Why your hand washing excuses are wrong

The five excuses most people make

The five excuses most people make for not hand washing

Washing hands regularly is the single most important hygiene step in fighting the spread of germs. But still people don’t do it when they should……

Here are the five excuses people make most often for not washing hands (and why they’re wrong).

"I haven’t been anywhere"

Even if you’ve been at home all morning, you’ll have picked up germs on your hands without knowing it. Did you know that some bacteria can survive on hard surfaces for anything from a couple of hours to several months? So telephone keypads and handsets, door handles, TV remotes – any surface that people touch regularly can be hotspot for bacterial transfer.

"They don’t look dirty"

Everyday dirt and soil can carry all sorts of germs. So it’s always a good idea to wash your hands when they look dirty. But what about the microscopic organisms that you can’t see?

In our daily routine we’re constantly picking up germs, particularly after going to the toilet or preparing food. So it is important to know when to wash your hands and be able to do it properly.  

"I’m too busy"

In a rush? Not stopping for a hand wash, especially after going to the toilet, could cost you more.  

"I forgot"

With so much going on, it’s easy to forget about washing hands. So try to make it a routine so you get into the habit. Leave yourself a note, draw on your hand, set a reminder on your phone, or write out this list until it sticks:

Wash hands before:

  • Eating or preparing food
  • Dressing a wound or giving medicine
  • Picking up a baby or infant
  • Changing a nappy

Wash hands after:

  • Handling food
  • Changing a nappy or going to the toilet
  • Contact with body fluids (blood, saliva, vomit, etc.)
  • Handling animals and pets
  • Emptying the bin
  • Being in the garden

Finally, wash your hands whenever they look dirty, or if someone else in the house is unwell.

"I’m not near soap and water"

Out and about? It’s a good idea to carry Dettol Instant Hand Sanitiser which kills 99.99% of germs – useful if you’re out to grab a bite to eat or have been on public transport.