Poll for people who wash their hands after using the bathroom. (Please read before voting.)

In the men’s room, I notice quite often that after people pee, they’ll briefly run their hands under the faucet with no soap, then dry them and leave. It makes me wonder if they’re doing it just because socially, “you’re supposed to.”

Therefore, I am creating this poll. I ask that people be as honest as possible, since you will be anonymous. Thanks.

(Please keep in mind that I’m only asking if and why you wash your hands after #1, not #2. Also, please make sure you select two options.)

Interesting poll. The men’s room at work is a cramped and tiny space where it seems that no two men can comfortably share. Just yesterday I was glad to wait for the sink for another guy who just came out of the stall. I think he just turned the water on then off again. I didn’t even see him take a paper towel.

Another time, a guy just walked out because I was brushing my teeth in there. I left a second later, and he turned around and went back in.

Me, I wash every time, even if I have to wait.

I want to get this in quickly. For those of you who don’t wash their hands, Cecil had a great article on this that made total sense to me.

You don’t wash your hands because you may have gotten pee on them. Most of us can go to the bathroom regularly - several times a day even! - and come out without getting pee on them.

You wash your hands because you should be washing your hands several times a day and you’re in there anyway so why not just go ahead and do it. It keeps you healthier and it keeps washing away all of those germs you may have picked up during the day.

As for me, before this, I admit sometimes I just rinsed my hands. I mean, like I said, I don’t pee all over my hands! But now I wash them every time, and I think I have noticed a difference. I have avoided several colds that other people in the office have come down with.

I usually wash my hands in the kitchen, when I go in to make tea, for the reasons Anaamika gives.

I wash all the time. I work in a clinic, so I know how many very sick people cough all over the place, sneeze in their hand then grab a doorknob (cold germs live for hours on surfaces), etc. You really should be washing your hands to avoid spreading your germs and those of others around; after using the bathroom just happens to be one convenient time.

Years ago, I used to work in Pediatrics but not in the clinic. The nurse would come back with charts and one of the things I’d have to do is sort the charts and file/send out missed visit notes/etc. I got colds all the time because I wouldn’t see all those kids with colds and thus wouldn’t think to wash my hands after dealing with the cart and charts; I might wipe my eye or grab a snack while working.

I wash before peeing. the Purple Helmet Warrior spends nearly all his time safely tucked away inside my underwear. My hands sometimes get into some really disgusting situations.

I wash because I need to wash my hands a couple times a day anyway, and as long as I’m in the potty with a sink right there I may as well take care of it.

I also want to have a damp paper towel in hand as I exit, because there are TWO doors on the way out of the rest room and both have handles that you essentially have to make love to in order to get out.

I’m a woman. I’m not sure how to vote. As I was thinking about it, I realized that I always wash my hands after I use the restroom at work or in any public place. But at home I only wash after a #2.
Of course since I am a woman I really don’t do those #2 things.

Man here. Always wash my hands after going to the bathroom for hygenic reasons.

However, as I have always understood it. The recommendation to wash your hands everytime you go to the bathroom, is not necessarily because the bathroom or your genitals are full of bacteria. It’s because there’s a sink in there, and people should wash there hands regularly throughout the day because they pick up bacteria along the way (walking down stairs, on the bus, opening and closing doors, etc.) Washing your hands when you go to the bathroom, gets those accumulated germs off your hands at that time.

I’m a woman. I’ve always washed my hands at work or in public, but I’ll cop to not having washed my hands all the time at home. All the soap dries out your skin! But, there was a thread about handwashing earlier. Apparently when you flush, microscopic bits of pee and poo spray all over the room. I guess you technically have them all over your body, too, but you use your hands so frequently that washing them is usually more crucial than doing a hose-down every time you go. Plus, you don’t tend to stick your shirt or pants in your mouth when you eat.

Now I always wash my hands at home, too, regardless of what I’ve been doing on the pot. I also wash after every single diaper change with my daughter. My husband doesn’t, which skeeves me out.

Here’s the link to the classic Cecil column on this issue:

This is why I always close the lid before flushing. (There’s not always a lid in public restrooms, but at least my toothbrush isn’t in there either.)

Along with what everyone else has said about “you’re at the sink, you should wash regularly anyway,” this is why I always wash – I don’t want the stuff my body gets rid of to go back into my food.

My basic logic is, urine is sterile, stool is not, so post-#2 gets a thorough washing with soap and hot water, and post-#1 gets a thorough washing with hot water. No, I don’t pee on my hands, but TP isn’t exactly durable when wet, particularly public restroom TP that’s tissue paper thin. There’s also your standard “feminine moisture.” Since I don’t care to have urine or said moisture getting into my food, I rinse it off – and yes, more than just a one-second wave of my hands under the faucet. I don’t use soap every single time because as mentioned, it dries your skin out, my hands get especially bad in winter, and I’m less concerned about bacteria from sterile waste than I am from waste that has bacteria in it.

So, yes, for hygiene reasons. It grosses me out to think of waste getting into my food when I touch it.

Exactly. At home, I’m not so worried about it. But when I’m out in public I always wash my hands after using the restroom and I’ll turn off the water faucet (if not automatic cut off) with a paper towel so I don’t foul up my hands after washing them. I also use a paper towel to open the door leaving a public restroom.

Yes, I wash them for general hygiene, rather than a fear of weewee germs.

I wash so many times a day I have dry cracked skin on my knuckles.

While I’m probably pretty immune to my own bacteria I don’t want to accidentally pass some grossness on to Junior.

This is one I don’t get, at least where I work (in an office). What can you have been doing in an office before coming in to pee that would make it risky to touch your dick?

Per Cecil’s quote above, one’s nether regions are irretrievably germy whether you get pee on yourself or not. Unless I have been working barehanded in a sewage treatment plant, probably fewer germs are being added than being taken away.

For me, I wash most of the time at work, and almost never at home. I don’t know why.

In a former job, my hands might have been touching chemicals. Toner, for one thing. And I might do this in a restaurant if I’ve been eating something messy, like BBQ ribs. Not only do I not want to sauce my dick, but also my fly.

I always wash my hands after peeing. I made a conscious decision to acquire the habit.

But then, I wash my hands a lot. Before I begin cooking, after I’m DONE cooking, before eating (unless the meal comes right after finishing cooking ;)), after eating, and as soon as possible after sneezing, and at random times during the day.

I’ll go ahead and admit that I’m one of the few who don’t wash after peeing. I wash my hands when they are dirty, and if that intersects with a bathroom break then all the better. My immune system is like a mongol horde laying waste to all intruders and I’m never ill. I don’t see the point in washing my hands several times a day if I’m not dirty. That’s not say I don’t wash Up at all, I do: certainly when I’m doing something that involves food, etc…

Part of the reason is to reduce (it’s impossible to eliminate entirely) the number of germs you yourself spread.