Yes, according to an article on Reader's Digest website you really need to wash up after touching the soap dispenser, especially refillable ones. The good news is you'll probably be OK if you don't. At least that's my experience.

I recently ran into an article where they talked about washing your hands immediately after touching these ten things. In fact, that was the title of the article, so of course, I needed to check it out.

Some of the items they say you should wash your hands immediately after handling include no-duh things. Items like handrails, handles, doorknobs, your pet, or even cutting boards and kitchen sponges. I get that. These are items that other folks are touching too. Or items that just can easily get contaminated. And there's no telling what fido or fluffy have gotten into.

Other items though, were more surprising. Or at least surprising from the standpoint that I don't think our brains are wired to immediately go, oh this surface is germy. I'm talking about items like the soap dispenser, restaurant menus, someone else's pen, and almost everything in a doctor's office.

For example, the soap dispenser. Reader's Digest says, "soap dispenser pumps are a haven for bacteria. Researchers from the University of Arizona found refillable soap dispensers especially germ-laden. As you’re pressing the pump, any bacteria you’re hoping to wash off has an equal opportunity to get transferred onto the dispenser. Lead researcher Charles Gerba, PhD, says touching refillable soap containers can actually transfer more bacteria to your hands than if you stuck your hands in a toilet."

Yuck, that's not appealing at all. Except here's the thing. We look at restaurant menus all the time and don't immediately get up and wash our hands after looking at them. And I've never gotten sick from squirting soap on my hands from a soap dispenser. At least I don't think so. And traveling, Reader's Digest suggests washing your hands after touching almost anything in an airport. And don't forget to wash up after a visit to the doctor's office.

And yet, that doesn't always happen. I do try to be careful about washing my hands after a doctor's appointment or traveling, because well, there is that little thing in the back of my brain telling me to. Yet, I guarantee you I've had doctor's appointments. Or found myself traveling through an airport where I haven't been able to scrub my hands. (And I may have downed a sandwich too.)

And I've lived. So my takeaway. Yes, look at the Reader's Digest list. And perhaps wash your hands more often. However, a lot of us seem to be getting along just fine when we can't. So we'll probably be Ok.

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