Can Handwashing With Cold Water Really Kill Germs?

By Dr. Mercola If you’ve ever been in a place or circumstance where hot running water wasn’t available for some reason, perhaps you had a vague sense when washing your hands in the only water available — cold — that they weren’t really getting clean. That’s probably because most of us learned in kindergarten that washing with hot, soapy water is imperative to kill germs. The belief is so ingrained that it’s been written in government regulations (at least in the U.S.) for years. Even using soap with cold water may seem as if using hot water would do a better job, but is there any actual scientific evidence this is true? Here’s your answer: New research shows that if the water you’re using to wash your hands is lukewarm or even cold, it does just as well as hot to remove bacteria. It’s the length of time and the method that make all the difference. The study, conducted at Rutgers University and published in the Journal of Food Protection,1 involved 21 participants a

Proper Handwashing — and Drying — Is the No. 1 Way to Prevent Spread of Contagious Disease

By Dr. Mercola With drug-resistant infections on the rise, disinfecting yourself and your surroundings may seem like a good idea. However, research has clearly shown that this may exacerbate problems rather than solve them. When it comes to preventing the spread of contagious disease, handwashing tops the list of effective strategies.1 The key is to do it, and to do it correctly, using proper products and techniques. Studies suggest compliance with handwashing practices in healthcare settings is surprisingly low, typically no higher than 40 percent.2 An estimated 1 in 4 patients also leave the hospital with a superbug on their hands, suggesting patients also need to become more mindful about handwashing when in a health care setting.3 Unfortunately, many still labor under the mistaken assumption you need antibacterial soap to get the job done right. Many also believe using an air dryer is preferable to using a towel when in a public restroom. Surprising as it may seem, air dryers may