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The Filthiest Part of Your Garments Might Surprise You

Image Source: Krasula @ShutterStock

Amidst all the commotion regarding proper hand cleanliness, one thing we’ve learned is that our level of cleanliness might not be as high as we presumed! Interestingly, there’s a particular phase in the hand-cleansing procedure that many individuals neglect—and this oversight is the reason behind the dirtiness of a segment of our clothing. When we ponder over soiled attire, the immediate images might be of smelly gym socks and shirts with pit stains. However, according to microbiologist Charles Gerba, Ph.D., the dirtiest part of clothes is the hip region of jeans. A research study revealed that the highest amount of bacteria was discovered around the hips, with the lowest amount found beneath the arms. The clothing samples were cut at six-inch intervals and the bacterial count was tallied up.

One explanation for the abundance of bacteria on the hip area of jeans is the constant contact they receive. Whether we are standing with our hands on our hips or utilizing our hips to dry our hands, these areas are frequently touched. The inadequate drying of hands is a common occurrence. When individuals exit the restroom, they sometimes use their hips to complete the drying process of their hands. Using the hip area of our jeans to absorb moisture from our hands can elevate the moisture levels, rendering it more hospitable to bacteria. Despite washing our hands, certain bacteria persists. Efficient drying of hands post-hand washing is vital as it, along with hand-cleansing, minimizes the risk of contamination.

To guarantee clean hands and tidier hip areas, it is suggested to wash hands meticulously with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds and then utilize a hand towel or paper towel for drying. Research has shown that air dryers can disseminate bacterial spores into the environment. Hence, in public restrooms, if paper towels are accessible, they are typically the more preferable choice. When air dryers are the sole option, they still prove to be a better alternative as opposed to wiping hands on one’s hips. In cases where soap and water are inaccessible, hand sanitizer can be utilized. However, to ensure its efficacy, a thorough rubbing of the sanitizer for no less than 30 seconds is recommended.

Image Source: Krasula @ShutterStock

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