Proper Handwashing — Keeping You and Your Loved Ones Safe
Around the world, the need to maintain a happy and healthy home environment is always at the forefront of our minds. While cleaning around the house and limiting your contact with sick individuals is a great starting point, the easiest and arguably most effective way to prevent the spread of germs and illness is through proper handwashing.
How Does Handwashing Help?
Health experts agree that washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most powerful weapons against the spread of germs and illness. In fact, the CDC confirms that proper handwashing habits are one of the best ways to protect against sickness. But how, exactly, does handwashing work against germs, and why is it so effective?
Contrary to popular belief, soap doesn’t kill germs on our hands — it removes them. Made from a mixture of water, an alkali, and fat or oil, soap works to create a slippery lather that germs bind to. This lather is then rinsed away with water, leaving your hands clear of unwanted germs.
Unfortunately, germs are everywhere, and some viruses and bacteria can live on surfaces for hours at a time. This bacterial longevity makes you more susceptible to picking up these germs and becoming infected yourself. Thankfully, maintaining proper hand washing techniques and staying conscious of your surroundings can be the best tool for staying healthy and free of illness.
Do Your Handwashing Practices Pass the Test?
While many people understand the importance of keeping their hands clean, many individuals throughout the world do not practice the proper handwashing techniques needed to protect themselves against illness. If you’re unsure of the best ways to wash your hands, try the following tips:
1. Sing While You Wash
The average time that most people spend washing their hands is around 6 seconds; However, the CDC recommends spending at least 20 seconds at the sink lathering, scrubbing, and rinsing. To ensure that you are giving yourself the best chance of removing bacteria from your hands, try singing a few verses of your favorite song while you scrub.
2. Wash Early, and Wash Often
Our hands are our greatest connection to the world, and while we can’t control what other people have touched, we can do our part to limit the spread of germs by washing our hands at key times. Be sure to give your hands a good lather and rinse:
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
- Before eating
- After cleaning or touching garbage or contaminated objects
- After using the restroom
- Before, during, and after food preparation
- Before and after caring for someone with an illness
3. Stay Clean After the Washing is Over
Now that you’ve spent at least 20 seconds washing your hands, it’s important to prevent germs from settling back on your skin. Thoroughly dry your hands after washing to reduce the chance of recontamination. Get into the habit of using a clean paper towel when turning off hand faucets and opening bathroom doors to limit contact between your hands and contaminated surfaces.
Clean Hands are Happy Hands
We all love staying connected with those we love most, which is why it is vital to protect ourselves and our loved ones from germs and illness by practicing proper handwashing techniques. Thankfully, maintaining this hygiene habit is not difficult, and it is one of the most effective ways of preventing sickness from spreading. Now that you’re a pro in handwashing, we implore you to spread the word — not the germs.