Handwashing is an important part of keeping infection and other illnesses from occurring. Hand washing is very easy and should be done before cooking and after using the restroom, at the very least. You should wash your hands at work, in your home, in hospitals, and at child care centers because germs can get from your unwashed hands to your mouth, nose and eyes, where they can cause disease. So what is the proper hand washing procedure to keep your hands clean and prevent disease?
How to Wash Your Hands Properly?
The hand washing procedure is actually quite simple if you follow these simple steps:
- Wet your hands thoroughly with water
- Cover your hands with soap and make sure the entire surface is covered with soap
- Rub the palms of your hands together
- Scrub the dorsum of the left hand with the palm of the right hand and repeat it for the dorsum of the right hand with the palm of the left hand.
- Scrub the palms of both hands with your fingers intertwined
- Scrub the backs of each finger by gripping them with your interlaced fingers
- Rotate your hand around each thumb in turn
- Clasp your fingers together and scrub each palm in turn in a rotational pattern
- Rinse your hands with clean, clear water
- Dry your hands with just one clean towel
- Use the towel to turn off the faucets
Now your hands are completely clean. If not getting the procedure clear enough, the following video will provide more vivid hand washing procedure.
FAQs About Hand Washing
1. How Long Will It Take?
The CDC has specific recommendations about the best hand washing time. According to the CDC, you should wash all the surfaces of both hands in the span of about twenty seconds. That is about the same time as it takes to sing the happy birthday song twice over. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), the hand washing procedure should take you about 40-60 seconds in total.
2. When Should You Wash Your Hands?
- Hand washing should especially be done during the flu and cold season as this can lessen your chances of getting the flu or a cold or of passing on these illnesses to others.
- You should also wash your hands before preparing food, while preparing food and after preparing food. This lessens the chance of spreading or getting infected by the bacteria that spread food poisoning. This is especially true after cooking with raw eggs, poultry, seafood, or meat.
- Always wash your hands after changing a diaper or after using the restroom. This can lessen your chances of getting bacterial and viral conditions such as hepatitis A and salmonella.
- You should also wash hands before eating and whenever you are caring for a sick person.
- If you get a cut or wound, you should wash your hands before and after caring for it.
3. What If Not Having Soap and Water?
Ideally, you should do the hand washing procedure with soap and water in order to lessen the amount of bacteria and viruses on your hands. If it isn’t possible to use soap and water, you should use a hand sanitizer that is alcohol-based. There should be at least 60 percent alcohol in the hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers don’t eliminate all germs but can very quickly lessen the number of organisms on your hands in many situations. Remember that these types of hand sanitizers don’t work as well if your hands are greasy or look visibly dirty.
You can use hand sanitizers this way:
- Put the right amount of hand sanitizer onto the palm of one of your hands and the label will help you to know how much to use.
- Rub the hands together, spreading the hand sanitizer.
- Continue to rub the product over all the surfaces of your hands, including your fingers. Rub until the hands are dried.
If you can’t wash your hands immediately and hand sanitizer isn’t available, make sure you don’t touch your hands to your mouth, nose, and eyes.
4. Should You Choose Antibacterial Soaps?
Antibacterial soaps shouldn’t be used generally in the home. Antibacterial soaps contain triclosan and other antibacterial agents that will kill off the bacteria and remove them from your hands. However, they may cause resistance to these antibacterial agents and then cause certain antibiotics to fail to work. Triclosan has not been found to be dangerous in humans, but the FDA is looking into its safety due to some research studies in animals that have resulted in disruption of hormones.
5. Should You Use Hot Water?
There were two research studies indicating that you don’t need to use hot water in order to wash your hands properly. Hot water can also be irritating to your skin, but it can cut through grease and oil faster than cold water.
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