May 17, 2019 at 07:32AM by CWC
It’s a question as old as time: How long do you actually need to wash your hands after going to the bathroom? For some, the answer is a quick splash with soap and water. For others, it’s until you finish mentally going through your to-do list for the day. To kick germs to the curb, the real solution is somewhere in the middle.
A short scrub to wash up just doesn’t to cut it. A 2013 study from Michigan State University found that only 5 percent of people wash their hands long enough to kill germs after using the restroom, and that’s risky behavior. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says proper hand washing is key to fending off illnesses and infections caused by salmonella, E. coli, and norovirus. It also ensures you don’t spread germs to others.
It takes just little bit longer (seconds, really!) to wash your hands properly. If you’ve just used the bathroom or taken out the garbage, or if you’re about to eat, the rule is the same: You need to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Don’t forget to wash the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Using warm water isn’t necessary, but most people wash for longer if the temperature is pleasant. To time it out, sing the Alphabet song, which lasta bout 20 seconds. (You could sing “Happy Birthday” twice instead.) After you’re finished singing, rinse your hands and dry them off.
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