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Hand Sanitation 101: 3 Ways You’re Washing Your Hands Wrong

The only thing worse than being uninformed is being ill-informed. Thinking you’re going about things the right way (when you’re actually totally wrong) is far more damaging to whatever goal you’re trying to achieve than if you simply aren’t sure what to do. With allergy season kicking into high gear (and colds and sinus infections springing up left and right), here are a few things you might need to know about hand sanitation. They could very well keep those fatal fingers from dooming your health!

1. Hands-Free Faucets Spread More Germs Than Manual Faucets

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have conducted a study on water samples from hands-free and manual faucets. They discovered that about 50% of the water samples from the hands-free faucets and 15% of the water samples from the manual faucets tested positive for legionella and/or other bacteria. While the author of the study goes on to say that the amount of bacteria found would not likely be a problem for healthy people, that does not erase the ick factor. After all, would you brush your teeth if there was a 50% chance that a fleck of poop was on the bristles? That’s a coin flip, my friends.

Shudder.

2. Your Hand Sanitizer Is Probably Making Things Worse

According a recent study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, many of the homemade hand sanitizer recipes and at least one brand on store shelves contain considerably less than the 60% alcohol minimum recommended by health officials to kill viruses and bacteria.

A specialist in infection control did an experiment with his friend’s class of biology students and found that the 40% alcohol discount hand sanitizer actually seemed to spread the bacteria around on the hand, giving you more surface area to rub in your eyes, nose, and mouth. In this case, literally doing nothing would have been better than using this lousy form of hand sanitation.

Luckily, Quality Logo Products offers several different kinds of hand sanitizers that contain over 60% alcohol in the ingredients. You can find a spray bottle here, a credit card shaped dispenser here, and a cool squeeze bottle with fun little blue beads here.

3. It’s Handwashing, Not A Part-Time Job

Besides the fact that the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) hand hygiene slogan is the ominous: “Clean Hands Save Lives” (which implies that DIRTY HANDS END LIVES), you’ve got something else to be worried about: how much time you’re setting aside for the ol’ scrubby scrub. Sure, you may wash before and after using the washroom, eating meals, and poking open wounds. But how much time is that taking up? The CDC recommends that you scrub AT LEAST 20 seconds.

Go ahead and count out 20 seconds. I’ll wait.

Given the fact that most of you probably just skipped to the next line and couldn’t even handle counting to 20 (TO SAVE YOUR LIFE), chances aren’t high that you’re spending that much time on your hands.

Because you’re lucky enough to be born in a time where hygiene isn’t casting demons out from your soul before leeches are applied to your eyeballs, there’s a good chance you won’t catch a life-threatening illness from touching icky things (or touching things that have touched icky things or touching things that have touched—you see where I’m going). However, that doesn’t mean you won’t burn up all of your sick days in one go because you can’t be bothered to read the label on your hand sanitizer or hum the birthday song twice (this is the CDC’s actual recommendation for estimating 20 seconds if counting that high is taxing for you). You can curb the bacterial onslaught by making sure everyone in your office has a bottle of personalized hand sanitizer at their desk, in their purses and briefcases, in their glove compartment, in their pocket, and tucked into socks (because you never know).

If you have any questions about the ingredients in our hand sanitizers, the different kinds (gels, sprays, wipes), and swanky logo placement (“THIS COULD PREVENT YOU FROM DYING” in capital letters could be catchy), give us a ring at (866) 312-LOGO (5646).

Until next time, keep expanding your brand!

Jana

Image Credits



Jana Quinn

An old ‘G’ that’s been working for QLP since it was in Bret’s basement – Jana has been writing since she made up a story about a Jana-Tiger that liked rocky road ice cream and got straight A’s. She enjoys writing about marketing and pop culture, posting a ‘Die Hard’ article as often as she’s allowed. She is inspired by the articles at Cracked and frequently wears a Snuggie in the office. You can also connect with Jana on Google+.

Comments

  1. QLP Kid

    I keep a hand sanitizer on my desk at all times!!!

    -QLP Kid

    “It’s How the Midwest was Won…”

  2. Myrtle

    I need to shower in hand sanitizer :)

  3. Scooby DOO!

    Oh Jana, how we miss your wittiness! What i want to know is, what other photos did you have to sift through when you did a google search for that scabbed illustration of a hand?!! Gross.

    Glad to have you back you “fleck” of poop, you! ;-)

    • Amanda Sneed

      Agreed, the picture above is pretty gross looking. =(

    • Jana Tropper

      I’m not sure if “fleck of poop” is an upgrade from my previous nickname (“troll”) or not. Either way, glad to be back!!

  4. LK

    Yuck! I keep a hand sanitizer in my car for after I have to get gas… gas stations feel dirty in general, then add the fact that a billion people (some who may not have washed their hands ALL day!) touch the same pump… gross.

    I’ve read somewhere that another highly germy place are the ATM debit card swipers in stores. Think about how many people have to touch all those numbers to enter their pin # when making purchases!

    HAND SANITIZER TO THE RESCUE! (as long as it contains over 60% alcohol of course!)

    • Amanda Sneed

      Great comment Lauren! Gas pumps are sooo dirty!

      I always wash my hands after using money and coins especially, yuck!

      Oh, and I’ve read that another thing that is filthy are keys and steering wheels!

  5. Bret Bonnet

    Wow. So basically your hands are disgusting and pretty much covered in infectious diseases no matter what. NOW – if you use cheap hand sanitizer you can actually be making things worse…

    For all those people who do NOT wash their hands after going to the bathroom, and you know who you are!, YOU ARE DISGUSTING!

    Places I HATE touching – other people’s keyboards (I know MINE is DISGUSTING) and eating candy from a shared “candy bowl” – YUCK!

    Fleck of poop. What is the official unit of measurement for a “fleck”! :)

    • Jana Tropper

      What’s grosser – not washing your hands after using the washroom or announcing to everyone every time you need to use the washroom?

      A fleck is a little more than a speck but less than a dollop. Let me know if you that helps. :)

  6. cyberneticSAM

    I am sorry but people who don’t wash their hands are gross, and are most likely going to be the cause of a new plague. Another point about hand sanitizer is that it actually has more harmful benefits than beneficial. I mean, if you are in a jam and haven’t had a place or time to wash up, then it is a good thing to have. But this urban conception that we have to use Clorox and slather ourselves and our children with it is wrong. Hand sanitizer also kills the GOOD bacteria we need to fight the bad bacteria. They are researching the spike in children with severe allergies and immune disorders, and they’re thinking it is due to NOT ENOUGH DIRT! Yeah, that’s right…dirt. Now, of course I am not saying you shouldn’t wash up and be sanitary, because you very much should. The best cleansing is with a little NON-antibacterial soap and lukewarm water. It is SO HARD to find non-antibacterial soap these days. Just remember that we do need certain germs to stay healthy! SO get yourself some castile or pine soap sal suds and wash up!

    Earth friendly, Cruelty Free, All Natural, Good FOR YOU!
    http://www.drbronner.com/
    http://www.livescience.com/685-war-bacteria-wrongheaded.html

    • Amanda Sneed

      Good point Sam! I too think that the hand sanitizer/Clorox crazyness has gone a little far. And I agree, it is causing more allergies and breathing problems in kids. We need some bacteria so our immune systems can stay strong! But yes, when there is no other option, hand sanitizer is nice to have handy!

      But of course, washing hands after using the restroom and touching really dirty things will always be a must!

      Oh, and I’ve also heard that something people don’t take into consideration is that the hands are not the only things that transmit germs. Our eyes supposedly take in all kinds of germs and sickness from the air, eww!

    • Jana Tropper

      Yeah, there’s definitely something wrong with the people who wipe every bit of mud off their kids the moment they’re splattered. I don’t know the science behind the bacteria stuff, but the psychological harm of constantly being told you’re dirty and you’ll get a horrible disease if you can’t eat off your own stomach has got to be pretty intense.

  7. Joseph Giorgi

    So, I’ll certainly be keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer around from now on. Stellar post, Jana! And very informative—almost TOO informative. In fact, I’ll probably never brush my teeth again, for fear of what’s in the bristles. ;)

    Seriously though, there’s a lot of valuable information in here that you’ve managed to make very engaging and entertaining. Love the humor!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      P.S. Welcome to the blog squad! :D

      • Jana Tropper

        Thanks for the welcome! Yeah, one of the working titles for the post was “3 Horrifying Reasons You Might As Well Chop Off Your Own Hands.”

        I actually have also read that brushing your teeth too often scrapes away enamel, and it’s way more important to floss. Perhaps I’ll save that one for next week…

  8. Jay

    Great read, considering I’m currently in a waiting room at Rush Presbyterian Hospital right now. You know what I HATE (and just experienced)? Public bathroom doors that you push open on the way in. As if I’m already not sketched way out by whatever poop flakes are floating around here, I have to use the sleeve of my jacket to open the door because they don’t have paper towels as the high-speed germ blowers masquerading as air dryers are more eco-friendly. They need to be ocd-friendly.

  9. Catherine Lockey

    O.K. it disgusts me that legionella grows in the plumbing of automatic faucets. Thanks for the heads up – time to get some quality hand sanitizer and carry it with me.

  10. Krissy Poopyhands

    Re: poopy toothbrush, two words: fecal mist.

    Swirling clouds of fecal mist.

    It’s a very real (and horrifying) phenomenon.

    • Jana Tropper

      Fecal Mist sounds like a 90′s pop/punk band. Delightful.

      Swirling clouds of fecal mist. Very poetic. Thanks, Krissy. :)

  11. mary

    After spending a few days with someone in a hospital I really learned the importance of hand sanitizers. Hospital personnel use them on the way in and out of the room. I’m a teacher and I’m going to start doing that, since I work in a germ factory.

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    I really love your site.. Great colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself?
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