It’s winter, so you’d be forgiven for wanting to step out in a pair of cosy gloves every time you leave the house - but a study has shown that they can be full of hidden bacteria.
Initial Washroom Hygiene conducted a swabbing experiment, and discovered that winter gloves can have five times more bacteria than the average toilet seat.
This is due to the fact that glove-wearers are failing to wash either their hands or their winter gloves on a regular basis.
They found that polyester gloves were the worst for harbouring germs, followed by fleece, then leather, then wool. Similar bacteria levels were found on both the inside and outside of the gloves.
However, there’s no reason to panic just yet. Professor Val Curtis from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said, “This is, yet again, another study by bugs funded by an interested party who want you to use more wash products.”
But, it’s still important to keep your hands clean when using gloves, in order to prevent germs from spreading and causing any illnesses.
Professor Curtis added, “It’s really about how important it is to wash your hands after using the toilet, and after preparing food, because your own gloves aren’t going to give you an infection you haven’t already got.
“The fact that your winter woollies and your gloves are carrying loads of bugs doesn’t mean they’re a danger to you.”
In addition, Initial Washroom Hygiene discovered that 44 per cent of the 1,500 people surveyed admitted that they never wash their hands after they take their gloves off.
64 per cent of those surveyed said they wash their gloves once a month, whilst 15 per cent said they’ve never washed them at all. But should you actually wash them?
Professor Curtis believes you should prioritise hand washing and not wash your gloves at all, whereas Dr Lisa Ackerley disagrees with this statement.
Dr Ackerley, otherwise known as The Hygiene Doctor, said, “I wash my woollens on a cold water wash on the wool cycle with wool-friendly detergent and some laundry cleanser in the conditioner drawer. If that is too scary, wash by hand.”