How long do you think you should wash your hands? well, this experiment has some eye-opening results for you!


How often do you wash your hands in a day? Hands are potential home for all the terrible bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella, and even various viruses. Our hygiene determines our ability to ward off any infectious organisms that might do us harm. They are everywhere and it is almost impossible to prevent ourselves from coming into contact with them wherever we go.

But how do we know if we were really able to get rid of these bacteria when we wash our hands? To answer that, Jennie Agg from Dailymail has come up with a unique experiment that shows us how well our washing routine affects the amount of bacteria present on our hands and here is what she found.

Before washing

To test the different washing techniques, Jennie Agg has brought in a UV camera and a Glo Germ gel. The gel, which is also used to train nurses in hygiene, contains particles that are as small as the bacteria and simulate how they cling to our skin. These particles are clear under normal light but glow white under UV light and that means you get to truly measure how well you’ve washed your hands. The whiter your hands look the less clean they are.

Rinsing and shaking off the water

Many of us when in a hurry or don’t want to bother taking too long to wash our hands, just give our hands a quick rinse and shake off the water before running to whatever we need to do next. But apparently, it doesn’t do much good. According to a study at Michigan State University in 2013, around a quarter of people only give their hands a quick rinse. It was also found that from among 3,500 people observed, men were more likely to just rinse their hands than women after going to the loo.

After six-second rinse with water and no soap

According to a research, six seconds is the average amount of time people spend on washing their hands. In Jennie’s experiment, her hands showed small areas of darkness, but her nails, cuticles and the folds in her skin still showed significant amounts of white color.

After six-second wash with soap

Then she proceeded to wash her hand with soap. This time, her hand showed much improvement. A lot of the white specks have gone. The molecules of soap attach themselves to dirt or anything else for that matter when you rub it on your skin. When you wash off the soap, whatever’s on your skin will go along with the lather.

After fifteen-second wash with soap

In the study by Michigan State University, it was found that only 5 percent wash their hands for 15 seconds or more. It also gives you enough time to wash all the corners of your hands, like the areas between your fingers.

After thirty-second wash with soap

Next she washed her hand for a longer period of time, which has removed quite a lot of the gel particles.

Keeping your hands clean has proven time and again to have a significant impact on your health. But how much is too much? We all now know about superbugs and how bacteria are becoming increasingly resistantto antibiotics. The bacteria present on our skin act as a shield preventing other infectious bacteria from invading. It is important to be clean, but not a good idea to be obsessively clean.


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