Ahead of Global Handwashing Day, next Monday, the survey revealed a worrying lack of knowledge about handwashing amongst Irish people.
Nearly all respondents (95% ) who do regularly wash their hands are not spending long enough to fully remove the bacteria present. Two thirds of people blamed a lack of time for their poor handwashing practises, with a fifth of respondents refusing to wash their hands in a dirty bathroom.
Only 23% of people reported washing their hands before every meal, the survey found.
Initial’s research also revealed that most people (60%) only use soap occasionally. Over 42% of those surveyed usually use cold water as opposed to hot water when they do wash their hands, which is less far less effective in removing oils and germs.
Top handwashing tips:
- Wash hands at least six times a day, in particular before every meal and after using the bathroom
- Always use soap and warm water when washing your hands.
- Always spend over 20 seconds minimum when washing your hands, to ensure they’re cleaned thoroughly (this is the amount of time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice)
- Wash thoroughly, ensuring that every part of the hand is included.
- Dry thoroughly with a clean towel or with a dryer afterwards.
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