“Wash your hands, dinner is ready!”. Many of us growing up remember our moms calling us into the house for dinner after a long day playing outside. The water in the sink ran brown as we washed away the days fun still clinging to our hands. That simple act of washing your hands with soap and water actually accomplished many things seen and unseen. Lets look at why you should wash your hands, how to do so properly and the big question, what if you need to wash your hands but you don’t have soap and water?
Why Should You Was Your Hands
The CDC provides some really helpful information as to why we should be washing our hands. “Handwashing with soap and water removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections for the following reasons. People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick. Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick. Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands. Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.”
How To Wash Your Hands
The best way to wash your hands actually is really simple. You just need to have some clean running water and some soap. You should avoid washing your hands in a sink, or tub of water. Even though your hands may appear to be looking cleaner, contaminents you have washed and loosened, may get back on your hands. The running water you choose doesn’t have to be hot. Studies have shown that cold water cleans as effectively as hot water. The soap you choose doesn’t have to be special either. A basic bar soap will do a good job loosening up the dirt and germs on your hands so they can be washed away. Make sure you wash the backs of your hands, fingernails and wrists. When you are done shake the water of your hands or use a clean cloth. Sharing a cloth with others, or one that is not clean may put germs back on to your hands after washing them.
When Should I Use Hand Sanitizer?
What happens if you need to wash your hands but you do not have any running water or soap. A waterless hand cleaner can be used. These are many times sold in the travel department and can be carried with you. If you choose one of these cleaners you should look to make sure it is made up of at least 60% alcholol. Scientific studies show that this is the right amount chemical to make sure the majority of germs on your hands are killed. Keep in mind that using these water less chemicals do not remove germs from your hands along with metals and other contaminents that would otherwise be washed off your hands with running water.
For more information regarding proper hand washing you can visit the CNC here.