United States scientists claim they have cancelled out the theory that washing hands with hot water kills more germs as opposed to using cold water.
The study was conducted on 20 people and arrived at the conclusion that washing hands with water at 15C had the same effect as using water at 38C.
This report, published in the Journal of Food Protection, suggests that this could be the way to reduce restaurants’ electricity bills.
NHS advice recommends that people wash their hands in either cold or warm water.
Remove the Bug!
The Rutgers University-New Brunswick scientists set out to establish whether there is any merit in the general benefits given to hot or warm water and whether the guidelines given to the food industry holds any ground.
The 20 participants were asked to wash their hands 20 times, each with water that was 15C (59F), 26C (79F) or 38 degrees (100F).
The volunteers were also asked to do so in different quantities of soap.
Just before the beginning of the test, their hands were covered in harmless bugs.
According to the study findings, the amount of bugs removed could not be linked in any way to the water temperature or the amount of soap used.
“People need to feel comfortable when they are washing their hands but as far as effectiveness [goes], this study shows us that the temperature of the water used did not matter,” said Professor Donald Schaffner.
But these findings are not all-inclusive since the researchers admitted that the research is small and needs to done on large-scale to arrive at an all-inclusive decision.
They state that it is best to rub hands together in different ways to be sure that each surface of the hands is clean.
Expert guidance on how to wash hands
Always wash hands before:
- Eating or preparing food
- Inserting or removing contact lenses
- Caring for an injured or sick person, giving medicine or treating wounds
Always wash hands after:
- Shaking hands with others
- Sneezing, blowing your nose, coughing
- Changing diaper
- Using the toilet
- Preparing food, more so raw meat or poultry
- Handling garbage, household or garden chemicals or any contaminative stuff such as soiled shoes
- Touching an animal or animal toys, waste or leashes
Besides theses, make sure you wash your hands every time they look dirty.