Restroom Handwashing Less Frequent as Pandemic Wanes
Survey respondents agree on importance of hand hygiene but don't always follow through
The coronavirus pandemic has spurred numerous handwashing surveys, with one survey released this spring finding Americans are losing momentum and becoming lax in their hand hygiene habits. Another recent survey found hand hygiene compliance for hospital health care workers and cleaners dropped back to pre-pandemic levels.
The latest survey, conducted by water treatment equipment manufacturer Puronics of 1,531 American adults, found that although 75% of respondents believe handwashing is very important, nearly one-third admit to not washing their hands after using the restroom. On average, respondents reported washing their hands nine times throughout the day, with females washing their hands slightly more than males. However, only 49% said they always use soap, and only 28% said they always use hot water. Although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises people to scrub their hands for at least 20 seconds, 38% of respondents say they wash their hands for 15 seconds or less. However, 68% reported washing their hands for a longer amount of time when using a public restroom compared to using their bathroom at home.
The survey also found:
- Although 62% of respondents say it’s important to wash your hands after returning home, only 46% actually do so consistently.
- Although 68% of respondents agree it is important to wash your hands before eating, only 42% always do so.
- More than half (59%) of respondents report always or usually washing their hands after blowing their nose and 56% report always or usually washing their hands after coughing or sneezing.