This One Kind of Soap Can Help You Kill More Germs, Study Finds

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<p>Even if you’re lathering and scrubbing those mitts multiple times a day, <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>your hand-washing routine</a> may not be offering you adequate protection against illness. According to a 2017 study published in the journal <em>Food Control</em>, if you’re not using gel-based soap, you could be walking away from the sink with dirtier hands than you thought.</p>
<p>In the study, researchers applied GloGerm, a lotion that simulates the presence of germs, on participants’ hands. Subjects were then instructed to use either gel-based or foaming hand soap to wash their hands; at the end of the hand-washing sessions, the amount of GloGerm on each participants’ hands was recorded. However, while researchers found no significant differences in the amount of GloGerm that remained on participants’ hands based on the type of soap they used, they did notice an interesting difference in how each type of soap affected hand-washing time. Notably, individuals who used gel-based soap <a href=”″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>washed and rinsed their hands for 4.5 seconds longer</a>, on average, than those who used foaming soap.</p>
<p><img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-244818″ src=”″ alt=”close up of woman’s hands using gel soap” width=”1200″ height=”800″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ /></p>
<p>While this may seem insignificant, the CDC recommends <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>washing your hands for at least 20 seconds</a> to effectively remove pathogens—including coronavirus-contaminated respiratory droplets. In fact, according to a report from Harvard Health Publishing, increasing the amount of time you spend washing your hands from 15 to 30 seconds can <a href=”,are%20measured%20in%20logarithmic%20reductions” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>reduce bacterial counts from 90 percent to 99.9 percent</a>.</p>
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<p>If the soap you’re using has antibacterial properties, all the better. According to a notable 2008 study published in A<em>pplied and Environmental Microbiology</em>, washing with antibacterial soap significantly <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>reduced the amount of bacterial transfer</a> from a person’s hands onto objects.</p>
<p>In terms of drying your hands after they’ve been washed, the method you use can have a significant effect on the amount of bacteria on them, too. A 2019 study published in <em>Scientific Reports</em> reveals that using a hot air dryer is the <a href=”″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>most effective means of reducing bacterial counts</a>, whereas drying hands on clothing could potentially increase their bacterial load. And if you want to keep your hand-cleaning routine safe, make sure to avoid these <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>9 Hand Sanitizers the FDA Says Could Be Toxic</a>.</p>
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