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New survey reveals Americans are slacking on hand hygiene

Nearly one-third of Americans admit to not washing their hands after using the restroom.
Hand washing Survey
Hand washing Survey
Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 12:31 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Summer’s underway and so are our summer gatherings, but with talk of new variants and cases doubling over the past three weeks, are Americans keeping up with the hand washing habits we’ve developed over the last year?

A new study by Puronics revealed that while Americans claim they’re washing their hands, nearly one-third of Americans admit to not washing their hands after using the restroom.

Do you wash your hands when you return home after being out in public? A majority of respondents (62 percent) say it’s important to do so, but less than half (46 percent) say they always do. Males were more likely than females to say they don’t always wash their hands after being out in public, according to Puronics.

There is a difference between saying hand washing is important and actually washing your hands. Respondents say they wash their hands roughly nine times throughout the day with females washing their hands slightly more than males. However, only 49 percent of respondents say they “always” use soap when they wash their hands and less than one-third (28 percent) always use hot water.

  • 76 percent of respondents say hand washing is “very important”
  • 51 percent of respondents say they don’t always use soap when they wash their hands
  • Americans on average wash their hands 9 times per day
  • 38 percent wash their hands for only 15 seconds or less (the CDC recommends at least 20 seconds)
  • Men (28 percent) are almost twice as likely to rarely was their hands in public when compared to women (19%)
  • 68 percent say it’s very important to wash their hands before eating, but less than half (42%) say they always do

Many take things one step further to avoid germs in public restrooms. The most common methods to avoid germs in a public restroom includes using a paper towel on doors, door handles and the sink (64 percent), flushing the toilet with your foot (59 percent) and using a seat liner or cover on the toilet lid (52 percent), according to Puronics.

For this report, Puronics surveyed 1,531 self-reporting Americans from April 27 to May 3, 2021. Of the respondents, 52 percent were female and 48 percent were male with an average age of 38.

You can find more information online here.

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