It may surprise you, but washing your hands after using the bathroom is less common than assumed. One in five people don’t wash their hands, and only about one in 20 people actually wash their hands with soap for 15 seconds or more. If this doesn’t seem to bother you, there are plenty of other shocking facts about sanitation you may leave you with second thoughts the next time you flush.

Shocking Facts About Washing Your Hands (Or Not!)
From Visually.


Food Cutting Boards Have Two Times the Fecal Matter of a Toilet Seat

Yes, as unbelievable as that may be, toilet seats are actually cleaner than the boards we use to cut the meat and vegetables we eat. The reason should be obvious – improper hand washing before approaching food leads to carelessness in handling overall. While this would be less common in areas where gloves are used, this is generally not the case for people at home.

There’s a reason the old adage “wash your hands before and after cooking” is so important: even if your hands are clean from using the bathroom, raw meat contains a variety of pathogens killed by cooking which can remain on your hands for hours!

Not Washing Hands Kills Children Worldwide

According to the Center for Disease Control, the two most common global causes of childhood death are diarrhea and pneumonia. Washing hands with soap and water prevents the spread pathogens which cause these illnesses, and studies have shown that when regular hand washing is applied in a school area, not only do illness rates drop by over 30%, but attendance also increases (indicating that parents and children are aware when conditions at a school are unsanitary). So the next time you think about skipping out on washing your hands, think about all times you’ve unknowingly spread your germs around. The few seconds you take to wash your hands could save a life.

Most People Skip the Soap

It would be fairly intuitive that people who do wash their hands would do so with soap, but in fact, most people simply give their hands a quick rinse. Hand washing with soap actually cuts the possibility of spreading infection by almost 75%: studies show that in households where soap is not used, the possibility of spreading diarrhea-causing pathogens is 12.5%, compared to just 3.7% when at least one hand is washed with soap. (Washing with just water brings the total down to about half of not washing hands at all.)

Most Soaps Don’t Kill Bacteria, But That’s Not a Bad Thing

While many assume that washing hands with regular soap kills bacteria, this is actually not the case. Soap breaks down the oils on the skin where bacteria grow, and then the water, having broken down the oil solution, washes off the bacteria and flushes them away.

So most soaps simply flush away bacteria, rather than kill them, but for the hand washers and those around them, the effect is the same. While there are anti-bacterial soaps on the market, these should not necessarily be your first choice in the bathroom. Antibacterial soap can actually help contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and make for illnesses which will spread more easily in communities which are already fairly sanitary.


Handbags Carry 10,000 Germs per Square Inch, and That’s Not Even the Worst Part!

30% of handbags also carry fecal matter, but perhaps even worse of all is that these personal bags come with us almost everywhere we go, meaning that the bacteria on them can easily spread from place to place. One of the easiest ways companies and organizations can help keep their space clean and cut back on bacteria is by installing portable hand sanitizer stations throughout their store or office.

Hand Sanitizer is Effective, But Be Careful Around the Handle

Even though hand sanitizers are effective at killing germs, their dispensers aren’t! Think about it. On any given day, hundreds of people touch the dispenser before cleaning their hands. If you want to stay germ-free, then cover your hand with a paper towel before reaching for the dispenser.

Washing your hands is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infections, germs and other harmful bacteria. Don’t let a lack of restrooms endanger your health by working with the portable toilet suppliers at Mr. John. Our portable toilet rentals and restrooms make staying clean and sanitary easier than ever.  For high-quality service and diverse sanitary solutions, get in touch with Mr. John today.