Dirty Truth Series: Why Don’t People Wash Their Hands in Public Restrooms?


We’re dishing the dirt on public hand washing!

You don’t have to admit it, but we know it’s highly likely that you could be one of those people who skips washing your hands in public restrooms. Because the reality is, you’re not alone. In fact, a study that surveyed more than 100,000 people revealed that a whopping 62 percent of men and 40 percent of women don’t wash after using a public bathroom.

Most people simply prefer not to use the facilities in public for anything other than doing their business. But if you think about the actual uncleanliness of leaving the john without washing up, it’s a bit hard to understand why anyone would skip a simple squirt, squish, and rinse. With that in mind, let’s get to the dirty truth!

They’re into saving time

When asked, many folks will tell you that they don’t wash after using a public bathroom because they’re in a hurry. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that it only takes 15-20 seconds (the equivalent of singing the chorus of happy birthday to yourself twice), to get a clean sweep of all the germs you just collected from your bathroom visit. And when you think about how long it takes to get over a flu or cold, well, that excuse just doesn’t wash.

Non-washers have 50,000 reasons

50,000 CFUs, to be exact. That’s the number of bacteria “colony forming units” that were found on a sink in a public bathroom swabbed by scientists. And this number is nearly as high for the soap dispenser and faucet, not to mention the paper towel lever. That’s a whole lot of germs swarming around, waiting to land on an unsuspecting, healthy soul’s hands. So it only makes sense that people would prefer not to touch the sink, soap dispenser, and faucet. A solution? Touchless technology, including a hands-free soap dispenser.

They’re exempt from the germy implications

This reason for non-washing comes mostly from men, who believe tha a public restroom. So if you’re the one tasked with keeping a public bathroom stocked, order these automatic products right away—and get ready to hear a lot more “Happy Birthday” humming.

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