What happened to good old fashioned hand washing?

United States
February 25, 2008 7:34pm CST
Our newspaper today ran a story about the flu and how bad it's been attacking the public as a whole. It went from one case to 52 cases in the span of a week and now it's over 166 reports of the flu, probably with many, many more that have not been reported. This really could have been reported with one simple thing. If people would skip using anti-bacterial soap and anti-bacterial lotions and actually use regular hand soap. What's so wrong with washing your hands frequently? Why is it so hard for people to believe that germs just become immune to anti-bacterial products after they are exposed to them for a certain amount of time because they mutate? Do you use regular hand soap to wash your hands, or are you one of the few that use anti-bacterial lotions and soaps?
13 responses
• United States
26 Feb 08
I think it is more than just a few that are using these anitbacterial products, that is the problem. Dont get me wrong those products serve a purpose, but not in the general population, in nursing homes and hospitals as a an additive to handwashing not to use in place of handwashing. If you read the package it says it is not to be used completely in place of regular handwashing. Technically handwashing does not require any soap it is the act of friction that kills the germs. I do agree with you these antibacterial products are only making thigs worse and in my opinion they should be recalled from the general publics use. Washing hands, throwing away dirty tissues, not making your home too warm, letting sun light in, clean your counters and fixtures with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 1 gallon of hot water, these are all great ways to kill the germs and keep them away.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 08
Oh I agree that there are plenty more ways to make sure germs do not get ahold of you! I was just making my discussion point towards those that do not wash their hands regularly and prefer to use anti-bacterial lotions and soaps on each and every occasion that they wash their hands.
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
26 Feb 08
Hand washing with soap and water is a wonderful way to protect yourself from cold and flu. I use public transportation in a mega city. The first thing I do when I get home from anywhere is to wash my hands with soap and water. I do the same when I get home from the super market, when I have been in an elevator, and every time before I start to prepare food. When I visit someone in the hospital I use the antibacterial stuff they provide at the door to patients rooms. So far this year as in previous years I have not come down with anything serious. Touch wood.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61149)
• United States
26 Feb 08
I use plain old soap, liquid soap, but not anti-bactierial. I do buy and use tea tree oil soap when I can find it
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 08
The Flu is caused by a virus, not a bacteria, and the Influenza virus mutates yearly on it's own - which is why each new strain requires a flu shot. The Spanish Flu in the early 20th century was a rather nasty strain, and killed more people than the recently-ended First World War. Soap does not kill any bacteria - it is a mixture of animal fat, and lye and works as an in emulsion with water to loosen debris - it does nothing to kill bacteria. I agree that over-use of antibiotics is a cause for decreased immune system response, and anti-bacterial cleansers are a two edged sword, but in food service, or surgery it is essential!
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
26 Feb 08
I don't use bar soap but I do use regualar liquid Dove soap in a little pump bottle for washing my hands and Dove body wash for my showers. I do use Anti-bacterial dish soap in the kitchen though. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 08
As a Sous Chef, I probably wash my hands more often in one day, than does the average person, in a week. I am rather anal about sanitation in food service! Most people do not know the correct way to wash their hands so here goes: First use hot water, apply a generous amount of soap, sanitizer, or hand cleaning compound. Work hands together to create vigorous scrubbing action - in food service we use a small brush to better scrub around nails etc. Rinse with warm water, dry on clean towel. NOW...if you are using a public facility (i.e. restroom) Before washing hands, eject sufficient paper towel length for drying. Do not touch water handle after washing/rinsing! Dry hands on paper towel...if you need more, use the paper towel in your hands to eject more towel NO NOT TOUCH TOWEL MACHINE, OR FAUCET HANDLES
@CAMILLERI (373)
• Australia
26 Feb 08
I love washing my hands with soap. I must do it at least 5 to 7 times a day. I hate to have any trace of smell on my hands, this includes after shave lotion smell.
1 person likes this
@jhl930 (3605)
• United States
26 Feb 08
I generally use what ever is in the kitchen at the time...or the bathroom sink...and usually in the bathroom sink it is bar soap and that is good for the bathroom...and in the kitchen before i get something to drink or eat i use liquid soap...the only time that I use anti bacterial stuff is when im out and eating in the car or something like that
1 person likes this
• China
26 Feb 08
I seldom wash my hands with soap.Cause' i think if i wash my hands long enough(about20-30 seconds)to make them clean,that's enough...
• Canada
26 Feb 08
You should use soap. Water alone does not kill the germs.
@pyewacket (44032)
• United States
26 Feb 08
I never "got into" the whole anti-bacterial craze. I think part of the problem is that so many ae anti-bacterial nutcase crazy, that it's actually back-fired. It has been shown that now the bacteria has mutated into different strains of bacteria and any kind of anti-bacterial soaps are ineffective now...nope, still rely on good old soap to wash my hands, and that seems to do the trick just fine. Also, I think the spread of the flu is also a case of people just not taking common sense like covering one's mouth when they cough or sneeze..yeesh!!
• United States
26 Feb 08
Yeah, that's also a problem. People just don't think, and they really don't care about getting other people sick or not. Some people are just so inconsiderate.
@balasri (26549)
• India
26 Feb 08
There is a lack of evidence that antiseptic soaps provide a benefit beyond plain soap.A regular wash before eating with the soap is suffice to wash away the germs which cannot be destroyed.
• United States
26 Feb 08
I use homemade soap which is not anti-bacterial. The only time I use antibacterial soap is when I'm away from home and that's what is available.
@xirdla (18)
• Philippines
26 Feb 08
its better to use old fashion way of hand washing to much anti-bacterial saop in your skin may somehow damage or lower the natural state of your skin witch become more prone to other bacteria harsh saop can also produce a damge on your skin that can lead to skin deseas, so better watch out on the saop that you are you using. thanks.