Published: Sat, June 03, 2017
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

Hot water doesn't lead to cleaner hands study finds

Hot water doesn't lead to cleaner hands study finds

The findings are in line with United Kingdom and global advice that washing your hands with soap in either warm or cold water amounts to good protection from food poisoning, colds and flu.

Surely even the laziest among us - those who give their hands a cursory rinse, or worse, don't wash them at all - can manage a piddling 10 seconds.

"Whether you choose the bar of soap, whether you use a plain soap or whether you use an antimicrobial soap, the most important thing is to wash your hands", says Professor Schaffner.

Using cold or cool water to wash hands-and limiting the amount of time water is running-could have significant energy and cost savings, says co-author Donald Schaffner, distinguished professor and extension specialist in food science at Rutgers.

However, further study would help to decipher what types of soap are most effective at removing harmful bacteria from hands.

In a new study, academics put high levels of a harmless bacteria on the hands of 21 participants multiple times over a six-month period before they were asked to wash their hands in 60-degree (15 degrees Celsius), 79-degree (26 degrees Celsius) or 100-degree (37 degrees Celsius) water temperatures using 0.5ml, 1ml or 2ml volumes of soap.

Results showed that there was no significant difference in the amount of bacteria removed by cold and hot water.

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The song takes about 20 seconds, which is the amount of time people should wash their hands.

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that plumbing systems at food establishments and restaurants provide water at 100º F for washing hands. The researchers from Rutgers University published their findings in the Journal of Food Protection.

"The literature on hand washing includes a tremendous amount of misinformation, and data on many issues are missing", they wrote in the new study.

You don't need to risk scalding yourself in order to get clean hands.

Their guidance focuses on rubbing hands together in various ways to make sure each surface of each hand is clean. It is important to wash one's hands for at least 10 seconds, though, and make sure lather from the soap that is used gets thoroughly washed off.

Antibacterial soap was more effective than ordinary soap, the study finds. The authors of the study hope that the agency will revise water temperature policy at that time to avoid so much wasted energy on hot water usage. The only difference was in the energy that was used for heating up the water.

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