Merit Hygiene: Bacteria Watch

We all know that we should wash our hands after using the toilet, don’t we? Yet despite this, 62% of men and 40% of women claim that they don’t. Whilst they may not see a problem in skipping a hand rush, if they’re in a hurry for example, they could be doing more damage to themselves than they think. Read below for some shocking facts that will make you think twice, if you ever think about skipping a hand wash after going to the toilet!


80% of diseases are spread by touch
A high percentage of communicable diseases are transferred by touch alone, we’ve all seen the TV adverts where someone sneezes then places their hand on something and inevitably passes it on to the next person who places their hand in the same position. By washing your hand, you can prevent the passing on of germs, avoiding such harm as Salmonella, E. coli and diarrhea. Touching food with unwashed hands can spread such illnesses.

Damp hands spread bacteria too
You may have been reading this article so far thinking, ‘well I’ve got nothing to worry about, I always wash my hands’, but the big question is, do you dry them afterwards? Only 20% of us say that we dry our hands after washing which is rather concerning, considering that damp hands are 1000 times more likely to spread bacteria than dry hands.

Bacteria spreads
The reason we need to wash our hands (if you haven’t worked it out already) is that bacteria like to travel. Everything you touch after not washing your hands, spreads that bacteria all over the place, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there, in fact…

  • The average chopping board has around 200% more faecal bacteria on it than a toilet seat does.
  • Handbags can carry up to 10,000 bacteria per square inch and 20% of bags tested were found to have faecal bacteria on them
  • Smartphones can carry more than 30,000 bacteria units per swab
  • The average office desk has 400 times more bacteria on it than a toilet seat does
  • The average keyboard can also contain more bacteria than a toilet seat
  • 26,000 live bacteria can be found on the average banknote
  • Touching a handrail on the underground brings you into 5000 hands – many of which are unwashed


This all seems a bit scary and it’ll definitely make you think twice when it comes to cleaning and just washing your hands! Make sure you follow Merit Hygiene on Twitter, Facebook & Linked In for more advice and cleaning tips!

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