The European countries that wash their hands least after going to the toilet

The Dutch are the least likely to wash their hands after using the toilet

The cleanliest countries in Europe have been revealed in a survey disclosing people's hand washing habits.

The Dutch are the least likely to wash their hands with soap and water after using the toilet, according to a report by Gallup International.

Only half of those surveyed in the Netherlands said they automatically washed their hands after visiting the bathroom, compared to 96 per cent of those in Bosnia & Herzegovina, which was found to be the most hygienic nation.

Other countries that shy away from a good scrub include Italy, were only 57 per cent of those surveyed said they automatically wash their hands, as well as Spain and France, with just over 60 per cent of those surveyed in both countries claiming to give their hands a thorough clean.  

Although 75 per cent of Britons said they automatically washed their hands with soap, the UK did not make it into the most spotless nations.

Trailing just behind Bosnia & Herzegovina is Moldova where 94 per cent regularly wash their hands, followed by Portugal with 85 per cent.

The accuracy of the results, however, may be debatable after a 2011 study found that, while 95 per cent of Britons claim to wash their hands after visiting the bathroom, barely a tenth actually do.

Washing your hands, however, may be just as good for your conscience as it is for your health.

Scientists at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor found washing your hands frees you of taking the blame for any unhappy outcome of a difficult decision.

Dr Spike Lee, a researcher at the university said: "It's not just that washing your hands contributes to moral cleanliness as well as physical cleanliness... our studies show that washing also reduces the influence of past behaviours and decisions that have no moral implications whatsoever."

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