Warm or cold water: Which is better for effective hand washing?

Photo: envato

Does water temperature actually affect the cleanliness of your hands? Is hand washing in warm or cold water more effective at removing bacteria?

Hand washing is one of the most basic hygiene practices, which helps us protect ourselves from various diseases and prevent the spread of infections.

When it comes to hand washing, the question often arises as to whether hand washing is more effective in cold or warm water. There are many opinions and beliefs about which water temperature is better for removing bacteria and dirt.

Washing is important. Photo: Mikhail Nilov / Pexels

The importance of hand washing

Our hands are constantly exposed to various microbes, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that we can transfer to other surfaces or ingest and cause disease. By washing your hands regularly, you can prevent the spread of infections and protect yourself and others.

Some experts claim that hand washing is the most effective way to pprevention of disease transmission, such as colds, flu, diarrhea and even more serious illnesses such as Covid-19.

Public Health Organization (CDC) recommends washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, after using the toilet, after coughing, sneezing or blowing the nose and after contact with contaminated surfaces.

How do you wash your hands? Photo: Towfiqu Barbhuiya / Pexels

Does water temperature affect the effectiveness of hand washing?

Some people find that washing their hands in hot water is more effective at removing bacteria and dirt, while others believe that cold water is just as effective.

Arguments for washing hands in warm water

There are several arguments in favor of washing hands in warm water. First, warm water dissolves the fats and oils on our skin and helps remove stubborn dirt. In addition, the heat is said to help open the pores of the skin, allowing for better penetration of the soap and removal of bacteria.

In cold or warm water. Photo: Polina Tankilevitch / Pexels

Another is that warm water can kill more bacteria than cold water. Some research has shown that high temperatures can kill bacteria, meaning that handwashing in warm water may be more effective at killing microorganisms.

Arguments for washing hands in cold water

One of the main benefits of washing your hands in cold water is that cold water can help close the skin's pores, reducing the loss of natural moisture and preventing skin dryness.

In addition, it is considered less irritating to the skin than hot water, so it is more suitable for people with sensitive or dry skin.

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