Handwashing Survey

Survey finds Americans rely on handwashing for health and wellbeing. Travel and special occasions increase hand hygiene.

According to the recently released Healthy Handwashing Surveyfrom Bradley Corporation, 93% of adults believe handwashing is essential to maintaining their overall health – a sentiment that’s nearly universal across gender, age and geography. 

The survey also found that many Americans turn to handwashing to stay healthy before a trip, while they are traveling and before special occasions. During road trips, 75% of adults make a conscious effort to wash their hands wherever they stop along the way. 69% are diligent about sudsing up when at an airport and 63% do the same as a special occasion or the holidays approach. 

“Handwashing, using soap and warm water, is an easy and effective way to reduce the spread of disease-causing organisms,” says medical microbiologist Michael P. McCann, Ph.D., professor and chair of biology, Saint Joseph’s University. “Given the ease with which some of these organisms can be spread on solid surfaces, in food, and by other means, handwashing is something that everyone should do after activities like using the restroom.”

In addition to the physical benefits, there are emotional upsides. Almost 70% say they feel healthier or safer immediately after washing their hands. 

Delving deeper into the specifics of hand hygiene habits, the survey found that most Americans wash their hands thoroughly, take care to avoid touching surfaces such as faucets and door handles, and feel negatively about businesses that do not have clean restrooms.

According to the survey, poor restroom maintenance at a business makes more than just a negative impression; an unclean or unpleasant restroom can be a sales inhibitor. 52% of respondents say an unkempt restroom impacts whether or not they’ll return to the establishment again. On the flip side, nearly 60% say they are likely to spend more at a business that has clean, well-maintained restrooms and the same percent will make a point of stopping at a location that offers pleasant facilities. The survey also found that 82% of adults believe it is important to have touchless fixtures in a public restroom. 

“Germ avoidance and handwashing diligence are two habits that should always be a priority, and businesses can support hand hygiene by providing well-maintained restrooms,” says Jon Dommisse, vice president of marketing and corporate communication for Bradley Corp. “No matter where you are or what you’re doing, everyone should lather up, scrub thoroughly, rinse and dry their hands.”

The annual Healthy Handwashing Survey from Bradley Corp. queried 1,025 American adults Jan. 4-10, 2023, about their handwashing habits, concerns about the coronavirus and flu and their use of public restrooms. Participants were from around the country and were fairly evenly split between men (45%) and women (55%). 

For more information, visit bradleycorp.com/handwashing.