Suppose for a moment you're doing something dirty with your hands. Not necessarily that, but if it helps you visualize the situation, go ahead. You're changing the oil in your car, gardening without gloves, or petting a strange cat.
Right in the middle, you have to go the bathroom.
Do you, wash your hands before you go to the bathroom, go to the bathroom, wash your hands after you go to the bathroom, resume said dirty activity with your hands, then wash your hands afterwards?
Then, I got to thinking.
I contend that there is at least one (if not two) redundant hand washings in there. I contend the post-bathroom pre-resumption of dirty activity hand wash in particular is unnecessary, and that the pre-bathroom post-initial stopping of dirty activity hand wash is also unnecessary for a slightly more intricate reason.
You may need to map that out, but let me explain.
The post-bathroom pre-resumption hand wash is only going to clean your hands for them to get dirty again. What's the point? It's like putting up an umbrella 15 minutes after it starts raining - you're already drenched - you can't get more drenched than drenched. You can't get your hands dirtier than dirty.
The pre-bathroom post-initial stop of dirty activity hand wash is redundant because we have indicated that the part we are going to the bathroom with is dirty. That's why we (well, most of "we") automatically wash our hands afterwards. For the point raised above, that part isn't clean to begin with. What difference does it make if it gets dirty again? Is it like the next time you go to the bathroom, you're not going to wash your hands afterwards because, well, it's clean, but if it gets dirty, you'll wash them then?
Tags: cleanliness, hand washing, soap