Hands down! When it comes to fighting the spread of illness, hand washing is the most important thing you can do to keep you and your family safe. It's a simple enough concept, but did you know there is a wrong way to do it? There’s no better time than the present to brush up on how and when to wash your hands.
Health and safety have been our priority at Safetec for over 28 years. It's important for us to provide you with all the tools and knowledge you'll need to keep yourself, your employees, and your family safe and healthy. Sure, these are uncertain times, but simple hand hygiene is a significant factor in staying healthy and stopping the spread of bacteria and viruses.
Hand washing prevents illness because:
- Germs can get into the body via your eyes, nose and mouth. Without realizing it, people touch their faces frequently throughout the day. It’s estimated that a person touches their face up to 23 times per hour.
- Germs from unwashed hands can get onto or into our food, either as we prepare a meal or consume it.
- Bacteria from unwashed hands can even transfer to other objects we touch then get transferred to another person's hands (think about all the things you touch throughout the day).
Before you start staring down at your hands like they’re the enemy, washing your hands with the correct frequency, products and techniques can significantly reduce your chances of getting ill and passing germs to others.
When to wash your hands
You should wash your hands frequently throughout the day, but there are other crucial times you should wash your hands:
- Before, during, and after you prepare food. Also, before eating.
- Before and after contacting an ill person.
- After using the bathroom or changing a diaper.
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- After touching animals or animal waste.
- After handling garbage, bodily fluids, or anytime you doubt that your hands are clean.
Now let’s talk product. If you’re not using the right products to clean your hands, then you’re still leaving yourself and loved ones vulnerable to illness.
Hand hygiene products
Soap: Handwashing with soap and water suspends microorganisms and removes them when you rinse. Cleaning is due to the removal of dirt and microorganisms.
Antimicrobial Soap: Soap is the main ingredient in hand hygiene. Antimicrobial soap combines the cleaning action of removal with an antiseptic agent that kills microorganisms. SaniWash® Antimicrobial Hand Soap uses PCMX for antimicrobial action and has aloe vera for added moisture with each use.
Hand Sanitizer: Washing with soap and water still holds an edge over hand sanitizer. However, when soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Safetec’s instant hand sanitizer is formulated with an enriched moisturizing agent to condition and preserve skin's health while preventing the spread of germ, causing illnesses and infections. Containing 66.5% ethyl alcohol, the formula kills 99.9% of widespread germs.
Antimicrobial Hand Wipes: Hand wipes are another convenient option when soap and water are not readily available. P.a.w.s.® Antimicrobial Hand Wipes are formulated with 66.5% ethyl-alcohol to kill 99.99% of germs and contain aloe vera to keep your skin feeling soft and smooth all day long. They also remove debris and soil from hands and under fingernails.
Now that we've covered appropriate products, let us jump in and cover the technique!
How to properly wash hands
Believe it or not, there is a right way to wash your hands. The CDC breaks it down to these 5 steps:
- Wet your hands with clean running water.
- Lather up those hands with soap. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds (try humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice. If Happy Birthday isn’t your thing, here is a list of other songs you can sing to kill time.). Don’t forget to wash your wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails. Singing optional.
- Rinse your hands thoroughly under running water.
- Turn off the water with your elbow.
- Dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel or air dry them.
How to properly use hand sanitizer
- Put enough product on hands to cover the entire surface.
- Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds.
- Do not rinse or wash off sanitizer before it’s dry.
At Safetec, we're obsessed with finding easier, healthier, and smarter ways to live and work. We design all our products with your health and safety in mind. We are the industry experts when it comes to infection control and is always happy to share tips and tricks to help you prevent the spread of illness.
If you’d like to understand more about the science behind washing your hands, learn more at http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html.