Countless national studies have shown that proper hand hygiene and bacteria removal are attributed to two main factors, friction during the scrubbing process and the length of time allowed for removal. Soap acts as an agent that lifts dirt, bacteria, and other harmful materials from your skin. The more vigorously and thoroughly a user scrubs, the more bacteria is able to be absorbed by the soap. The soap takes a short time to work, but once the soap has clung to all the dirt and bacteria, the water washes it away off the hands.
Many studies have also shown that statistically the majority of bacteria removal on the hands happens after the 11th to 12th second mark as it takes ample time for the soap to adhere to the bacteria. The process is exponentially back-loaded to where the below statistic has been calculated. You can see by the numbersbelow how important it is to finish the process out completely to make it effective.
- Total bacteria removed from 5 seconds of hand washing until 11 seconds: About 38%
- Total bacteria removed during hand washing between 11 and 16 seconds: About 88%
- Total bacteria removed during hand washing between 16 and 20 seconds: About 99%