If you think the five-second rule is a real thing, think again. There are some myths about hygiene and germs that we just assume to be true, but you might be surprised to know the truth behind these misconceptions.

  1. The Five-Second Rule is Just Not True

    Ever drop a piece of food on the ground and pick it up as fast as you can? The shorter amount of time it’s been on the (as in, five seconds), the fewer bacteria that’s on it, right? That part is true–but research has shown there is still bacteria that gets on food the moment it hits the floor. You might want to just throw that piece of food away next time.

  2. Soap Doesn’t Actually Kill Germs

    Of course, when we wash our hands with soap, we think we’re killing germs. But actually, soap is is a surfactant, meaning it does help germs come off your hands, but they just go down the drain; aka, it doesn’t kill them. That’s what hand sanitizer is for.

  3. Viruses Don’t Live on Surfaces for a Long Time

    You might be a little grossed out by touching all the things that you think contain germs (e.g., doorknobs, your TV remote, but the good news is, most viruses don’t hang out for too long on surfaces. Note that this depends on the specific type of virus, however.

  4. Urine Does Not Disinfect Burns and Stings

    You’ve probably seen a few movies where someone gets stung by a jellyfish and someone else pees on them for relief. Don’t do this in real life. It doesn’t work.

  5. The Toilet Seat Isn’t All That Germy

    When you think of bacteria-stricken areas in your home, you probably assume that the toilet seat is one of the worst. And sure, it isn’t going to be the cleanest area in your home, but we promise you can’t catch an STD from it.

  6. Everyone Doesn’t Wash Their Hands

    We learn in elementary school or even before that to wash your hands after using the bathroom. And while you might think that’s someone everyone practices, it’s sadly not. One study found that 10% of people don’t wash their hands after using a public restroom. Yuck.

  7. 95% of People Don’t Wash Their Hands Correctly

    For those who do wash their hands, many of them aren’t actually doing it the most effective way. The biggest thing people do wrong? Not washing them long enough. You should be washing your hands about 20 seconds each time you do it.

  8. Hand Dryers Do Not Blow Germs Around

    Many people opt for the paper towels over the hand dryers because they’re told that hand dryers just blow germs around. Thankfully, this has been proven false!

  9. It’s Not Just Dirty People Who Get Lice

    If you hear someone has lice, you might automatically assume that they’re dirty or don’t shower often. But lice actually breed on clean hair. Don’t worry, lice are mostly into kids’ hair and it’s rarer for adults to get it.

  10. Hand Sanitizers Won’t Cause Bacterial Resistance

    Hand sanitizers work to kill bacteria, but it’s unlikely that it actually creates antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

To learn more about these myths, as well as the studies and research behind the, check out this informative video below!


Did any of these myths shock you?