We’ve been told time and time again that we should wash our hands thoroughly if we don’t want to get sick from germs that are out there, but it turns out we may not need to scald our skin to effectively kill all that unwanted bacteria.
According to a new Rutgers-New Brunswick study, hot water isn’t necessarily the only way to kill germs. In fact, cool water removes just as much harmful bacteria as hot.
The study exposed 21 participants to high levels of harmless bacteria many times over a six month period. The subjects were then asked to wash their hands at various degrees of temperature 60-degree, 79-degree or 100-degree water, using a variety of soap amounts.
In the end “the temperature of the water used didn't matter," in killing bacteria, although the study did suggest that washing for at least ten seconds “significantly removed bacteria from the hands." It also suggests that there may not be a difference between the amount of soap used, although more testing on the subject needs to be done.