Celebrating Global Handwashing Day 2019
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Celebrating Global Handwashing Day 2019

14 October 2019 By Jonathan Carr- Assistant Category Buyer, Cleaning and Hygiene

young child washing hands

The 15 October is an opportunity to come up with creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands and make it fun. Celebrate Global Handwashing Day by engaging people, especially little ones, into a lifetime habit of washing their hands.

We are all aware (or should be) of the dangers that come with not washing your hands. So, it may come as a surprise that figures from the Deb Group show that 1 in 5 people still do not wash their hands when leaving the bathroom and even worse, only 5% of people actually wash their hands correctly. Enter Global Handwashing Day, a day dedicated to increasing hygiene! Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Handwashing Partnership in 2008.

By teaching our children to thoroughly wash their hands and dry them correctly, we can not only improve their hygiene from a young age for the long term but can also work to limit the amount of days off due to illness! As well as avoiding bad habits.

Here are a few handy tips to ensure our hands are correctly washed.


20 seconds is all it takes!


Washing your hands thoroughly can be done very quickly! Experts say that 20 seconds is the recommended amount of time that we should be taking to give our hands a good scrub. (This doesn’t include pre-wetting and post-rinsing).

Timing is important


It’s important that we wash our hands at the correct times. Information provided by the NHS states that we must always wash our hands after: using the toilet, handling raw foods such as chicken, meat and vegetables, after having contact with animals – including our own beloved furry friends, before eating or handling ready to eat food and after blowing our noses, coughing and sneezing. Not forgetting when our hands are clearly dirty. This all seems pretty straight forward, but it is important to get ourselves and children into the habit of thoroughly washing our hands after each of the activities mentioned.

Addressing the cold water myth


From a young age we are always told to wash our hands in hot water with soap. It's the best way to remove bacteria and germs, or so we thought. However, recent research has shown that cold water is just as good as hot water for washing our hands. The research results outlined that cold water is just as effective as hot water for removing bacteria from our hands. This was shown when harmless bacteria was put on the hands of 20 people, who were then asked to wash their hands 20 times in water that was cold or hot. This is great news for when that hot tap has been used a few times and is way too hot!



Sanitiser is fantastic! It’s a quick and easy method for keeping our hands clean when they are not visibly contaminated with dirt or organic material. It really does work, especially when soap and water is not available to us. However, when it is compared to washing your hands thoroughly, experts say that it is still better to follow the traditional route and scrub our hands with soap and water.

Don’t forget to dry


Correctly drying our hands is just as important as washing them. Washing our hands is great and gets rid of lots of bacteria! However, there will always be some that sits on our hands afterwards. Therefore, it is just as important to dry your hands correctly after washing them, as the remnants can spread more easily when hands are wet rather than dry. It is important to rub your hands on the paper towels or hold them under the hand dryer until they are completely dry, eliminating the fast spread of bacteria.

This information really does show the importance of washing our hands correctly. For more information on the important work being done behind Global Handwashing Day, click here. Or to see how to get involved, please click here.


At YPO we have cleaning products to support a good handwashing routine, take a look at the range here

Categories: Education

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