MadSci Network: Microbiology

Re: Which 'cleans' better w/Anti-bacterial soap, hot or cold water?

Date: Mon Jun 19 15:29:58 2000
Posted By: Edward Richter, Faculty, Food Microbiology, The Ohio State University
Area of science: Microbiology
ID: 957310198.Mi

Warm water verses cold water certainly encourages people to wash 
hands/dishes.  The most important factor in washing hands/dishes is the 
removal of organic matter ( in the case of dishes food and in the case of 
hands....soil or fecal matter).  The temperature of water in hand washing 
is not very important except in helping to dissolve oils etc.  The 
recommended temperature is 32-43oC (90-110oF) for hands and 30 seconds.

However, washing dishes in hot water (Temperatures above 60oC (140oF)) 
will certainly kill most bacteria.  This is too hot for hand washing.

Tell your wife to let you use whichever temperature is most comfortable.  
You will get them just as clean and it will be a much more pleasant task.

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