Tropical Journal of Health Sciences

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Effectiveness Of Different House-Hold Hand Washing Agents On Hand Flora

AA Onifade, RR Cutler, AB Okesina, BH Oladeinde, O Tomori, AO Akpoka, OF Osaiyuwu, BI Adejumo, OA Alamu


Hand hygiene is a very important procedure in infection control. Washing agents commonly in use were investigated for their effectiveness in reducing hand floral and cotton towel was used as drying agent. Agents studied include; water alone, carex soap, dettol, and imperial leather. The hands were inoculated (deliberate contamination) with nasal swab and glove put on to allow inoculums to be established. The test hand was washed with the selected washing agent and dried with cloth towel three times while the other hand serving as the reference (and control) remained gloved. Glove was later removed from the other hand and both hands (un-gloved) were inoculated on nutrient agar plates and incubated for 24 hours at 370C. The colony forming units were counted for both treated (washed and dried) and untreated hands and percentage reduction was calculated. The procedure was repeated three times and average result with standard deviation presented for each washing agent. All the hand washing agents showed significant difference between treated and untreated hands (P ‹ 0.05). Imperial leather gave the highest reduction of 87.76%, followed by carex 71.05% then Dettol with 53.58%. Water gave the average lowest in colony forming unit reduction of 15.08%. The study concluded that washing hand with any of the house-hold soap washing agents is more effective as hand hygiene than water alone but Imperial leather showed the highest reduction in hand flora with cloth towel as drying agent.

Keyword: hand washing, hand flora, cloth towel

The Tropical Journal of Health Sciences Vol 19 No 1 (January 2012

AJOL African Journals Online