The importance of washing your hands

The importance of washing your hands

10 June 2020 By Kelly Snee - Category Buyer of Cleaning at YPO

man washing hands in sink

70% of all infections are caused by contaminated hands, so it’s no surprise that the single most important piece of health advice given by experts to help stay safe is to wash your hands correctly, as often as possible with soap and water, throughout the day.

Are you washing your hands properly?

Ask yourself:

  • Do you follow the 20 second rule & the hygiene guidelines on how to ensure all your hands and fingers are thoroughly washed?
  • How many times do you lather up, so you are covering your hands with soap - rubbing your hands together and lathering up with soap helps the germs to slip off your skin!
  • Do you leave the washroom with wet hands? Wet hands carry more germs!
  • Are you washing your hands as often as you should?

Hygiene habits that prevent the spread

If you have the option to use disposable paper towels over a hand dryer, you should; this is because they trap any bacteria left on your hands after washing.

Using liquid soap over foam soap creates a lather and is therefore more effective. If you are using foam soap, ensure you are using enough and still rubbing your hands together sufficiently to rub away any germs.

Rinsing with water removes a large fraction of most bacteria and viruses on the skin; especially when followed by thorough dry, so do not be tempted to half dry hands before leaving the washroom or sink.

We often talk about changing children’s view of hand washing by making it fun. There are lots of tips to be found on social media - these can also be adapted for adults to form healthy habits too. The ‘Happy Birthday’ song sang twice is the most popular, but you can change this to your favourite song – you could even try doing a mini meditation session!

Make sure you are washing all of your hands, ensuring the backs of your hands, palms, between fingers, tips of fingers and nails (which are often more difficult to clean) are rubbed well with the soap. Look at this poster by our supplier partner Diversey Ltd to see this in action.

Knowing when to wash your hands

As well as knowing how to wash your hands properly, it is equally as important for hand hygiene to know when exactly to do it.  Do not forget to wash your hands in these vital circumstances:

  • Before, during, and after food preparation especially when handling raw foods
  • Before eating
  • Before and after coming into contact with a family member, or child, who may be unwell or needing first aid for a cut or wound
  • After going to the bathroom
  • After changing or helping a child/dependent in the bathroom
  • After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, given the circumstances a great hygiene tip is to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • After touching a pet/animal, their food or cleaning up their waste
  • After touching any form of waste

You can find out about hygiene, cleaning and more by viewing our essential hygiene cleaning products!

Categories: Education

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