Best Practices On How To Wash Hands & Use Hand Sanitizer
Do you know washing your hands with soap and water, or at least use hand sanitizer is the best way to fight the coronavirus that originated from Wuhan, China? This flu corona virus has caused the World Health Organization to declare this flu as a global pandemic.
Many doctors and nurses have asked people to wash their hands regularly with soap and water. If soap is not available, do wash your hands vigorously with clean water. If there is no water, a good hand sanitizer similar to a gentle antiseptic disinfectant helps to kills germs and viruses.
Why should you wash your hands?
People often touch their faces many times without realizing it. Many diseases are spread via virus or bacteria; your hands contact many surfaces (such as doorknobs, tables, etc.) throughout the day. The often-unconscious touch of your face allows the virus to infect you via your mouth, nose, and eyes. Washing your hands cut this risk drastically by killing the germs, viruses, and bacteria.
We touch our faces, such as mouth, nose eyes often without knowing this. This is how the virus and germs infect us.
We touch our food and drinks with our hands and these allow virus and germs to survive and multiply in our food and drinks.
Many surfaces have contacts with many different people throughout the day, such as doorknobs, handrails, grab bars, lift buttons, etc. The virus can spread through these contacts.
Washing your hand with soap and water, or hand sanitizer helps to cut these risks.
When should we wash our hands?
Here are a few situations where you should wash your hands so as to have better hygiene and reduce the risks of contracting the flu virus.
- Before eating and cooking food.
- After using the toilet or bathroom
- After cleaning your home or office
- After touching animals, including your beloved family pets such as dogs or cats.
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose.
- When you just enter your home or office.
How to wash your hands properly with 7 steps technique?
These 7 hand washing steps help to make sure your hands are clean. The World Health Organization advises these hand-washing steps to be effective and straightforward that cut down risks of disease transmission.
Do not rush through these steps and spend at least 20 seconds on washing your hands thoroughly.
Step 1: Wet your hands and apply enough liquid soap to create a good lather. The temperature of the water should be between 35ºC and 45ºC.
Step 2: Rub your palms together in circular motions. Rotate clockwise and anti-clockwise.
Step 3: Wash the back of hands with the palm of the other hand. With your fingers linked through the other hand, use your right palm to rub the back of your left hand. Switch hands.
Step 4: Interlink your fingers together, facing each other, into clasped hands. Then rub your palms and fingers together.
Step 5: Cup your fingers together, with your right hand over and your left hand under. With your fingers interlocked, rub the backs of them against your palms. Switch hands.
Step 6: Clean the thumbs by enclosing your right hand around your left thumb and rub as you rotate it, and then switch hands.
Step 7: Rub your fingers over your left palm in a circular motion. Switch hands.
After washing your hands with soap and water, you should then rinse with running water and dry your hands (via a paper towel, tissue or hand dryer if no paper towel is available).
Do not touch any part of the hand dryer with your clean hands, as you will risk transferring bacteria back onto them.
For easy understanding, here is a graphic illustration on how to wash your hands thoroughly with hands and soaps that thoroughly disinfect your hands.
Can I use hand sanitizer instead of soap and water?
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is recommended as an acceptable alternative to soap and water, with a minimum of at least 60% alcohol. That is the minimum standard most commercial hand sanitizer on the market.
Although hand washing with soap and water is still the most ideal choice, hand sanitizer works well and is effective when you are unable to use soap and water regularly. Alcohol hand sanitizer is the recommended choice, though, for people with sensitive skin, they may opt for alcohol-free hand sanitizer.
For the most effective sanitizer to kill the virus, the sanitizer veridical formulations should be at least 70% alcohol.
Is alcohol-free hand sanitizer effective?
Not all alcohol-free antiseptic disinfectant are effective. Some alcohol-free hand sanitizer is effective while most of them are not. Many lab research has shown alcohol-free sanitizer may not kill all types of germs, bacteria’s, and viruses. They usually contain quaternary ammonium compounds to kill bacteria’s and viruses, and these are not as effective.
Do read up on the formulation and lab testing to understand each alcohol-free sanitizer on how it manages to kill the most virus, germs, and bacteria’s.
Different formulations have different effectiveness.
An alcohol-based sanitizer does not mean it is harsh on our hands, you do have to choose a good brand that is gentle on the skin and uses other active ingredients such as lavender, peppermint, etc. that works against bacteria’s and viruses too.
What percentage of alcohol in hand sanitizer is effective?
Hand sanitizer needs at least 60% alcohol to be effective in killing viruses and bacteria. A good hand sanitizer should have 70% alcohol to be effective; a low percentage does not clean your hands enough and a higher than 70% alcohol dries out too fast to be effective. Good effective alcohol such as isopropyl works well for hand and surface sanitizer.
There are alcohol hand rubs as well as alcohol hand spray that you can use to spray on hand, which makes it easier.