Perhaps you’re washing your hands in a public restroom when you notice a fellow restroom visitor exit the stall. You may be astonished when that person then leaves the restroom without washing their hands. Or perhaps you, yourself, are tempted to skip lathering up at your bathroom sink after using the toilet. At such times, you may wonder how necessary it truly is to wash your hands after using the restroom. The truth is, the 30 seconds it takes to wet, scrub, and rinse your hands is well worth the time and energy invested.
7. Germs in Human Waste
According to the CDC, proper hand washing is the top tool for preventing the spread of germs and infections. Human waste carries germs that can infect and sicken humans. Examples of these germs include Salmonella, E. coli, and norovirus. The CDC has created an infographic to emphasize the disturbing fact that one gram of feces (the weight of one paper clip) can carry 1,000,000,000,000 germs. These germs can result in stomach illnesses and respiratory infections. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throats, and hand-foot-mouth disease can all be caused by germs living in feces.
6. You Can Spread Germs to Food
When you skip washing your hands after using the restroom, you run the risk of transmitting germs from your hands to your food. When you grab an apple, reach into a bag of chips, or slice up a cucumber, you may transmit germs from your hands to your food. This is why you will find signs on restaurant restroom walls reminding employees that, by law, they must wash their hands before returning to work. Give your hands a thorough scrubbing after using the bathroom to prevent ingesting germs along with your next meal or snack.