Handwashing Facts (and Gross Statistics!)


During the winter, cold weather and snow aren’t the only things we need to worry about. Cold, dry conditions also increase the spread of germs by allowing viruses to stay airborne longer and increasing the chances of another person getting sick.

During these months, it is especially important to practice proper hand hygiene. Making a habit of good hand hygiene is an easy, effective way to prevent the spread of infections and illnesses.

If you’re someone who chooses to skip the hand washing once in a while, read these mind blowing statistics and you might think again next time!

  • 80% of communicable diseases can be transferred by touch (person-to-person contact).
  • Washing your hands a few times a day can reduce diarrhea rates by 40%.
  • Touching your face with dirty hands spreads sicknesses pneumonia, a cold, and the flu.
  • Pneumonia is the number one cause of childhood death, and is preventable by regular hand washing.
  • The two most important times to wash your hands are before and after preparing food, and after going to the bathroom.
  • Less than 75% of women and less than 50% of men wash their hands after using the bathroom
  • When you flush a toilet with the seat up, a mist containing bacteria is spread over about 6 square meters. Even worse… Sinks in public bathrooms are 90% covered in this bacteria.
  • The ideal amount of time to wash your hands is 30 seconds, but 15 is recommended at the very least.
  • Most bacteria on our hands is under our fingernails, so when you’re washing, be sure to scrub underneath them.
  •  Damp hands are 1,000 times more likely to spread bacteria than dry hands, yet only 20% of people dry their hands after they wash them.
  • Reusable cloth towels have millions of bacteria in their fibers. Using disposable paper towels is the cleanest way to dry your hands.
  • Studies show that people who wash their hands have 24% less sick days because of respiratory illness, and 51% fewer sick days due to a sick stomach.

Grossed out? So are we, but we had to let you know!