The Horrifying Truth About Hand Washing Habits

It’s now common knowledge that hand washing is an easy way to reduce the spread of illnesses, however many people appear to be ignoring this vital lesson and running amuck with germ-ridden fingers! The following facts may have you racing for the nearest bottle of hand sanitiser!

1 in 4 people do not wash their hands after using the washroom.[1] That’s 25% of people walking away without removing any of the germs they may have picked up in there.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, of those who do wash, 46% are not washing for long enough to be effective.[2]

When these people leave the washroom, they can spread germs from their hands onto the door handle and other surfaces that they touch. In fact, contaminated hands can sequentially transfer some viruses to up to 7 surfaces.[3] That’s 7 more things to avoid!

Once the germs have made their way out of the washroom and onto previously clean surfaces, they can quickly spread through a building. 14 people can be contaminated by touching the same object one after the other.[4]

For example, just one contaminated door handle can infect up to 60% of the occupants of a building within as little as four hours.[5]

Fortunately, sanitising hands can help to break the chain of infection. Carrying an individual bottle of hand sanitiser and using it after touching high-traffic objects will reduce the number of harmful germs on your hands.

If you are responsible for a facility, we recommend having hand sanitiser dispensers at washroom exits in addition to soap and water at the sinks. This offers building occupants an additional opportunity for hand hygiene and shows that you are concerned about their health and well-being. To learn more about how to help prevent germs leaving the washroom, or to find your local supplier of PURELL hand sanitisers, please email infouk@gojo.com, or call +44 1908 588444.


[1] September 2007. Observational study sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology and the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA)

[2] “Clean Living.” 2008 Clean Hands Report Card. The Soap and Detergent Association, Aug. 2008.

[3] WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care: First Global Patient Safety Challenge Clean Care Is Safer Care. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2009. 7, Transmission of pathogens by hands. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144014/

[4] Barker J, Vipond IB, Bloomfield SF. J Hosp Infect 2004, 58:42-49

[5] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140908093640.htm


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1https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140908093640.htm
2September 2007. Observational study sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology and the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA)
3“Clean Living.” 2008 Clean Hands Report Card. The Soap and Deterge Association, Aug. 2008.