General Question

tan253's avatar

If someone has the flu and they wash dishes with their hands, can they pass their germs through the dishes?

Asked by tan253 (2869points) June 2nd, 2019 from iPhone

I have no idea how to ask this. But settle an argument for me if you can. If someone is sick and they are washing dishes with their hands, using warm water and detergent, can they pass the pass bug on through the plates they have touched? Seems unhygienic to me – I would say potentially so why risk it – she’s saying there is no way in hell. – Anyone know who’s right?

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8 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

I’m in the “no way in hell” camp. By the time those hands have finished washing the dishes, the hands (and the dishes) are no longer germs, as the warm water and soap have removed the pathogens. If continuous sneezing and coughing are happening on the dishes right after they are washed, and they are used again right away, then maybe, but not from the hands.

And really, if someone has the actual flu, don’t let them be standing and washing dishes, they are too sick to be doing that. Lend a hand, do the dishes for them.

tan253's avatar

She doesn’t have the flu- just a cold and she’s at the end of the cold- ;) plus I was vacuum cleaning!

stanleybmanly's avatar

I would be more worried about spreading the virus through sneezing or breathing on the dishes.

tan253's avatar

True ok thanks guys

JLeslie's avatar

If the water is soapy the virus can’t live, but the flu is also passed through the air, so breathing on the plates could cause some virus to linger on the plates once they are rinsed off if the plates are near enough to their face or if they are talking might increase it a little.

If the person is on the 4th day or more of the illness I would not worry about it at all.

When my husband or I are sick we try to stay out of the kitchen for each other for about 3 days. If we do use the kitchen the sick person washes their hands before touching cabinets and dishes, and we use cleanser on handles that were touched. We almost never get sick from each other. I literally can’t remember the last time we both got sick.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The flu virus does not last long on hard, dry surfaces. I did a quick search and found a range of between 20 minutes and 24 hours from several sources.
So if the dishes are washed, dried and put away they are totally fine the next day – and probably much sooner.

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