“Cleanliness is Next to Godliness”

By: Nikki Nies

An elementary teacher, Ms. Courtney Lee Simpson, performed an experiment to teach her students about germs and how they spread.  Using three slices of bread, the first slice of bread was placed in a sandwich bag with gloves on.  This slice of bread was considered the “control.” Then she washed her hands and put a piece of bread in another sandwich bag, labeling the bag as “clean.” Lastly, she passed around the slice of bread around the classroom, allowing each child to touch the bread.  That slice of bread was placed in a sandwich bag and labeled with “dirty hands.”


Over time, the bread changed due to the germs exposed.  As we know, people learn best from visual transformations and partaking in experiments.  This is a great reminder of the importance of hand washing that will surely stick with you with the upcoming new year!

Whether you’re a teacher yourself, a nutrition educator and/or an adventurous parent, try this experiment yourself! You won’t look at germs or bread the same!


  1. Hello, I am the original teacher who posted on my Facebook about the experiment my 2nd graders were doing (hand washing/ bread germs). It’s great seeing my pictures being used by other teachers, even though they didn’t ask permission to use as their own. I’m glad others are learning the importance of hand washing. Because of this, my student’s LTI has gone viral. Thank you!


    1. Hi Marvilyn, We thank you for your graciousness in sharing the photo. We apologize for breaching the code of ethics and sharing this photo without your permission. We understand if you want us to remove the post or update to better reflect a link to send to your site. Please let us know.


  2. I find this outstandingly interesting: I would like to know how long each slice stayed in the baggie. This should be a learning experience for every one: doing it in the class room would be best: a life changing learning event. Thanks so much for sharing this.


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