Handwashing still hip across all generations

Updated on February 7, 2024

New survey finds handwashing is considered vital for maintaining good health

As we approach the 4-year mark since the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted our lives, one behavior that has left a lasting impression is handwashing. That’s based on survey findings of more than 1,000 American adults conducted by Bradley Company, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium-quality innovative products specified for commercial washrooms and industrial safety applications. With survey participants split fairly evenly between women and men, 74% wash their hands more frequently or more thoroughly in response to seasonal virus outbreaks and 54% increase their handwashing activity when they’re sick. 

Nearly all Americans (95%) continue to believe handwashing is important in maintaining overall health and this varies very little across demographics. Perhaps an indication of a heightened sense of concern, women and younger Americans are less likely to skip the soap than they were a year ago. Additionally, the survey found that washing our hands makes us feel safer and healthier. 72% associate at least one of those feelings in the moment immediately after washing their hands.

The adult respondents who are parents are trying to instill this cleanliness habit in their children – 63% ask their children to wash their hands, 39% buy fun soaps and 30% incorporate it into their routine. 

And for those of us who think public restroom behaviors are so anonymous that what we do won’t be noticed by others, think again. Beyond asking personal hygiene questions, the annual Healthy Handwashing Survey from Bradley also queried participant attitudes when they observe someone in a public bathroom not washing their hands before exiting. 74% of women and 64% of men, averaging 69% of the total respondents, said seeing somebody use a restroom without washing their hands will most likely leave a negative impression. In addition, more than 50% have a negative impression when they encounter somebody with dirty or sticky hands. And, water alone isn’t enough. More than 40% of women said they have a negative impression when they see someone washing their hands without soap. This could create awkward moments or uncomfortable situations for airport travelers, mall shoppers, conference attendees, or party-goers who are strangers during the washroom encounter but soon after meet one another! 

The Annual Healthy Handwashing Survey by Bradley also asked about impressions of businesses when bathrooms are considered unclean in terms of how much time they will spend and/or stop there and additional questions were asked on preferences regarding door length and stall designs providing even more insights into attitudes of Americans.  Click here to read the official press release.

About Bradley

For more than 100 years, Bradley has been known as the leader in advanced commercial washrooms and comprehensive emergency safety solutions that make public environments hygienic and safe. Bradley innovated the industry’s first and most specified WashBar multi-function touchless handwashing and drying fixture. Washroom accessories, partitions, HDPE lockers, as well as emergency safety fixtures and electric tankless heaters round out its product range. Headquartered in Menomonee Falls, WI, Bradley Company, a subsidiary of Watts Water Technologies, serves commercial, institutional and industrial building markets worldwide. For more info visit: https://www.bradleycorp.com/handwashing

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.