Hand washing - sounds simple enough doesn’t it? But are you a 100% sure that you are doing it right? Chances are that you’re missing out on some very crucial hand washing tips that can make all the difference to your health. An action as simple as hand washing, can save you from catching several unpleasant infections, and can also reduce the risk of spreading illness. According to Mayo Clinic experts, all you need is soap and water, or an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers are an effective method of hand washing if you are out and do not have ready access to clean water to wash your hands with. Take a look at what experts have to say about how you should wash your hands, and when exactly you should do so.

Question 1: How do i Wash my Hands?

These seven steps are simple and effective at wiping harmful germs off your hands and minimizing the risk of catching infections:

Step 1: Place your hands under running water until they are thoroughly wet.
Step 2: Apply liquid soap, powder soap or bar soap to your hands.
Step 3: Lather well.
Step 4: Rub your hands together briskly for at least 20 seconds, ensuring that you scrub between the fingers and under the finger nails, not to mention your wrists and the backs of the hands too.
Step 5: Place your hands under running water again and rinse the soap off. Make sure that all the soap has been washed off, especially from beneath the finger nails and between the fingers.
Step 6: Use a disposable paper towel, air-dryer or a clean, personal towel to dry your hands.
Step 7: Use the towel to turn off the faucet. This is an additional precautionary measure.

Question 2: Are Antibacterial Soaps Effective?

Antibacterial soap is all the rage these days and consumers are liable to get influenced by the convincing arguments put forward by antibacterial soap manufacturers. According to Mayo Clinic experts however, antibacterial soap is not a magical germ-killing force. In fact, there is no substantial difference between the germ-killing effects of regular soap and anti-bacterial soap. Moreover, Mayo Clinic experts assert that the antibacterial properties of the soap can also lead to the formation of resistant bacteria which would be harder to eliminate if the infection spreads.

Question 3: When Should I Wash My Hands?

Of course, you can’t keep washing your hands every time you touch an object, or shake hands with someone. Hand washing on a frequent basis throughout the day can help to eliminate most of the germs that accumulate on your hands when you touch people, objects or surfaces. You can catch infections when your hands come into contact with your mouth, nose or eyes. Frequent hand washing is the key to reducing the probability of germ transfer from your hands to your internal system. Take note of the following tips, recommended by mayo Clinic experts, and strive to make incorporate them into your daily routine! Apart from the tips mentioned below, remember to wash your hands whenever they look dirty.

  1. Always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses which includes removing them or inserting them.
  2. Always wash your hands before tending a wound, administering medicines, or taking care of a sick or injured individual.
  3. Always wash your hands before making food or eating food.
  4. Always wash your hands after using the toilet.
  5. Always wash your hands after changing a diaper.
  6. Always wash your hands after handling raw meat or poultry, and after preparing food.
  7. Always wash your hands after touching animals or animal related objects such as toys, leashes or litter boxes.
  8. Always wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
  9. Always wash your hands after caring for an injured or sick individual.
  10. Always wash your hands after tending to wounds.
  11. Always wash your hands after touching household items that could be contaminated such as garbage, garden chemicals, household chemicals, a cleaning cloth, duster, or even dirty shoes.
  12. Always use warm water for hand washing. Hot water tends to open up the pores in the skin, and this removes natural skin oils.

Hand Washing for Children

Children are prone to falling ill and catching infections from other children at school or in the park. Inculcate the importance of hand washing in your children by using colorful charts, giving personal demonstrations and reminding them about the importance of hand washing frequently. Mayo clinic experts have also given the green light the using alcohol based sanitizers for children. Simply ask your children to ensure that the sanitizer has dried completely before they use their hands.