Some people mistakenly believe briefly running their hands under water counts as washing. Others think washing only after using the restroom is enough to prevent the spread of illness.
Educating people on proper hand hygiene can shift those flawed mindsets and we believe there are five steps to getting truly clean hands:
- Wet hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap, either in bar or liquid/foam form;
- Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub them well. Be sure to scrub the backs of hands, between fingers, and under nails. Do this away from running water, so the lather isn’t washed away;
- Continue rubbing hands for at least 20 seconds;
- Rinse hands well under running water; and
- Dry hands completely using a clean towel or air drier.
The most important part of washing your hands is to ensure that you have friction with the soap on your hands for 20 seconds. Research has shown that those people who do wash their hands often don’t do it for the appropriate amount of time.
In the context of workers in an office settings, research suggests that you should wash your hands frequently, including before and after staff meetings if food is served, after touching anything in the break room, before and after lunch, after using shared equipment like a copier, and before and after shaking hands.
Basically, every time the hands touch a surface, there is an opportunity for germs to spread if hands aren’t properly washed….