Scott Coutts scott.coutts at
Sat Nov 4 21:43:56 EST 2000

Well, it removes the transients, anyhow. You can actually increase
bacterial numbers on the hands by washing with 'ordinary' soap and water
(as opposed to disinfectant soaps). They're only skin flora, though. We
demonstrate this as a practical to undergraduates as part of our
microbiology course. Not many of them expect it!

Scott J. Coutts
Department of Microbiology
Monash University, Australia

Prssnblu wrote:
> In article <8u134n$a4k$1 at>, Bjorn Karger <bkarger at>
> writes:
> >Is it safe to assume that when they say, "Wash with warm water and
> >a mild detergent," that they don't have any idea what they're talking
> >about?
> No.
> "They" have a very good idea of what "they" are talking about. This simple
> method for 10 to 15 seconds removes 98% of bacteria from the hands. Don't know
> if there have been studies on the rest of the body or not but I don't know why
> it wouldn't work elsewhere. Handwashing is the single most effective way of
> preventing the spread of what you call "germs". And we do know quite a bit
> about "germs". Read any basic microbiology text or go to an online course in
> microbiology and learn what the rest of us know.

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