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You Probably Have Poop On Your Hands, New Research Unfortunately Finds

BBC Earth Lab on YouTube

Even if you wash your hands after using the bathroom, you're probably not in the 5 percent of people who wash them thoroughly enough to actually get them squeaky clean.

Sure, a quick rinse with suds and water or rubbing some antibacterial soap on your palms might make your hands feel clean, but it seems you're probably not doing as good of a job as you think.

On the British show "Trust Me I'm A Doctor," Dr. Chris van Tullekan took to the streets to investigate how clean or dirty the average person's hands are. Surprisingly enough, what he found was less than positive.

Dr. van Tullekan and his team swabbed the hands of 50 people in London, and then tested the swabs in the lab to find the average amount of bacteria someone hosts on their hands.

Surprise, surprise! The researchers found 26 percent to 30 percent of people have fecal matter, aka poop, on their hands, making it the most common bacteria the team saw from the swabs. Lovely.

But it's not because these people aren't washing their hands in the bathroom. Apparently, bacteria normally found in fecal matter also likes to hang out in the kitchen sink and on cutting boards, and E. coli likes to chill in washing-machine water.

Cool! So I'll never be using a washing machine again. BRB while I go handwash my clothes and hang them up to dry like it's 1843.

Anyway, there's more: The team also found over a quarter of participants' hands were "heavily contaminated" with bacteria, carrying triple the average amount.

Either this sample of people were particularly dirty, or it's a pretty clear sign we need to spend the proper amount of time washing our hands multiple times a day.

And in case you were wondering, Dr. van Tullekan's rule of thumb is to keep washing through two rounds of the song "Happy Birthday."

On the germaphobe spectrum, I fall somewhere in the middle, but you can bet I won't be touching any subway poles on my commute home today.

Elite Daily on YouTube

Citations: Medical Daily (Why Wash Your Hands? Fecal Matter Bacteria Are The Most Common Type Found On Your Fingers)