8 Top Hygiene Myths (And the Truth behind Them)

Myths abound concerning every topic under the sun. Hygiene is no exception. And, with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have become more conscious about hygiene. Consequently, the circulation of hygiene myths has unfortunately also been given a real boost. Here are eight popular myths about hygiene and related topics, and the actual truth you should know.

Myth 1: Hand Sanitizers Clean Better than Soap

Hand sanitisers have become more popular than ever since the onset of COVID-19. And many people think they provide a higher level disinfection than washing your hands with soap. However, the truth is that though they kill the majority of germs, they cannot remove visible dirt. It requires a thorough wash with soap and water to fully clean your hands.

Myth 2: Public Toilet Seat can Transmit Infections

Many people hesitate to use public toilets because they think sitting on those toilet seats will immediately give them an infection. The truth is that the chances of such an infection are more or less the same as when you use the toilet seat in your own home, unless you have any cuts or abrasions on your skin.

Furthermore, toilet seats get cleaned regularly, so you’re more likely to find more pathogens like E-coli bacteria or even the coronavirus in other places that are overlooked, such as the door handle to the bathroom and other surfaces touched by the users. And if you run a business, it is advisable to regularly clean and sanitize your bathrooms, and supplement this with period deep cleaning by expert cleaners like phs Cleaning.

Myth 3: Sweat is Smelly

Most people think that sweat as characterised by its stench. However, sweat is fundamentally odourless as it contains 99% water. Once the skin secretes sweat, bacteria in the atmosphere start working on it and split the protein present within sweat, creating other substances which produce the odour. That’s where the smell of sweat actually comes from. Sweat, especially from armpits, contains a higher amount of such proteins, and therefore releases more odour.

Myth 4: Fallen Food is Safe if You Retrieve it in 5 Seconds

It is a superstition to think that you can eat food fallen on the ground if you can pick it up before 5 seconds have passed. Bacteria are present in high quantities in the ground and on many floor surfaces, and they only need milliseconds to contaminate your food. So, it is not advisable to take and eat the food that has fallen on the ground, no matter how quickly you pick it up.

Myth 5: Antiperspirant Causes Breast Cancer

Many people believe that using antiperspirants and deodorants on their armpits can lead to breast cancer. That’s because some of these products contain cancer-causing substances like aluminium compounds and parabens. However, no research has proven the claim as yet. If you’re worried, you don’t need to skip antiperspirant entirely – just check the ingredients list!

Myth 6: Gloves are Better than Washing Hands

Many people prefer using gloves for long hours than washing hands with soap because gloves provide a false sense of security. However, wearing gloves can have its own share of problems. Bacteria can accumulate even if you wear gloves. Also, if your glove tears or rips, you may not notice that the protective barrier is broken. Furthermore, there is a big chance of contamination caused by touching surfaces and holding things with gloved hands. This contamination is usually lower when you’re not wearing gloves as you’ll probably be washing hands your more often.

Myth 7: You Should Shower Every Day

Showering every day is more of a habit than a hygienic practice. If you shower more often, you will be washing away the healthy skin secretions and oils, and this could have negative impacts on your skin. People living in hot or humid climates, or those doing heavy physical work that makes them sweat a lot will need to shower more often. Otherwise, it is not compulsory each day.

Myth 8: Hot Water is Better for Washing Your Hands

When people wash their hands, they think that the hotter the water, the better the clean. However, there is no evidence for this. It is sufficient if you use water between 35˚C and 45˚C in temperature. Moreover, you must wash your hands for at least 20 seconds for best results, which may not be possible with water at higher temperatures. People tend to wash their hands for a shorter time because the water is simply too hot!

It is vital to examine what your hear before believing it. Today, there are many authentic sources to verify the truth behind anything circulating on social media. Especially in the midst of a global pandemic, having the correct information concerning hygiene is vital.

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

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