The next time someone tells you that you need to use hot water when washing your hands in order to remove most of the bacteria on them, refer them to this study conducted by Rutgers University in the US.
Researchers have just discovered that, in actual fact, washing hands in cold water is just as effective at getting rid of germs and bacteria as hot water is, with the author of the report saying that water temperature does not matter.
Professor and extension specialist in food science Donald Schaffner said: “This study may have significant implications towards water energy, since using cold water saves more energy than warm or hot water. Also we learned even washing for ten seconds significantly removed bacteria from the hands.”
Co-author of the study Jim Arbogast, vice-president of hygiene sciences and public health advancements for GOJO, added that more work now needs to be carried out to find out how much soap and what type is best for removing harmful microbes from hands.
“This is important because the biggest public health need is to increase handwashing or hand sanitizing by foodservice workers and the public before eating, preparing food and after using the restroom,” he went on to say.
Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps towards avoiding falling ill and spreading germs to other people. Many conditions are in fact spread because people fail to wash their hands with soap and clean running water. If soap and water isn’t available, use hand sanitiser with at least 60 per cent alcohol.
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1st June 2017