Germaphobes Be Warned… Survey Reveals Hand Washing Habits Of Men & Women In Public Restrooms

public restroom
HealthNewsOff Beat 2 Comments

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Picture this… you’re in a public restroom and spot someone come out of a stall and head straight to the exit without washing her hands, as she palms the doorknob you’re just about to grab next. Mouth agape in utter disbelief, you summon your internal voice to silently cry out, “GROSS!!!” Sound familiar? Well, based on the results of a national hand washing survey, this brand of ghastly hand hygiene is practiced more often than we want to know… in both the men’s AND ladies’ room.

74% of women say they always wash their hands after using a public restroom compared to just 60% of men who always do so.

The findings are part of the fifth annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey conducted by Bradley Corporation, a manufacturer of commercial hand washing products. They queried 1,015 American adults about their hand washing habits in public restrooms. Participants were from around the country, ranged in age from 18 to 65 and older, and were fairly evenly split between men and women (47 and 53 percent).

Here’s what the survey found:

Nearly three-fourths of women (74 percent) say they always wash their hands after using a public restroom compared to just 60 percent of men who always do so.

Based on what we have witnessed in the communal “ladies'” room WYSK shares with other companies on our floor, we had our doubts that women would come out on top here. But that marginal lead over the men is not much of a victory for us as a gender, if 25 percent of women DO NOT ALWAYS wash their hands after using the bathroom. C’mon ladies… what are you thinking?

When asked why they didn’t wash up, the number one reason women give is the use of hand sanitizer. Men cite the lack of soap as their primary reason, followed by an unclean sink or washbasin and then the use of hand sanitizer. Interestingly, men were almost two-and-a-half times more likely than women to say they didn’t wash up because they didn’t feel the need.

They “didn’t feel the need”… WHAT?!?! Well, if for nothing more than basic human courtesy, we NEED you to have clean hands when you manhandle the ONLY doorknob we all have to use to exit out of the bathroom, so consider THAT next time.

woman using toilet

In addition, men are significantly more likely to see another man leave a public restroom without washing his hands. 38 percent of men say they frequently see someone leave without washing versus 25 percent of women who report frequently seeing the same phenomenon.

what else the survey revealed… more on page 2

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  • Dejuitsi

    Speaking from basic observation over the years, the 60% of men washing their hands statistic is way too high. I think social pressures force certain individuals to “wash their hands” (AKA half-second rinse).

    I’m pretty sure you setup a hidden camera in a one person bathroom, removing the judgement of your fellow man aspect, and you’ll witness a lot of unhygienic behavior.

  • Millie

    Never mind the public restrooms, I’ve put out guest towels in my home bathroom when we have guests only to have ALL of the towels still there at the end of the evening. Gross!!! And I haven’t seen the guests come out of the bathroom shaking their hands to dry them of any water. So I assume they did not wash. One would think the guest towels would give them a hint! That’s when I take the Clorox wipes and sanitize everything (at least for quick disinfectant) until I can get to a thorough cleaning.