Global Hand Washing Day

Biology Piedmont Professor Dr. Julia Schmitz discusses how to properly wash your hands 

Demorest, Georgia, September 3, 2020– As Global Handwashing Day approaches, Piedmont College Biology Professor Julia Schmitz is hoping to inform students on proper handwashing to ensure safety through a pandemic. 

“Soap is better than hand sanitizer,” Schmitz said. “The difference is that hand sanitizer is made up of alcohol and soap has oils and an alkaline base in it. Alcohol kills the bacteria, but the problem is that you aren’t rinsing the bacteria off, so you still have bacteria on your hands.” 

Soap combined, with running water, is the best way to eliminate germs from our hands. That is because soap molecules, themselves, are very effective at destroying the surface membranes of some bacteria and viruses, including the novel coronavirus. Applying hand sanitizer may be easier, but it cannot remove all viruses and bacteria. Soap and water are far more effective at removing such common illness-causing germs as cryptosporidium, norovirus and Clostridium difficile. Soap also washes away bacteria as well as other viruses that are even tougher than coronavirus. 

“Piedmont College is stressing this year to make sure we wash our hands frequently and thoroughly. There are posters all over the bathroom walls to remind us to wash our hands for 20 seconds,” said sophomore athletic training major Jared Grage. 

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from getting sick. We touch our face after touching surfaces and this can cause you to become sick. Washing your hands helps prevent this problem from happening. Although hand sanitizer isn’t as good as soap, it still kills bacteria. Piedmont College has hand sanitizer stations all around the campus to help you stay clean through this pandemic. 

On Thursday, Oct. 15, a handwashing event will be held in the Commons to promote proper handwashing. Additionally, a TikTok contest will be held, where students can submit informative and entertaining handwashing videos for prizes. 

For more information about Global Handwashing Day at Piedmont College, email Joe Dennis at 

About Piedmont College, one of the most dynamic small colleges in the Southeast, Piedmont is an independent liberal arts college of more than 2,260 students. The college’s four schools—Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, and Nursing & Health Sciences—develop tomorrow’s leaders by engaging students in the classroom, in their community, and around the world. Founded in 1897, Piedmont offers bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degree programs at its Demorest residential campus in the foothills of the northeast Georgia mountains and at its Athens campus in the heart of Georgia’s Classic City. Information can be found at

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