Germs galore! We are dirtier than we think

Wash hands
How long to you take to wash your hands?

How long do you wash your hands for? 

If it’s under 20 seconds you’re not doing it for long enough.

According to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society a full 20 seconds is what it takes to kill all the germs.

If you’re not sure how long you take, they suggest singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to yourself, not once but twice, and you’ll pretty much be on the ball. That’s the whole song, not just the two words! That’s what is needed to get rid of any viruses and bacteria that are lurking, that will cause you to catch a cold, flu, infection or even an upset stomach.

If your hand washing is a lot quicker than that, you’re not alone. The RPS conducted a study which found around 84 per cent weren’t doing it for long enough.

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That’s not all. The study shows that 21 per cent of people don’t even wash their hands after going to the toilet.

One woman who admitted to not washing her hands after ‘doing a wee’ on parenting site Mumsnet, got people fired up. She even said she ‘loitered’ in the bathroom afterwards so it would seem like she was washing her hands. While most on the site attacked her for comments, others said they did the same, with one even confessing to setting off the hand drier even though she hadn’t washed.

It’s not just washing after a toilet stop that people don’t do, with more to be found from the RPS study. 32 percent don’t wash before preparing food, 65 per cent skip the before eating wash, and 50 per cent are happy to play with animals but don’t head to the basin afterwards.

What’s your hand washing ratio? How often do you do it, and for how long?