You have heard it time and time again: “Wash your hands!” But did you know simply washing your hands is one of the easiest and most effective ways to avoid spreading germs to others?
Germs from unwashed hands are transferred to everything you touch, such as your eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as everyday objects like handrails, toys, and doorknobs. According to the CDC, washing your hands helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.
How to properly wash your hands
- Use clean, running water.
It is important to wash your hands with water that has not been previously contaminated from a previous use.
- Use soap, then lather and scrub!
The surfactants in soap lift the soil and microbes from the skin. Lathering and scrubbing create friction, which helps lift the dirt and germs from the hands.
(The FDA has ruled that antibacterial soap ingredients are no more effective than non-antibacterial soap, so any soap is beneficial.)
- Sing a song.
Twenty seconds is the optimal amount of time to wash your hands for germ removal. Instead of counting to twenty, sing (or hum) the tune of “Happy Birthday” to get to the twenty-second mark!
If you are in a situation where you do not have access to soap and water, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol can be used instead. However, it is important to remember that hand sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs, especially harmful chemicals.
When should you wash your hands?
Regular hand washing should be part of your daily routine. It is particularly important to wash your hands before eating or preparing food, after using the restroom, and after sneezing or coughing.
Even though washing your hands properly can help prevent the spread of germs, there is no guarantee you won’t still get sick! If you are feeling under the weather and need to consult a doctor, visit https://www.afcurgentcare.com/locations/ to find a location near you! At AFC, we are committed to serving the needs of our patients with consistency, compassion, and communication.