Handwashing Facts

We get it; you have a lot on your plate. Enforcing rules, regulations, and health standards. It’s a lot to keep up with. There is so much you have to know that it can be difficult to stay on top of all the details. At Meritech, we are passionate about employee hygiene. We are committed to saving lives and preventing the spread of disease. We do this with our innovative and effective automated handwashing system (s). 

That’s why we wanted to give you three quick handwashing facts that you didn’t have time to think of:


You probably already know that hand washing is the most powerful defense against the transmission of pathogens. Did you know that in order to be effective, you have to wash your hands in a certain way?

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) failing to wash or ineffectively washing hands contributes to almost 50% of all foodborne illness.1
  • CDC recommends cleaning hands with a very specific methodology that requires at least 30 seconds to be effective.2
  • An effective wash with soap and water must include lathering for at least 20 seconds, covering all parts of the hands, including the nails, and finish by drying hands thoroughly. There also needs to be a pre-rinse and a post-rinse for an estimated total wash time of 30-40 seconds.3

Here’s how Meritech can help change handwashing behavior:

CleanTech Automated Handwashing Systems are proven to increase compliance and change behaviors

  • Increase Frequency of handwashing
  • Ensure Quality and Consistency - An effective wash every time
  • Clinically Verified effectiveness against NoV
  • Improved skin health encourages more washing
  • Increases hand hygiene awareness and education
  • Increase employee productivity -- Meritech achieves the same effectiveness of a CDC recommended 36 second manual handwash in only 12 seconds with our automated handwashing stations

Did you know that soaps and detergents have been described as the most damaging of all substances routinely applied to skin?

  • In an investigation of the effect on skin of repeated use of two washing agents, all skin function tests were markedly changed after a single wash4
  • In a study of irritant skin reactions induced by 3 surfactants, damage lasted for several days; complete skin repair was not achieved for 17 days5

Here’s how the Meritech soap solutions can make a difference:

Ultra-Pure 2% Hand Soap is one of Meritech’s proprietary lines of solutions specifically designed to work in the CleanTech handwashing systems. The special soap is required to be used in our automated handwashing systems to ensure the efficacy of every handwash, as well as to maintain performance, reliability, and warranty of our CleanTech Handwashing Systems.


You may be tempted to install a hand sanitizer machine, but studies show that that sticky gel just isn’t effective at preventing the spread of disease. In fact, hand sanitizers can kill the good resident bacteria whereas soap kills the bad transient bacteria. That’s not good at all.

  • One study showed that the application of instant hand sanitizers resulted in a significant increase in bacterial numbers on the surface of the hands
  • Even though alcohol may kill the organisms on the surface of the skin it appears to simultaneously dry the skin and may pull the bacteria residing in the various skin layers beneath the surface, to the surface
  • “Since no rinsing occurs after the application of these instant hand sanitizers, there is no mechanical washing away of the bacteria that has been drawn to the skin surface. The end result is an increase in resident bacterial numbers on the surface of the hands.”

Here are the benefits of the Meritech CleanTech Handwashing Machines

  • Quickest, easiest, most consistent, and absolutely the most effective handwashing technology
  • The ONLY fully automated, touch-free systems available worldwide
  • Consistent and effective wash every time for every user
  • Every wash is tracked and monitored with a compliance monitor on every model
  • Cost savings in water, waste, soap reduction and increase in labor efficiency
  • Environmentally-friendly – zero waste handwashing
  • Safe work environment for improved employee morale and productivity
  • Brand Protection — reduce liability risk through workplace pathogen control
  • Increased productivity – employees get back to work faster with clean hands
  • Demonstrates to everyone that your company cares about hygiene and product safety


Well, what do you think? Did you learn anything new? Handwashing isn’t as simple as we’d like to think and neither is infection control. At Meritech, we want to partner with you as you work towards the same goals we have. Our products are NSF, CE, and CSA certified and accepted by the FDA and USDA so we’re very familiar with the industry’s rules and regulations. We invite you to reach out to us with any of your infection control related questions. And, don’t worry so much – you have a partner on your side!

Contact our infection control experts now!



  1. CDC website. Handwashing: Healthy Hands Save Lives! www.cdc.gov/handwashing
  2. CDC Website. Hand washing: Clean Hands Save Lives “When and How to Wash Your Hands”.  http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
  3. Ibid.
  4. Grunewald AM, Gloor M, Gehring W, Kleesz P. Damage to the skin by repetitive washing. Contact Dermatitis 1995;32:225-32.
  5. Wilhelm KP, Freitag G, Wolff HH. Surfactant-induced skin irritation and skin repair. Evaluation of the acute human irritation model by noninvasive techniques. J Am Acad Dermatol 1994;30:944-9.


Topics:Hand Hygiene Resources