Washing hands in cold water 'as good as hot'

Jun 03, 2017, 02:06
Washing hands in cold water 'as good as hot'

The researchers argue it is more important to ensure workers thoroughly wash their hands, no matter at what temperature, before and after preparing food and using restrooms.

"Water works as a physical cleanser and washes the organisms and microbes off the hands", said Dr. Raymond Pontzer, director of infection prevention for UPMC in Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the study.

Before the participants washed, their hands were swiped with harmless germs.

"Whether you choose the bar of soap, whether you use a plain soap or whether you use an antimicrobial soap, the most important thing is to wash your hands", says Professor Schaffner.

Professor Donald Schaffner said: "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".

Cool water removes the same amount of harmful bacteria as hot, according to small study on handwashing.

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Washing your hands in hot water may be utterly pointless as scientists say cold water is just as effective to kill germs.

It was found that neither the temperature of the water nor the amount of soap they used made any difference to the amount of germs removed from their hands.

The study also found that people who regularly used lotion on their hands had fewer bacteria after washing than those who didn't, possibly because moisturizing can help fix dry and damaged skin that's more hard to clean. This process was repeated multiple times over a six-month period.

You don't need to risk scalding yourself in order to get clean hands.

In handwashing experiments with 21 volunteers, Rutgers University researchers found no significant difference in cleaning power between water that was 60, 79 or 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The issue of water temperature has been debated for a number of years without enough science to provide proof that water temperature makes a difference in hand hygiene, said the United States researchers.

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The study appears in the June issue of the Journal of Food Protection.

But they did say that you should scrub your hands for at least 10 seconds.

Hand washing is the simplest, most basic way to stay healthy.

"It's an interesting piece of information in the overall study of hand washing", he says. Just make sure to wash your hands. The authors of the study hope that the agency will revise water temperature policy at that time to avoid so much wasted energy on hot water usage.

"We are wasting energy to heat water to a level that is not necessary", Schaffner said.

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