Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Effectiveness of Hand-wash

Laboratory examination usually includes microscopic study of fresh unstained and stained materials and preparation of cultures with conditions suitable for growth of a wide variety of microorganisms, including the type of organism most likely to be causative based on clinical evidence. If a microorganism is isolated, complete identification may then be pursued. Isolated microorganisms may be tested for susceptibility to antimicrobial drugs. When significant pathogens are isolated before treatment, follow-up laboratory examinations during and after treatment may be appropriate.

Below are not formal scientific research, it’s just a fun research to reveal some interesting facts relating to our daily life; washing hands.

Let us compare our washing-hands activity using 7 items; sterilized water, Lifebuoy liquid soap and sterilized water, Bayclin-Sunclin (which contains NaCl 0.5%) on a container, Bayclin-Sunclin with flowing water, Handy Clean (a hand sanitizer which contains Ethyl Alcohol) for 10 seconds –as it says on the commercial–, Betadine antiseptic 1% (which contains Povidine Iodine) for 2 minutes, and the last one is Lifebuoy liquid soap and pipe water.

Seven volunteers are given 1 (one) item to wash their hands. Hands swab were taken and put onto a semi solid agar in order to culture the bacteria (if there any) before and after washing their hands.

Let see the results.

  1. Flowing sterilized water. (It’s scientifically sterile, of course. Not just an ordinary AQUA. Heated in autoclave at 1210 C/249.80 F) As you can see from the picture, the amount of bacteria reduce significantly in medium agar. Note: bacteria are marked as white dots.
  2. Lifebuoy liquid soap and sterilized water. The result is similar with the first one; the amount of bacteria reduce significantly in medium agar. See picture 2.
  3. Bayclin-Sunclin (NaCl 0.5%) on a container. It’s (almost) perfect clean! Note: scratch is on the glass plate. See picture 3.
  4. Bayclin-Sunclin with flowing water. Theoretically, it has the same result with #3. See picture 4.
  5. Handy Clean (Ethyl Alcohol) for 10 seconds. It’s (almost) look the same as before. See picture 5.
  6. Betadine antiseptic 1% (Povidine Iodine) for 2 minutes. Flawlessly clean! See picture 6.
  7. Lifebuoy liquid soap and pipe water. Not-so-much different. See picture 7.


  1. Don’t take these results as a basic comparison, especially for its particular brand. Those 7 items are working mostly the same, regarding their particular function in our daily life. For example, if you are having a wound, would you clean it with a Bayclin? The answer is strongly ‘NO!’ because Bayclin is used for washing clothes.
  2. Using Handy Clean for 10 seconds is shown (almost) useless. But it doesn’t mean Handy Clean is ineffective to clean our hands. The usage time, probably, needs to be much longer. 2 minutes, perhaps?
  3. Overall, the clean you want your hands to be, deeply depends on the way you wash your hands. From the results above, theoretically #3 and #4 has to have the same result. But why did the results show differences? Back again, it really depends on the way you wash your hands; in a rush or not.



  1. cieeee...... ilmiah nihh...:)
    tapi gue biasanya cuma elap2 tangan ke t-shirt...:D

  2. iya.. sama.. kayaknya dari segi efektifitas, itu yang paling cepat dan mudah (itupun kalau nggak lupa) :)

  3. gue paling jarang tuh cuci tangan sebelum makan, paling kalo emang bener2 keliatan kotor

  4. ya gpp, tiap org beda2 koq, apalagi org indonesia kyknya emang uda 'kebal' dgn makanan yg ga terlalu hygiene. misalnya saja tukang gado2, ketoprak, ato sejenisnya; abang2 itu menggunakan tangan yg sama utk mengambil sayur2 & kerupuk, membungkusnya, menerima uang, lalu kemudian memberikan kembalian tanpa mencuci tangan. buktinya si pembeli baik2 saja. lain halnya ketika turis asing makan gado2, pasti langsung sakit perut, LOL

  5. Kesimpulannya: Orang Asia memang jorok :D

    Hehe... gue suka sama post ini.

  6. 1st of all gw mo blg... ARI JOROKK yaaa. omg.... gila klo bnr2 kliatan kotor br cuci tngn. ckckckck.. hahahhahah
    kesimpulan yg gw dpt dr praktikum itu c yang penting berdoa sblm makan. hahahhahaha.....
    handy clean kan emank cpt kering.. mksdnya pake slm 2mnt tu gmn?

  7. mksdnya pake slm 2mnt tu gmn?

    pake handy clean-nya ga cuma 10 detik, krn kurang ampuh bunuh bakterinya, menurut hasil percobaannya...gitu...mgkn gosok2 handy clean lebih lama aja..

  8. Thanks for the comment at my blog. =)

  9. dear devi,
    thank you for your information.
    once i read it,i just remember how i teach my daughters to keep clean and healthy. brigitte(my first daughter) always said "moms don't forget wash your hand before eat",funny words for me because it's come from little child-3 yrs old.

  10. oh iya, gue baru ingat, gue pernah sekali mau beli bakso, cuma batal karena dari jauh melihat si masnya baru kencing, langsung menyeka tangan dengan kain lap. sayangnya itu lap piring.. :(

  11. to Hengky:
    ouch!!! that's disgusting!!

  12. interesting dev..

    Hehe gue biasa pake handy clean juga kalo lagi di luar n ga ketemu wc. Hhhmm tapi iya sich tergantung daya tahan tubuh masing2 kali yach..Hehe kali aja karena keseringan dimasuki kuman, jadi nya dah imun;p

  13. ayo cuci tangan rame2!!
    btw klo mo bli bakso jgn lupa minta abangnya untuk cuci tgn,,jgn2 dia baru aja buang...

  14. mustinya ada pesan sponsor nih di sini :D di tv sudah ada produsen sabun yang mengkampanyekan gerakan cuci tangan. tapi sayang di indonesia yang justru banyak melakukan gerakan "cuci tangan" adlaah para pejabat2 yg bermasalah. hehehe :)

  15. Hi Devi,

    Thanks for offering your site to be listed at A World of Bloggers. I have enjoyed reading your blog and have listed you for Indonesia.



  16. hehehe..
    susah juga ya mau makan..

  17. cuci tangan..
    cuci muka..
    terus bobok..



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