...and illusions debunked:
According to an American Society for Microbiology survey in 2007, 92% of Americans say they always wash after using a public restroom. But when researchers actually watched, it turned out only 83% did.
When people wash their hands, only 33% use soap and only 16% adequately wash. The average hand-washing time was a pathetic 11 seconds.
Soap and water help dislodge dirt, bacteria and viruses so they "can go down the drain," he says. With popular alcohol hand gels, "the bacteria has nowhere to go."
On the other hand, don't buy the hype about antibacterial soap. There's little evidence it's any more effective.