A waste of what? Of energy, for one. According to National Geographic, hot water doesn’t kill any more germs than cool water. And by turning up the tap, you’re wasting energy. And a lot of it. In fact, the energy waste is enough to fuel a small country.
And a waste of time, considering any temperature water will accomplish the same thing. While it’s true that heat kills germs, experts say that water, in order to do so, would have to be so hot that you couldn’t wash your hands without scalding them. Therefore, using cooler water accomplished the same thing.
According to the article, “the study noted research that showed a “strong cognitive connection” between water temperature and hygiene in both the United States and Western Europe.” Which might just be one of those things we grow up believing but isn’t necessarily true.
“In their official guidelines on hand washing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization don’t actually specify a water temperature. The agencies do recommend using soap and water and scrubbing vigorously, for at least 20 seconds. (The CDC has even suggested singing the song “Happy Birthday” to yourself in your head, to mark the time.) When you are done, dry your hands thoroughly, the agencies say.”
Most important, wash your hands often and with soap, but don’t sweat the temperature.
Read the entire article here.