Cleanliness and Hygiene Myths

debunking myths about hygiene and cleanliness

The best way to achieve a clean and healthy environment is by always practicing cleanliness. That’s why the phrase “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” is often heard many times over. Not only does it avoid germ spread and infectious diseases, but it also has positive effects on one’s social life, as well as one’s physical and mental health.

However, not everyone practices cleanliness, some people can let a month pass by without doing any deep cleaning or cleaning at all, while others just perform vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping which is just the bare minimum. You’d be even more surprised to know that some offices don’t even perform regular cleaning because of some office cleaning myths they’ve read on the internet.

Regardless of how things were before the pandemic, cleanliness and proper hygiene kicked up to high gear after cases of COVID-infected people started rising at an alarming rate. There was even a time when a shortage of cleaning and hygiene products was experienced. Products aren’t the only ones that experienced a sudden increase in demand, commercial cleaning companies started receiving more requests from regular cleaning to seasonal office cleaning. If you are still full of questions and curious about cleanliness and hygiene, then continue reading this article to satisfy your curiosity.

Cleanliness and Hygiene Myths

“Too clean” weakens the immune system

Most people think that being exposed to germs strengthens their immune systems. Believes that being “too clean” weakens it. This mindset is commonly known as the “hygiene hypothesis”. However, there is no scientific evidence that the boost in washing and cleaning will weaken one’s immune system.

On the other hand, people are saying that being exposed to dirt makes your immune system more used to them, but it doesn’t mean that it is making your immune system stronger. Although there are a lot of anecdotes saying that the “hygiene hypothesis” is true, it still doesn’t mean that you should stop your cleaning routines because being exposed to different kinds of dirt or garbage will make many people sick.

Viruses Can’t Stay Alive on Hard Surfaces

Viruses are made up of their own genetic material (RNA or DNA) found inside a special coating of a protein called capsids. This special coating of protein allows them to survive on any surface including hard surfaces outside of human bodies. If you observe in a washroom, you’d see people always washing their hands before leaving. Why do you think so? It’s because they are most likely to touch other surfaces where the viruses from their hands transfer such as doorknobs.

Although viruses slowly die outside of a human body as their capsid degrades, they still survive on hard surfaces for at least 4 to 6 hours. Additionally, they cannot replicate themselves unless absorbed by cells in our bodies. Therefore, it is crucial always to stay cautious and wash your hands often.  

A clean surface means “germ protection” clean

This is often believed by most people, but a clean surface doesn’t entirely mean a germ-protected surface. As mentioned in our previous articles, cleaning is different from disinfecting and sanitizing. Cleaning means the act of removing physical dirt that can be seen by our eyes and touched by our skin. Disinfecting and sanitizing, on the other hand, is the act of killing germs, bacteria, and viruses that are most likely to spread if not properly taken care of.

Therefore, keeping your area clean while disinfected and sanitized is a must, especially if you want to avoid catching any illness that might appear once you come into contact with them.

Using hotter water to wash yourself is effective in killing germs

hot showers myth cleaning debunked

People believe that hot water alone can kill bacteria or viruses, but that is not true. In order to kill such bacteria, viruses, and germs on your skin, you must use soap (antibacterial or not). Furthermore, there is no evidence that backs up this claim. Research saying higher temperatures of water improve the quality of hand washing is still nonexistent. The only thing high temperature that can aid in killing viruses is high weather temperatures. However, it does not kill the bacteria directly since it just causes its capsid to degrade faster.

Moreover, water temperature between 35 °C and 45 °C is the most recommended temperature for handwashing. This is to have a comfortable hand washing without the torture of getting your skin burnt from the high temperature.

Hand dryers are the most hygienic way to dry your hands

Although they are mostly seen in public toilets and bathrooms all over the country, hand air dryers are believed to increase the number of bacteria on your hands after you’ve washed them. Hand air dryers are machines with engines to make them work making them moist, the perfect environment for bacteria, germs, and viruses to grow. So, the moment you use them all that built-up bacteria, germ, and virus get transferred to your hands without you knowing.

That’s why using disposable paper towels is the safest way of drying your hands. They prevent harmful bacteria and viruses from getting back onto your hands. Furthermore, it is important to know that the transmission of bacteria is most likely to occur from wet skin rather than dry skin. This is why proper drying of hands is crucial in personal hygiene.

After all, cleaning is like anything else. If you do it excessively, it can be bad for you and the people around you. The important thing is to find the balance. Illnesses like COVID can make you very vigilant, but that doesn’t mean that your life must focus on cleaning. Get informed, consult commercial cleaning companies, and do the right thing for comfort and peace of mind.  Burgos Cleaning is a team of cleaning service professionals that ensure all important parts of your office are in top condition and create a comfortable working environment. We offer our services in Connecticut (Fairfield, Hartford, and Litchfield County) and provide numerous office cleaning services on the commercial level from small businesses to big buildings and complexes. Contact us now to avail the best commercial cleaning services in town!