You can save money by washing your hands in cold water because research just released by a research assistant professor at Vanderbilt University proves you do not need hot water to wash your hands.In fact using hot water is completely unnecessary to hygienically clean your hands and is simply wasting expensive hot water.
In reality all you need is cold water, a good quality soap, friction to scrub your hands for 20 seconds followed by rinsing them off and then finally completely drying your hands. The research proves that this simple hand washing procedure is just as effective as using hot water plus it reduces your energy costs and saves you money.
The heating costs of hot water are the largest single energy cost in most Queensland homes with it generally being around 30% of your electricity or gas bill. Eliminating hot water from your hand washing routine will reduce your electricity or gas bill by 5%.
Dr Carrico’s research is conclusive that you cannot tolerate water hot enough to kill germs on your hands. Hot water at 55°C will kill some germs but even at that temperature will scald you. In fact constantly using hot water to wash your hands can irritate your skin and adversely affect the outside protective skin layer.
In Queensland the laws were changed in 1995 requiring tempering valves to be installed on new hot water system installations covering new homes, non like for like replacements or when moving an existing hot water system to a new location on the property. This means that it is law that hot water delivered to bathrooms used primarily for personal hygiene purposes be regulated by use of a tempering valve or a thermostatic mixing valve so that is does not exceed 50°C. Therefore unless your home was constructed prior to 1995 it is unlikely that your hot water is hot enough to effectively kill germs on your hands even if you could tolerate the high temperatures.
By all means use warm water if it is more comfortable for you but there is no need to have it hotter than 40°C which the research proves is just as effective as water at 55°C in removing germs from your hands.
By Gary Mays