24 Hygiene Facts, Tips & Stats You Won’t Believe [2024]

Cleanliness is half the health.

Updated on May 14, 2024

There’s no better way to share the importance of hygiene then in the form of fun hygiene facts (hand hygiene, food hygiene), we can all shock ourselves with. With so many germs and bacteria on the loose, you may not even realize the number of bacteria you come into contact with on a daily basis. We want to ensure your team stay safe and vigilant with the right preparation for any illnesses lurking around. Take a look at these 24 hygiene facts which will hopefully bring to your attention the importance of practicing excellent hygiene all year round.

Before we get into the facts, it’s probably important to understand what hygiene even means to better understand the insights you’ll read about below.

What is Hygiene?

Hygiene is using a range of practices to keep oneself, others and the surroundings you work, live and play in, clean and hygienic to prevent and reduce the risk the illness and infection. In order to look after your own health and the health of others, it’s vital to maintain good hygiene in situations and settings such as at home, when you sleep, when you eat and cook and in the workplace.

1. The Dirty Kind of Math

One germ can multiply into more than 8 million germs in one day.

 Imagine how many people that first initial germ can affect in a matter of 24 hours. Stop the multiplication and start with good hygiene.

2. Your TV Remote Is More Dangerous Than You Think

Remote controls contribute to the 90,000 annual deaths from infection acquired in hospitals.

University of Arizona researchers determined that television remotes spread antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus which makes them the worst carriers of bacteria in hospital rooms, worse even than toilet handles. If there was a focus on cleaning objects like these imagine how many illnesses could be prevented from the get-go.

3. Clean your tables

74% of restaurant diners said dirty tables would deter them from returning.  

Retaining your customers is vital to grow your business so make sure your business is regularly disinfecting and cleaning tables and common surfaces.

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4. Dry Your Hands!

You’re 1000 times more likely to spread bacteria with damp hands.

Don’t rush out of the washroom after only washing your hands, you’ve only done half the job. Use effective hand dryers or hand paper towels to dry your hands to help create a hygienic environment.

5. Wash Your Hands with Soap and Water

It takes 40-60 seconds to adequately wash your hands using soap.

There you have it, it takes up to a whole minute to sufficiently wash your hands with soap and water. Make sure you spend the time to adequately wash your hands multiple times throughout the day to ensure you’re not spreading harmful bacteria or germs. Especially after using the washroom!

6. Stop Touching So Many Things!

80% of contagious diseases are transmitted by touch [source –  uiowa.edu]

That’s a lot of illnesses that can be prevented from hand washing in the first instance. Viruses left on surfaces by unclean hands before you could infect you up to 24 hours later so washing your hands at work is an absolute must.

7. Toilet Germs Are Following You

Germs from Flushing Toilet Can Travel up to 6 Feet [source:  independent.co.uk ]

Every time you flush a toilet with the lid up, a fine mist is sprayed into the air containing a range of bacteria causing diseases. What’s worse, some hand dryers and other restroom appliances encourage the dispersal of the bacteria which can then be inhaled or deposited into your clothing and belongings.

Moral of the story: shut the toilet lid before flushing and installing toilet seat cleaner can go a long way in making sure your washroom users are protected. Commercial air purifiers can also help in treating the air in the washroom to actually get rid of harmful germs and bacteria.

8. What’s Better, a Toilet or Your Desk?

The bacteria Staphylococcus was found on 60% of desks in offices in a study by Viking.

10 million bacteria are thought to be living on your unclean office desk. It’s probably more hygienic and safer for you to be working from the toilet seat. Shocking, huh? Especially in times when hygiene is so important, be sure to be cleaning your desk area regularly with surface wipes.

9. Your Morning Coffee May Not Be a Life Saver After All

About 90% of office mugs harbour germs and bacteria that can make employees ill.

Your morning coffee mug may be the least pleasant thing on your desk. Studies conducted by the University of Arizona found they have the potential to cause serious illness. Worse still, up to 20% of the mugs tested also had traces of faecal matter!

You may want to re-think using shared office kitchen appliances, they’re most likely to be making matters worse.

10. This Is Why Hand Washing Is So Important

Hands come in contact with around 10 million bacteria per day.

The importance of proper hand washing has been emphasized in 2020 but now do you see why?  The average person touches their face up to 16 times per hour after coming into contact with millions of bacteria that can cause illness. It’s no wonder we see infections spread so fast at work.

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11. Dial 911 – We Have an Emergency!

Cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.

Yep, that’s right, the device people in this day and age spend most of their time on has more bacteria than a toilet seat. Not many people think to clean their phones but perhaps it’s now time to start.

12. The Power of Your Sneeze

Did you know germs and other particles ejected by sneezing  can travel up to 50 m/s and over a distance of 2 m, with a potential area of spread of 616 cm ? [source: DOI, Published 17 July 2020 Medicine, Physics Current Opinion in Ophthalmology]

Sneezing, like vomiting can spread germs up to 10 feet and can travel faster than a motor way speed limit. You cannot stop a sneeze as it’s an automatic response however you can correctly deal with the aftermath, i.e. washing hands, using tissues, hand sanitizers, you know the drill.

13. Give Your Workspace a Regular Clean & Tidy!

57% of co-workers judge their colleagues based on the cleanliness of their desk. 

Not one of those people? Then perhaps it’s your desk everyone else is talking about. Get your work things sorted and keep your space clean for others to feel safe and hygienic at work.

14. Help Stop the Spread of Disease

It would take one person with a virus just four hours to contaminate 50% all the equipment and employees in the office.

This goes to show, if you have any symptoms of a particular virus or disease, stay away from colleagues; help keep the business safe and running. Focus on staying home and getting better before going to work and contaminating the workspace.

15. Fresh Air… Or Not!

The air quality in a closed space can be up to 500% worse than outdoors.

Air quality or pollution can heavily be affected by dust, allergens and other odours. Ensure you have effective air care solutions within your workspace to keep employees healthy and safe within their working facilities.

16. You May Be Preventing Employees from Washing Their Hands

Dirty sinks result in less handwashing.

You heard it. If you want your employees to practice good hand hygiene at all times, especially within the office, you have to provide the top quality hygiene facilities for them to do so. Unpleasant looking facilities discourage hygiene best practice which ultimately leads to illness and more staff sick days.

17. Thinking About Using Hotelling Stations or Hot Desking? Think Again.

The average keyboard has around 7,500 bacteria living on it.

A bonus fact for you, 1 in 10 employees never even clean their equipment! Bacteria from keyboards can go along way with touch transmission. Encourage employees to routinely clean their equipment especially their keyboards to reduce the risk of illness.

18. The Ultimate Germ Exposure!

On average, you come into contact with 300 surfaces every 30 minutes, exposing you to 840,000 germs.

That’s a serious number of germs you come into contact with that have the potential to cause devastating illness. Multiple hand washes throughout the day can help to reduce the spread and lower the risk of illness.

See also  Workplace Safety Best Practices - Hygienic & Safe Environment

Read our blog on everything you need to know about hand hygiene to learn why hand hygiene is so important and see how it plays a huge role in stopping the spread of illness-causing germs.

19. Kitchen Taps Are Safe, Right?

Kitchen taps have up to 1,331 germs per square inch.

Despite being in an area dedicated to cleaning and fresh water how is this figure in any way shape or form ‘clean’. Get rid of these germs with daily office kitchen cleans.

20. Schools, Put Your Hygiene Hats On

Nearly 900 million children worldwide lacked a basic hygiene service at their school.

If you’re looking to reduce the number of students coming down with colds or flus, put hygiene first with sufficient school hygiene facilities. Display hygiene posters around your facilities to encourage good hygiene amongst staff and pupils.

21. Food Hygiene at its Worst

Only 20% of people wash their hands before preparing food, and 39% before eating food.

Avoid germs from entering your system, and always wash your hands before eating food to avoid the risk of illness or disease. Restaurants should always be mindful of their kitchen hygiene standards to ensure guests stay happy and healthy. If you need help on how this can be achieved, read our blog on how to maximise restaurant cleanliness for success.

22. Don’t put your customers off

56% of people say they will not return to a place with poor washroom hygiene.

Don’t deter your customers from visiting your establishment. It may be the smallest room but it’s an important one. Make sure your washroom lives up to expectations and is meeting your users’ needs.

23. Take the Stairs Next Time Perhaps?

Elevator buttons harbour 22% more bacteria than toilet seats.

Think twice before taking the elevator next time. Alternatively, install a hand sanitizer dispenser near every elevator to use immediately after you touch the floor buttons.

24. Don’t Judge Your Hands by Their Appearance!

One in five people make their hand washing decisions in accordance with the way their hands look.

Everyone knows germs and bacteria are invisible however we still judge how clean they are by their appearance. If people believe their hands look clean, they assume them to be clean and don’t bother washing them.

No matter how dazzling your hands look, clean them and clean them well! Even your favourite celebs are doing it.

Get in Touch with Citron Hygiene

As experts in hygiene, if you have any questions regarding hygiene or want to know more about how you can improve your workplace hygiene standards feel free to start a conversation with our team.

Find out how we can elevate your washroom experience today.