Should men wash their hands after urinating?

With all these New Age gurus suggested that people drink their own pee, calling it the 'waters of Shiva', you'd think that it'd be OK to pee on your hands a little.

Hasn't science shown that urine is sterile? Why, then, all the backlash against men who don't wash after they pee?

Well, according to The Straight Dope, there's no reason to wash your hands, as the coliform bacteria that live in your groinal region are too hardy to be washed away with mere soap and water.

No, there's no point.

Does the Straight Dope encourage everyone to stop washing them?

Not really:

"But you know this (or at least you ought to). What you may not know is that washing will not make the coliform bacteria go away. They're holed up in the pores of your skin and nothing short of sandblasting--certainly not your morning shower--is going to get them out. Showering merely gets rid of the ones that have strayed onto the surface. The bacteria won't do much harm if they stay put, but when you urinate your fingers come in contact with Mister P. long enough for the coliform bacteria in your pores to hop aboard. Your fingers subsequently touch lots of other infectible items. If you don't wash your hands with soap and water (soap gets rid of the skin oil that the bacteria stick to) . . . hello, Typhoid Mary.


It now dawns on you: jeez, if merely touching my privates is enough to transmit bacteria, it doesn't matter if I pee or not! Just so. Urine itself is actually fairly sterile. Cecil has read reports of it being used during wartime in poor countries as--I'm not making this up--a sort of battlefield Bactine. (U.S. doctors generally blanch at this.) The lesson to draw from this, however, is not that you can go forth dripping (yuck), but rather that just because you didn't pee on your fingers doesn't mean you can skip washing up."

Just because you feel that your urine is cleaner than the hospital floors on ER doesn't mean you shouldn't wash. We've got a long, illustrated history with hand-washing, and it probably saved Europe from the Great Plague.

And don't just use a little water, you slob! From the Wikipedia page on hand washing:

"The purpose of hand washing in the health care setting is to remove or destroy (disinfect) pathogenic microorganisms ("germs") to avoid transmitting them to a patient. The application of water alone is ineffective for cleaning skin because water is unable to remove fats, oils, and proteins, which are components of organic soil. Therefore, removal of microorganisms from skin requires the addition of soaps or detergents to water."

And soap doesn't kill bacteria! It only aids in the removal of fatty oils from your skin... in some cases, people have contracted a bacterial strain from using contaminated soap. The best solution is to use a strong alcohol solution. Those damn germs can't hold their liquor at all, it seems.
Should men wash their hands after urinating? Should men wash their hands after urinating? Reviewed by Admin on June 29, 2019 Rating: 5

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