A comparison of local handwashing agents in Bangladesh

J Trop Med Hyg. 1991 Feb;94(1):61-4.


The efficacy of handwashing using ash, soap, mud or plain water was tested in a group of 20 women living in a slum of Dhaka in Bangladesh. Each woman was asked to wash her hands using each of the washing agents and the efficacy of handwashing was assessed by comparing estimated faecal coliform counts from post-washing hand samples. Mud and ash were found to be as efficient as soap. Research on appropriate handwashing techniques in the light of the existing practices is suggested.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bangladesh
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Female
  • Hand Disinfection / methods*
  • Hand Disinfection / standards
  • Humans
  • Soaps*
  • Soil
  • Water*


  • Soaps
  • Soil
  • Water