Yech! Men never wash their hands in the bathroom!

Not Washing Hands IconI haven’t spent much time in the women’s room at airports or restaurants (which is probably one way I’ve avoided going to jail! 🙂 but I have to say that it’s pretty gross how infrequently men wash their hands after going to the bathroom.
I’m not just talking about one guy every so often finishing up and walking out without a quick rinse, I’ve observed that at least half the men I see after they’ve gone to the bathroom just zip up and leave.
Do women do this as frequently?


What’s amazing is that they’ve actually done research on this very issue and that Science Daily reported that 66% of men wash their hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, but y’know what? I don’t believe it!
The research claims that 88% of women wash their hands, which means that approximately one in ten women don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom, but that’s still better than the research-implied one third of men who don’t wash their hands.
There are nuances too, in my experience. Lots of guys seem to put their hands under the tap for a second, get them wet, wipe them on their pants or use a towel, then walk out. No soap, no “cleaning”, and dead useless from a personal hygiene perspective.
I realize this is a kinda weird topic, but as I’ve been traveling through airports and staying in hotels in the last week or so, it’s really brought home how rare it is for a man to go to the bathroom then wash their hands with soap and water at all, let along for longer than a few seconds.
Oh, and hand washing is trending downward too. The overall hand-washing rate in 2007 was 77 percent, compared with 83 percent in 2005, according to the Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Don’t think this is a big deal? Dr. Judy Daly, Director of the Microbiology Laboratories at the Primary Children’s Medical Center, Salt Lake City., says “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the single most important thing we can all do to keep from getting infectious diseases and spreading them to others is to clean our hands.”
Or how about the prestigious Mayo Clinic? They say, in an article about the importance of hand washing, that you need only wash vigorously for 15-20 seconds to get the benefit of clean hands. A further interesting tidbit that Linda’s been telling me for years: “Antibacterial soaps have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, these soaps are no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap. Using antibacterial soaps may lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the products’ antimicrobial agents — making it even harder to kill these germs in the future.”
Maybe we’re clean freaks in our family, but we’ve really tried to instill in our kids the idea of washing your hands with soap before meals too, and I find myself washing my hands before eating even when I’m at business lunches or dining solo.
Come clean, dear reader. Do you wash your hands with soap 100% of the time after you go to the bathroom? Most of the time? Rarely? At all?

7 comments on “Yech! Men never wash their hands in the bathroom!

  1. It ain’t the hands that bug me in Men’s rooms.. it’s the aim… I bring my 5 year old in to “go” and I feel like I should buy him new shoes.. and pants.. and give him a bath.. my God people.. the pee goes in the urinal.. and then it’s to be flushed..
    How can we expect guys to wash their hands when they can’t even aim into the urinal?

  2. I do wash my hands every time, with soap. But then I hate to touch anything on the way out, because I see WAY too many people leave without washing. I am not a germ freak or anything, but it still grosses me out. I generally flush with my foot and open the door with my elbow in public restrooms. My kids “forget” to wash their hands all the time, but I solved that by getting fun smelling soaps so I can tell with one sniff if they have really washed or not.

  3. I’m a hand-washer. But Nothing is worse than washing your hands and then having to open the door using the same handle as the 34% of guys who didn’t wash! What I really wish is that all restrooms would have a trash can right by the door so I have a place to dispose of the paper towel I use to turn off the water and open the door when I’m done. Admittedly, though, it’s sometimes hard for us to remember to help our kids (3 and 5) remember to wash hands when at home.

  4. I love it in you! Keep those hands and nails clean. I use a nail and hand brush that you get a the auto parts store. Yes…autopart store, not the beauty supply store because they are to weak and flimsy, but this particular autopart store has the best hand and nail brushes. I learned the proper way of washing hands in CNA school. Use the paper towels you wipe your hands with to turn the water off with and open the door/s with as well. I have been doing this since my early twenties and I am still doing it. Everywhere I go. Thank you

  5. I wash with soap every time. I try not to touch much on the way out of restrooms, I’ll use my pinky to pull the door open. This from a person who thinks whatever doesn’t kill ya only makes ya stronger. ; )

  6. I always wash my hands, and so does my daughter: she’d seen me do it for the past 13 years.
    I also never sit on the toilet (yes, it’s hard, but makes me feel safer), flush with my foot or with an extra length of toilet paper, and open the door with the towel I dried my hands with.
    If I am with my daughter, I’ll open the door and hold it open with my foot, until she can go and throw away the towel I used. If I am alone, I throw the towel towards the thrash bin (after I open the door and hold it with my foot), hoping it will make it in (and sometimes it doesn’t quite make it).
    I love the touchless toilets, sinks, and electric dryers, as well as the doors that open towards the outside (so I can easily open them with my feet); I love even more the newer bathrooms where there are no doors, but just a maze until you get in.

  7. I can tell you that, having bathrooms attached to our office and being able to hear the plumbing, that women are just as guilty as men

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