You don’t wash long enough
A recent Michigan State University study found that 95 percent of people don’t wash hands long enough to effectively kill germs—that’s 20 seconds of scrubbing with soap and water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We tell kids and adults to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice,” says Roshini Raj, MD, attending physician at NYU Medical Center. The average hand-washing time was only about six seconds, the MSU study found. What’s more, 15 percent of men and 7 percent of women didn’t wash their hands at all after using the restroom. Besides washing your hands properly, here are 11 everyday items you don’t wash as often as you should.
You skip nooks and crannies
If you just rub soap between your palms, rinse, and call it a day, your hands are probably still dirty. “Germs love to hide under fingernails and in the pockets between fingers, so you should scrub these areas every time you wash,” says Dr. Raj. Be sure to scrub vigorously to work up a good lather—friction is key to eliminate dirt, grease, and microbes from the skin.