5 myths surrounding bathroom cleanliness and hygiene!Rikki Fothergill
The cold and flu is widespread this time of year because the weather turns colder. This means people are on extra alert due to germ spreading. There are myths about how infections are spread. To clear things up, we have taken some myths outlined by Cintas Corporation for common misconceptions about bathroom cleanliness and hygiene.
1. ‘It doesn’t matter how long I wash my hands as long as I use soap’ – False Evidence suggests you should scrub your hands with soap for a minimum of 15 to 30 seconds to effectively remove germs. However, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention found that many other countries and global organisations have adopted recommendations to wash hands for 20 seconds. Now we don’t expect you to stand washing your hands whilst counting to 20. This is just to make you aware that a quick splash of water on the hands isn’t a sufficient way to wash your hands and be germ free!
2. ‘Hand sanitisers can replace washing your hands with soap and water’ – False
Washing hands with soap and water is the best and most effective way to reduce the number of germs on hands. Although alcohol-based hand sanitisers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, they are not as effective as soap and water when it comes to removing and viruses such as norovirus.
3. ‘The hotter the water used for handwashing, the better’ – False
Water temperature does not affect virus removal. In fact, there is no proof that higher temperatures improve handwashing at all.
4. Hand dryers are more hygienic than paper towels – False
Research shows that paper towels can help remove bacteria, unlike air dryers which can increase bacteria counts. Paper towels are also less likely to contaminate other restroom users as air dryers have also been shown to spread bacteria between three and six feet from the device, increasing the chances of cross-contamination.
5. ‘I need to squat, hover or use a seat protector to stay safe from germs on toilets’ – False.
Contrary to popular belief, toilet seats are one of the most often cleaned parts of a bathroom. I think we can safely say we have all done this at some point when a toilet has looked particularly grubby. So no need to squat again, hurray!
During the winter months bathrooms need more cleaning attention. Make sure your work place toilets are well looked after this winter.