Best Water Temperature For Hand-Washing
It doesn’t matter if you wash your hand with hot, warm or cold water. You’ll get rid of the same amount of bacteria regardless of the temperature. This new finding comes from a Rutgers University study that tested how well hand washing removed non-pathogenic bacteria from the hands of 21 participants. The volunteers all washed their hands using water temperature degrees of 60, 79 or 100 degrees, and they all achieved about the same level of cleanliness. Results also showed no difference in the cleaning power of the amount of soap used (0.5 ml, one ml or 2 ml), but the researchers said more study is needed to understand the amount and type of soap that best removes harmful microbes from hands. The study also found that washing hands for only 10 seconds significantly removed bacteria (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing for at least 20 seconds – the time it takes to hum Happy Birthday twice). Study co-author Donald Schaffner noted that using cold water instead of warm or hot water could translate into more energy savings.
Donald W. Schaffner et al, “Quantifying the Effects of Water Temperature, Soap Volume, Lather Time, and Antimicrobial Soap as Variables in the Removal of Escherichia coli ATCC 11229 from Hands.” Journal of Food Protection, June 2017, DOI: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-16-370
Also in this week’s bulletin:
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