‘Wash your hands’: Science experiment with moldy bread shows the importance of hygiene

A science experiment showed students in one Idaho classroom that importance of washing their hands.

Teacher Dayna Robertson, 38, and behavioral specialist Jaralee Metcalf, 23, divvied up a loaf of bread and used five slices to show children how germs can get out of control.

Metcalf shared the results of the experiment on her Facebook page, which showcased four pieces in different stages of decay.

“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!” she said in the post.

She and Robertson put each slice of bread – including one that was completely untouched – in a Ziploc freezer bag. Then the class of 17 wiped their hands on the slices of bread. One piece was for soap and water, another for unwashed hands, another for hand sanitizer and one that was wiped on the classroom Chromebooks.

Metcalf said the process took about four weeks because of preservatives in the white bread. Then the results started to show and gave kids a look at how dirty their hands can be.

The untouched bread remained clean and the bread that was wiped down with soap and warm water appeared to be mostly unharmed.

But the other slices weren’t so lucky.

The piece touched by unwashed hands was covered in greenish-gray mold and the one wiped on Chromebook computers was almost completely black and coming apart. Even the bread touched by kids who used hand sanitizer showed a rainbow-colored mold.

“Hand sanitizer is not an alternative to washing hands! At all!” Metcalf said in her post.

The Facebook post went viral, with more than 62,000 shares, 17,000 reactions and 9,000 comments.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.