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Published 2021

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Publication details

Journal : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) , vol. 18 , 2021

Publisher : MDPI

International Standard Numbers :
Printed : 1661-7827
Electronic : 1660-4601

Publication type : Academic article

Contributors : Mihalache, Octavian Augustin; Borda, Daniela; Neagu, Corina; Teixeira, Paula; Langsrud, Solveig; Nicolau, Anca Ioana

Issue : 16


The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of dirt removal (bacteria and organic matter) of several hand-cleaning procedures. The results from the hand hygiene experiment indicated that washing hands with warm water and soap for 20 s is the most effective method investigated when hands are either dirty or greasy. Even if not proper washing, rinsing under running water for 5 s is a cleaning procedure that may significantly reduce the probability of cross-contamination, as it removes 90% of the hands' dirt. Although less effective than water and soap, the usage of antibacterial wipes was significantly more effective than wet wipes, indicating that they are a better choice when water and soap are not available. The results of this study enable us to inform consumers about the effectiveness of hand-cleaning procedures applied in their homes when cooking. Moreover, it can make consumers understand why, during the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities recommended washing hands as a preventive measure of infection and using an anti-bacterial hand gel or wiping hands with an antimicrobial wipe if water and soap are not available.