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Hand Washing

(40 Posts)
vampirequeen Sat 04-Jul-15 09:02:02

Do you know how often you wash your hands?

I've just kept a record of one day's hand washing to help DGD with her homework and I was amazed by how often I was my hands. Before I kept a tally I'd have said that I did it around a dozen times a day but actually it's far more.

Apart from the obvious bathroom handwashing times I also wash my hands before and after handling raw food, before eating, before, during and after preparing food, when I've been to the dustbin, after coughing, sneezing or blowing my nose, touching an animal, coming in from the outside, after housework, after washing up....the list goes on and on. Yesterday I washed my hands 42 times!

ninathenana Sat 04-Jul-15 09:04:05

I confess I wash mine a lot less than that blush

Lapwing Sat 04-Jul-15 09:07:40

Sounds about right to me. I would follow the same routine as you. I do keep hand cream in the kitchen and use it regularly otherwise my hands really suffer.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 04-Jul-15 09:08:11

That sounds quite similar to the number of times I wash mine.


jinglbellsfrocks Sat 04-Jul-15 09:09:14

Actually, they do tell you to wash your hands frequently. But you do wonder how our grannies survived. I'm sure they didn't wash as often.

soontobe Sat 04-Jul-15 09:15:32

Our grannies didnt survive anywhere near as long, or as well.
3 of my grandparents were dead before I was born.
I realised a few weeks ago, that my grandkids are likely to have up to 7 greatgrandparents alive when they are born. Such a difference in the space of about 70 years.

Nelliemoser Sat 04-Jul-15 09:18:07

I have no idea how often I wash mine. An interesting little exercise to do.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 04-Jul-15 09:19:50

Mine did soon! 93. Not bad.

soontobe Sat 04-Jul-15 09:25:56

I am too scared to count handwashings. I could get a bit fixated!

Luckygirl Sat 04-Jul-15 09:28:59

My hands are raw at present as I have been looking after people with a tummy virus - and the dettox wipes are taking a bot of a bashing!

soontobe Sat 04-Jul-15 09:29:02

I meant to write, very good jingl.
Early deaths in mine were childbirth related, and ops going wrong. Stuff that is treatable nowadays.

sunseeker Sat 04-Jul-15 09:55:21

I also wash my hands frequently - my DH used to say I couldn't pass a sink or basin without washing my hands!

Recently I met a friend for coffee and we used the ladies room, there we were at the basins washing our hands when we noticed the number of people who would just put their hands under the running tap for about 3 seconds. Now it is possible that we are a bit pedantic about this (she is a former nurse and I am almost OCD). It means that we wash our hands but then have to touch a door handle covered in other peoples germs! Don't people realise you need to wash your hands (with soap and preferably hot water) for at least 20 seconds for it to do any good. My grandmother taught me that you could time this by singing a couple of verses of "Happy Birthday to you" (in your head!!!!)

henetha Sat 04-Jul-15 10:17:46

I love washing my hands and do so as frequently as I can. Not only because of germs and dirt but because I just love the idea of being clean and the smell of the soap/gel/whatever. It always bothers me that some people simply don't wash their hands enough, or at all, even!

thatbags Sat 04-Jul-15 11:00:18

I rinse my hands a lot as I don't like them to feel sticky, including sweaty sticky. However, my hands also get properly dirty quite a lot in the garden. I 'use' doing a bowl of washing-up in hot soapy water as a way to get both the dishes and my hands clean at the same time.

I don't think hand-washing is as important after just urinating as it is after a bowel movement. I wash my hands every time I use the loo but am certainly more thorough, for good reason, after a 'number two'.

Those people who worry about germs on the exit door handles of public loos, there are several coping strategies one can use: push the door, if it's a pusher, with a clothed part of your anatomy; if it's a puller pull your sleeve over your hand. Stuff lke that.

Alternatively, you could think about how many times you have actually been made ill by germs on door handles. In my case that number is zero so I don't worry about it. I'm not counting mild cold symptoms which I have nearly all the time.

Teetime Sat 04-Jul-15 11:29:03

vampire my regime is about the same as yours. I used to teach handwashing of all things when I was an Infection Control Nurse you'd be surprised how many people miss significant parts of their hands like the thumbs and in between the fingers and the back of the hand. we had an exercise medium which showed up the parts they had missed. I don't use handwipes or alcohol hand gel at home preferring good old soap and water but have some with me for when I'm out and about. as for transfer of organisms from surfaces I always remember a passage in one of the IC manuals which read something like 'organisms are perfectly capable of migrating through toilet paper' nasty!

vampirequeen Sat 04-Jul-15 13:58:46

I use gel when I'm out too. Especially if I've touched the door handle leaving the ladies. I don't understand how people can leave without washing their hands properly. I'm a bit OCD so I know I can be OTT but I have to make sure I've washed properly. It takes more time that simply rinsing your fingers under the cold water tap but then it does actually get rid of a lot of bugs you'd much rather not have back in your stomach. Oddly I sometimes get asked if I'm a doctor or a nurse as if they are the only people who need to wash their hands.

hildajenniJ Sat 04-Jul-15 14:14:20

I too am a former nurse, and wash my hands as if I was still working!grin. I now do a small part time job as a cleaner in a large poshish supermarket. While cleaning the washrooms, I see the hand washing techniques of the staff, both male and female. Some of the women are really slapdash with hand washing, one or two don't do it at all. The men are much more fastidious, and wash their's really well. Not my place, but I did have words with one girl about cross contamination, she was very dismissive. I have asked, so I know that they have training about personal hygiene and hand washing.

janerowena Sat 04-Jul-15 14:21:50

We have two sinks, and to save hot water one has a washing-up bowl permanently filled with hot soapy water in it, just for hand washing. It gets re-filled three or four times a day, as I seem to be always gardening, cooking or cleaning. I hate to think how often I wash mine, but I still seem to manage to have black under my fingernails despite using the scrubbing brush after gardening.

NfkDumpling Sat 04-Jul-15 15:43:06

I too wash taught the singing of Happy Birthday twice to make sure I washed my hands properly! Nana-next-door also stressed that I should keep my hands away from my mouth and NEVER EVER handle food without hand washing first. She really had a 'thing' about money - coins especially - saying that you never knew who'd handled it last. It may have been a dirty old man who didn't wash his hands after he'd been to the loo. My disgust at that (having discovered how men urinated) is still a strong memory after 65 years!

thatbags Sat 04-Jul-15 16:24:48

Those hand cleaning gels leave my hands feeling sticky. So I'd then have to wash them again. Most of them pong as well, which makes me sneeze. And then there's the allergic skin reaction to the pong.

That's the reason I don't always use soap in public washrooms too — perfume in soap. If you've only been for a wee, plain water is sufficient, always providing your hands weren't dirty to begin with.

I reckon my handwashing techniques are fine because even though I do a lot of grubby work outside, I always have clean nails. Washing-up without rubber gloves and the use of a nail file afterwards is far more effective for cleaning nails than a scrubbing brush, I find.

I usually do wear rubber gloves for washing-up, but not when my nails need a good clean.

Could the fact that so many people have dishwashers be making a difference to hand cleanliness, I wonder?

ninathenana Sat 04-Jul-15 16:32:01

You lot make me feel like a dirty begger grin
Apart from after using the loo and before preparing food. I only wash mine when I think they need it i.e.after gardening pulling up the odd weed or when they're syicky/messy

Bellasnana Sat 04-Jul-15 22:21:20

DGD has a giraffe-shaped soap dispenser which sings, twice, to the tune of row, row, row your boat gently down the stream;

Wash, wash, wash your hands,
Wash them every day,
Up and down and in between
To keep the germs away. grin

absent Sun 05-Jul-15 00:31:40

I seem to wash my hands so many times a day I could change my name to Lady Macbeth (and no, so far, I haven't murdered any house guests).

Marelli Sun 05-Jul-15 06:59:36

I wash my hands really frequently. I wouldn't think of touching any food without washing hands first, and always carry antibacterial gel which I use if eating out. Having worked in the care field I was also trained in Infection Control (and I don't use nail polish because I can't see if my nails are clean!)

ffinnochio Sun 05-Jul-15 07:56:48

I hand wash fairly regularly throughout the day, but not so frequently that I am particularly aware of doing so. When I do notice that I've upped the anti is when I'm travelling on public transport - planes, boats, trains and buses. I usually travel to much more densely populated areas from where I live, which is very rural with a sparse population, so it figures.
I dislike hand gel and don't use it.

I also clean my nail brushes regularly, after noticing they had become very grotty. A great germ trapper, I thought, so they get a good soaking in v. hot soapy water.