Hands Down: Hygiene Habits Remain Stagnant

Source: Soap and Detergent Association, Press release, September 18, 2008

Despite the threat of getting sick during cold and flu season, less Americans say they are regularly washing their hands.

The fourth Clean Hands Report Card®, issued by The Soap and Detergent Association, gives Americans a “C-minus” for their hand hygiene habits, the same grade they received back in 2006.

The Report Card is based on a series of hygiene-related questions asked of 916 Americans during a telephone survey conducted in August 2008 by Echo Research.

Among the findings of SDA’s 2008 survey:
• Only 85% say they always wash their hands after going to the bathroom (down from 92% in 2006).
• 46% of respondents wash their hands 15 seconds or less. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SDA recommends washing with soap at least 15-20 seconds.
• 39% surveyed seldom or never wash their hands after coughing or sneezing (compared to 36% in 2006).
• 35% don’t always wash before eating lunch (in 2006, 31% failed to wash up before lunch.
See also:
Summary and Key Findings

Leave a Reply