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How often do you REALLY wash your hands? - Page 3

post #41 of 73
I have really cut back on the hand washing at home. My hands were drying out so badly my fingers were cracking, very painful and dry hands carry even more bacteria I heard. no amount of moistuirizer helped.
If I was out in the public I would still wash compulsively. It's the first thing I do when I come home.
:
If I was cooking for company I'd wash all the time too
I do spray toothbrushes with alcohol every day
And kitchen rags, scrubbies are changed daily.
I am disgusting, I know but healthy
post #42 of 73
I worked in health care for a number of years, and now work in a restaurant. So, on top of being slightly germophobic, I've been conditioned to wash my hands a lot.

I wash before:
-eating
-using the toilet (in public places)
-putting on makeup
-preparing food

I wash after:
-eating
-using the toilet
-preparing food
-returning home after errands (especially grocery shopping...cart handles...ick!)
-scooping the litter box
-cleaning house
-blowing my nose (rarely sick, so that's not often)
-brushing the cats or the dog
-diaper changes (back in the day)
-after removing plates and glassware from a customer's table (at least a rinse, if I'm pressed for time)

Yes, my hands are snaggy and dry in the winter, despite the frequent use of lotion and creams.

We don't live in a bubble, and we are still healthy. My husband and kids wash their hands frequently, too.

And actually, since someone mentioned it....I do have a couple of friends whose small children run around with no pants/underwear on all day, and it sort of skeeves me out to sit on their furniture.

You know what else grosses me out? When I see families waiting at the deli in the supermarket, and their kids have had their hands all over the disgusting cart and who knows what else, and the counter person offers them all a slice of cheese or ham or something. ::gag::
post #43 of 73
I don't wash my hands much at all compared to others on this thread. Toilet, preparing food and gardening or cleaning disgusting stuff and that's about it. I don't have a dishwasher though so my hands are often in the sink.

There are 6 of us in our family and we are all sturdily healthy.

Those of you with cracked, dry hands are ignoring your bodies' messages.
Your bodies are telling you that the excessive washing is damaging your tissues. Surely our skin barrier is designed to be air and water tight to keep germs out of our bodies directly. If your skin is cracked then you are leaving this barrier unguarded and therefore increasing your risk.

In any other situation would you not try to do something to remedy this skin condition and alleviate discomfort? Do you want this for your children?
post #44 of 73
I am an RN in Labor/Delivery so I wash all the time at work, but at home hardly ever. Seriously. Poop, vomit, food preparation and that is about it unless I have something icky on my hands. We are all very healthy. I just don't think about washing that much really. It does not bother me and frankly I would get tired going to the sink that much. And I hate lotion for hands, it has always left me feeling slimy like...ick. Anyway, it is interesting to see how many times a day some people wash their hands...wow.
post #45 of 73
I definitely think it's possible to wash your hands TOO MUCH, especially in your home environment. Out in the public is a totally different story.

Anyone read 'good germs, bad germs'...I forget the author's name...

Anyhow there's so much 'good' bacteria around us, it's important to have contact with it to train our immune systems to differentiate between the good and the bad germs.
post #46 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangefoot View Post
I don't wash my hands much at all compared to others on this thread. Toilet, preparing food and gardening or cleaning disgusting stuff and that's about it. I don't have a dishwasher though so my hands are often in the sink.

There are 6 of us in our family and we are all sturdily healthy.

Those of you with cracked, dry hands are ignoring your bodies' messages.
Your bodies are telling you that the excessive washing is damaging your tissues. Surely our skin barrier is designed to be air and water tight to keep germs out of our bodies directly. If your skin is cracked then you are leaving this barrier unguarded and therefore increasing your risk.

In any other situation would you not try to do something to remedy this skin condition and alleviate discomfort? Do you want this for your children?
People have different skin types. Some cracks easier than others. My children do not have cracked skin. In the winter when we get drier skin we use lotion.

Having dry skin doesn't mean you should stop washing your hands- you should definitely evaluate if you are doing it excessively (it can become a problem for some people who do it compulsively) and what type of soap you are using, we use a mild soap here.

I think it's a stretch to start saying we're harming our children by encouraging handwashing in areas where it is the correct thing to do.

My children wash their hands:

After they use the bathroom
When they enter the house after school or from being out in public
Before eating

That's it, and I find it strange that that would be considered excessive.

It is proper hygiene.

Doctors are notoriously bad about washing their hands, I've worked in a clinical setting and most just get very ho hum about it. There's a reason there is so many infections getting transferred in hositals, healthcare workers and people in general ignore this vital and very basic action- handwashing.
post #47 of 73
95% of my handwashing is done at work. I do wash after diaper changes, pottying, laundry, etc at home but at work I don't really have a choice. I have to wash my hands an ungodly amount for state regulations. County health code requires a glove change after moving from touching 1 food to another (except on the prep table obviously, but if I'm making XYZ food item I have to change gloves after adding the X then again after adding Y and after adding Z) and washing hands before every glove change.

I choose to wash hands often when running register because money is disgusting. If I lotion my hands a few times a day that really helps with the dryness. I lotion often at home...never at work, but often at home.


ETA- and like a PP I'm not harming my children. James washes his hands: After using the restroom, before he eats, after he eats (he's almost 4, he's a messy eater and all food is finger food), when he comes in from outside. That's it.
post #48 of 73
I wash my hands quite frequently thorugh out my day. Having twins, I'm changing twice as many diapers, so I'm washing my hands after twice the diaper changes. I have hand sanitizer in the bathroom, so often if they were just pee-pee diaps, I just use the sanitizer. Same if I've just peed. But after any poos, mine or babes, I wash. I also have Lysol wipes in the bathroom and every other day I wipe down the surface areas of the toilet and the surrounding floor. Once a week I take lysol wipes to all door knobs as well.

When out in public, hand washing is a must. I have hand sanitizer and handy wipes in my van, in my purse and in diaper bag.

I don't really get the washing after opening mail part, but one thing no one else mentioned.. do you wash after putting gas in your car??? YUK!! I have a bottle of foaming sanitizer in the map pocket of my drivers side door. After pumping gas and before touching anything else, I wash my hands with it.

My hands are a little dry, they were seriously sore and cracked a few weeks ago when everyone but me in out house had the stomach virus. I washed my hands so much during all that. After all I was cleaning up vomit and diarrhea several times throughout the day. I was bound and determined that I wasn't going to get it. And I never did. So that's proof there that frequent hand washing is your greatest defense against getting infected or sick.
post #49 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ks Mama View Post
Mail is handled by so many people on the way to you... its not something I'm comfortable opening and then just moving along with my day. Not to mention the anthrax scare years back... ack. Anyway, I don't think I'm out of line with washing after opening the mail, or any of the other things I mentioned - bathroom, pets, etc.

As to those saying their hands are dried out - I keep lotion right at the sink; my hands don't get dried out. I clean dishes by hand too.
On the mail thing, yes mail is handled by people along the way but so is everything else on the planet. I don't wash my hands after opening the vinegar bottle I bought at the store, or the video I rented, or the library book I borrowed or the hundreds of other products in my home. I believe most of the mail sorting process is pretty automated these days. And yeah, I don't think handwashing is going to do anything against anthrax, you would inhale it as soon as you opened the envelope.
post #50 of 73
i wash my hands.... in the shower. and before i cook. and if they are literally dirty from gardening or something. that's it. knock on wood, i VERY rarely get sick.

germs don't scare me
post #51 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post

Doctors are notoriously bad about washing their hands, I've worked in a clinical setting and most just get very ho hum about it. There's a reason there is so many infections getting transferred in hositals, healthcare workers and people in general ignore this vital and very basic action- handwashing.

no kidding! I spent 3 weeks in the hospital earlier this year and I was really surprised to see the doctors and specialists pretty much never wash their hands. I mean, I may have saw them do it a couple times and the nurses did occasionally but otherwise they used the sanitizer pump that was outside my door.

In the ICU, nonetheless. I just hope that when they went in to the other rooms, you know, the ones that had contagious disease signs or whatever on the door, that they washed their freakin hands. :
post #52 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by dividedsky View Post
i wash my hands.... in the shower. and before i cook. and if they are literally dirty from gardening or something. that's it. knock on wood, i VERY rarely get sick.

germs don't scare me
Me too.
post #53 of 73
I'm curious what people are trying to prevent, when they wash their hands after entering a bathroom in any way. I have no doubt that there are germs all over the bathroom--I just doubt they're likely to cause any trouble.

I would think that if it were significantly dangerous to pee and leave your own home bathroom without washing, people who do so would be seriously ill a lot more often.

What are the risks and how likely are they?
post #54 of 73
I wash mine
-always after handling eggs/raw meat (obviously.)
-always after changing a no. 2 nappy but not always after a wet one.
-always after going to the bathroom whether its 3am or not!
-after blowing nose etc
-after touching something particularly nasty
I live in britain, not sure whether that makes a difference how hygienic we are. But every mama I know sucks their kids' dummies/pacis after dropping them on the floor...I have seen 1 wipe her kids with a milton wipe and I thought it was weird...how backwards is that? DS is rarely sick and when he is he shakes it off very quickly.
I never worry about germs when I'm out, maybe I should! I do wipe down the public change mats though if I am changing DS when out but I wouldn't freak out about him sitting in the trolley where other kids have sat.
Some of us panic about other people and their germs they have left on things but they are probably pretty clean too we always assume strangers are filthy but not usually the case!!
post #55 of 73
I love these threads, my dh is such a germophobe at least now I know that he is not as crazy I thought he was!

I generally wash my hands:

- after using the bathroom
- after handling bodily fluids/solids (poop, pee, vomit) both human and pet.
- before cooking/preparing foods
- after handling something gross - including raw meat, slimy things, etc.
- when they have something on them that I want off (ink, dirt, glue etc)

That is about it. FWIW I hardly ever get sick. I don't even get the illnesses that make their way into my house.
post #56 of 73
ummm...
so if urine is sterile why do we have to wash our hands after a pee anyhow?
post #57 of 73
I'm on both sides of the spectrum.

When I'm in public, I'm OCD about restrooms. I am no germaphobe, but I am a little weirded out by public potty germs. I don't touch any part of the toilet. I long ago perfected the fine art of hovering. I tear off about 6 inches of toilet paper and just toss it before tearing off what I actually use--someone else's dirty hands probably touched it. If the paper towel dispenser at the sink requires me to touch it to dispense my paper, I do it before I start washing my hands, so I don't have to touch the dispenser after I've washed. I use a paper towel to open the restroom door when I'm finished. I also use anti-bacterial wipes for shopping carts before I touch them and before put my son in the seat.

At home? I wash before prepping food--most of the time. I wash after handling eggs (we're vegetarian, so no raw meat is ever in our kitchen). I wash after #2s (mine or baby's), but rarely #1s. I darn sure am not washing after a midnight pee. Whatevah. I wash if I've come in from taking care of the animals (we have horses, goats, and chickens--hands get plenty dirty). Other than that, I only wash if my hands have otherwise gotten yucky (with some sort of food or dirt or whatever).

But overall, we're pretty relaxed about hand washing at home. We wash after the obvious yucky stuff. I will wash more frequently if anyone is sick--which, honestly, is very, very rarely. We rarely get colds and even more rarely get stomach bugs. I do not use anything anti-bacterial to clean with inside my home, except very rarely I will use a bleach solution for something that has come in contact with something especially high on the "ick" scale (chicken poo or especially gross dog messes). I strongly believe that antibacterials and disinfectants are dangerous in the long run. Bacteria are rapidly evolving critters--we are only developing supergerms by continuing to use disinfectants unnecessarily. Now, I believe that there is a place for disinfectants, of course. In hospitals, or in homes if someone in the household is immunocomprised, for example. I just think that, in most cases, using them repeatedly throughout the day and for every surface in your home isn't solving anything. If anything, it's creating bigger problems.
post #58 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
Toilets spray germs into the air and on everything around them- fecal germs. (You can look this up, if you flush with the toilet seat up the fecal germs basically blast into the air- they have videos that show how most of our toothbrushes have fecal bacteria on them from this.) :
That theory has been debunked. It's true that the toilet does spray but the actual bacterial residue is basically non-existent. Toothbrushes may have lots of bacteria but it is from your mouth, not the toilet. Bathroom surfaces aren't generally conducive to bacterial growth anyway.

I'm really surprised how many obsessive hand washers there are here I would have expected a lot more talk about how important germ exposure is to immune system development.

Those Oprah type shows where they go around culturing items and then being super dramatic about how they grew.... du.. du.. du.... BACTERIA. Germ-a-phobe propaganda makes me so Of course there are bacteria, they are everywhere and most of them are in the range of won't hurt you to good for you.

I had a microbiology professor who only wanted his kids to wash after #2 and NEVER with antibacterial soap (because it doesn't even work as well as regular soap and it is harmful...). He was so worried that they weren't getting enough exposure for their immune development because of the sterility obsession in our culture.

Does anyone here consider it unhealthy to wash your hands too much? I do!

I wash after poop contact, when fixing food for people other than myself, and when they feel gross. I think I do wash more in public bathrooms, probably every time but I'm not sure why. I'm positive those bathrooms are cleaner than mine :
post #59 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe'sMummy View Post
I live in britain, not sure whether that makes a difference how hygienic we are.

I think it makes a big difference! I think that beliefs about germs are very cultural
post #60 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaBaBa View Post
ummm...
so if urine is sterile why do we have to wash our hands after a pee anyhow?
what i don't understand is why there is the need to wash your hands after you pee every time. is everyone getting pee on their hands but me? maybe i use an unusual amount of TP, but it's very very rare that i get anything on myself...
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