True/False?: Washing Hands Doesn't Help Get Rid of Germs

  • Thread starter kyphysics
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Main Question or Discussion Point

A good friend of mine (a computer engineer to be exact!) said this over a beer:

Washing hands doesn't really get rid of germs. There are lots of reasons why:

i.) If your hands are dirty and have germs on them to begin with, you have to touch the faucet lever (assuming not automatic) to turn on the water. That transfers those germs to the lever. When you're done washing, you're simply touching the same lever where there are germs and retrieving those same germs.

ii.) Germs are everywhere. You can't hide from them. They live on your skin and on surfaces all over the place. If you've handled money ever in your life - which is everyone - then you've likely touched some really nasty germs. Think of where those dollars and hands touching them have been. So, would you wash your hands every single time you've paid using cash? Of course, not, he says.

iii.) This reason pertains specifically to using the restroom. If you know yourself well and know that you clean yourself very well at home, then washing your hands in a public bathroom is unnecessary. See i.) for the reason why. Just use it and go. If you're already keeping yourself clean, then you're probably touching worse stuff by trying to wash. So, it's better to not wash after using the restroom.

At first, I was like nawww, that's some nasty stuff there. But, then, I started thinking about it and had a hard time refuting him.

Is there any validity to his argument?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
CWatters
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I would think twice about accepting his dinner invitation.

You can never really get rid of all bugs but sometimes it's the quantity you are exposed to that matters.
 
  • #3
jim mcnamara
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