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Most Women Always Wash Hands After Using Public Restrooms

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new hygiene survey reveals disparities between men and women when it comes to their hand washing practices.

According to a survey conducted by hand washing products manufacturer Bradley Corporation, 74 percent of women say they always wash their hands after using a public restroom compared to just 60 percent of men who always do so.

When questioned about why they didn't wash up, the number one reason women cited was their use of hand sanitizer. Men said a lack of soap was their primary reason for not washing up after visiting a public restroom, followed by an unclean sink and then the use of hand sanitizer.

Eighty-one percent of Americans say they've seen someone leave a public restroom without washing their hands.  According to the survey, 38 percent of men say they frequently see someone leave without washing versus 25 percent of women who observe the same behavior.

While most folks don't do anything after seeing someone do that, others do take action.  Survey respondents say they avoid contact with anything the non-washer touched, wash their own hands more thoroughly and in general avoid the person.

Men were almost two-and-a-half times more likely than women to say they didn't wash up because they didn't feel the need.

The survey also shows that Americans go to great lengths to avoid coming into contact with germs in a public restroom:

  • 64 percent operate the toilet flusher with their foot.
  • 60 percent use a paper towel when touching the restroom door.
  • 48 percent open and close doors with their hip.
  • 37 percent use a paper towel when touching faucet handles.

The Healthy Hand Washing Survey was conducted between Aug. 1 and 5, 2013 and involved 1,015 U.S. adults.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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