Washing hands in a public restroom without soap or towels with just water and letting them air dry can prove useful, at least that's what majority of Americans believe.
A poll conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of LifeBridge Health found that 74 percent of American adults would rinse their hands with just water and let them air dry.
AdvertisementJohn Cmar, M.D., an internist at LifeBridge Health's Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and expert on infectious diseases, said: They might as well not even bother.
"Washing with water alone does not get rid of microbes - the action of working up a lather with soap, and then rinsing it off, is what washes them away.
"Plus, by touching the sink faucet - one of the dirtiest things in a restroom - these people could be adding even more germs to their hands."
Jackie Daley, director of Infection Prevention and Control at Sinai Hospital added: "To avoid getting sick, it is critical that people know how to wash their hands the right way.
"Many people think the water temperature kills the germs on their hands, but water from a faucet could never get hot enough to do that.
"The keys are the soap, the length of scrubbing time and drying your hands thoroughly with towels afterwards."