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Elementary School's Bread Experiment Goes Viral For Showing Just How Important It Is To Wash Your Hands

Elementary School's Bread Experiment Goes Viral For Showing Just How Important It Is To Wash Your Hands
Jaralee Annice Metcalf/Facebook

If you've ever wanted to intimately understand just how many germs are really on your hands, please, try this at home.

Jaralee Metcalf, a behavioral specialist from Idaho, and Dayna Robertson, a special education teacher, planned an experiment to show their classes just how important it was to wash their hands thoroughly.

For the experiment, the women took five slices of bread each exposed to a different level of contaminants, and hung them in plastic baggies on the wall for the class to observe over a period of time.

The difference between each slice was insane.

The first one will make you never want to touch your computer again.

That means, if you're reading this, wash your hands NOW.

Number 2 was the control, which remained untouched by humans and computer equipment alike.

Nice and fresh!

Probably still good enough to eat.

Number 3 was touched by someone who possibly decided a sink and some soap were beneath them.

So colorful....yay?

Number 4 was hands dutifully washed with soap and water.

If you look closely, you can see the .01% of bacteria that the soap will not kill.

Whomp whomp.

And number 5, perhaps the most surprising of the bunch, shows what happens when someone who uses hand sanitizer spreads their hands all over someone else's food.

Strange how dirty hands and hand sanitizer have similar effects!

Metcalf posted on Facebook:

"As somebody who is sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired... Wash your hands!"
"Remind your kids to wash their hands! And hand sanitizer is not an alternative to washing hands!! At all!"


People's reactions to the experiment are as you'd expect, ranging from fascinated to absolutely disgusted.

And people have suggested implementing the experiment around all kinds of people, since adults could really use a reminder to wash their dang hands as well.

Before you sit down to a wonderful holiday dinner, this is your stern reminder to wash your hands first.

Want to explore more science with your children? The Learn & Climb Science Kit for Kids with 21 Experiments is available here.