Washing hands: Hold hands still after lathering with soap?

#1 Edited by Kenocratic (119 posts) -

I read this in a hardcopy magazine in the 70's as part of instructions on how to properly wash your hands. But that was before the internet as we know it. It talked about how soap works to clean most of which is nothing new here. It said the soap film surrounds dirt particles on your hands as you vigorously rub hands together. And that this allows the dirt to be more easily washed off by water.

BUT it said before your rinse it all off with water you should hold your hands still for about 5-6 seconds to give the soap film a chance to surround or adhere to the dirt particles. Their logic being that the rubbing action of lathering may slightly disturb the soap film from surrounding and adhering to the dirt. And that washing without holding the hands still for a few seconds will still work to a degree but it would work better with the added step of holding the hands still for a short time.

I have searched the web off and on for months and I can't find any doctors, state health officials or anyone who says you should hold your hands still in this manner for the reason mentioned above. Sure the surgeons are supposed to hold their hands up at one point in their washing procedure but it's not related to allowing the soap to surround the dirt.

And all the various U.S. state health sites that I've seen with all their instructions on how to wash your hands don't mention holding the hands still after lathering. They may hint at it in very very vague terms like saying after vigorous lathering "when the soap film is allowed to surround the dirt particles this allows the dirt to be easily washed away by rinsing in water." That's paraphrasing it.

So now I'm wondering in conspiracy theory style can you imagine what would happen if health officials recommended holding the hands still for a few seconds? People would most likely do that while the water is still running. But some people would think as a measure of safety maybe add a few more seconds than recommended. And some would hold them still for 10-20 seconds or more with the water still running most likely. The amount of water used or "wasted" depending on your point of view could be noticeable if millions did that.

Anyway the health officials and doctors say on the web that vigorously rubbing hands together with soap lather will allow the soap film to adhere to the dirt. And that's fine. But I just want to know if soap adheres to dirt better if you hold the hands still a bit after lathering.

#2 Posted by SolidSnake35 (58305 posts) -

I find that leaving the soap there overnight causes extreme dryness, especially on my supple thighs.

#3 Edited by EPICCOMMANDER (1045 posts) -

Maybe soaps are better made now than they were in the 70s? I don't know honestly why, I've never heard of waiting to wash the soap off before. It's interesting that you've never found an article that says the same thing as the one you read.

#4 Posted by sukraj (25513 posts) -

I wash my hands with soap everytime I have a crap.

#5 Posted by Korvus (10144 posts) -

I curse loudly and violent at the germs. I found that it helps them dislike me and therefor more inclined to detach from my skin.