Beyond Soap and Water: Understanding the Correct Way to Wash Hands

written by - Himanshi on September 2023


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Beyond Soap and Water: Understanding the Correct Way to Wash Hands

Amidst the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, there exists an unsung hero that holds the power to safeguard our health in the most unassuming manner - the act of washing hands. Picture this: A study revealed that the average person comes into contact with a staggering 300 surfaces every 30 minutes, transferring countless germs along the way. Now, imagine a scenario where a seemingly harmless handshake transmits a malicious virus that spreads like wildfire, causing preventable illnesses and untold suffering. As we navigate through a world where hygiene has become more critical than ever, understanding the correct way to wash hands emerges as a paramount skill in our defense against germs and diseases. Beyond the fleeting splash of water and a hasty rub of soap, lies a science-backed ritual that can spell the difference between health and illness. Are you ready to delve into the realms of immaculate hand hygiene? Let's embark on this cleansing quest together!


The Importance of Hand Washing

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In our day-to-day existence, we come across a myriad of bacteria. To prevent the transmission of gut and lung diseases, it is essential to wash our hands diligently. This simple act is also highly effective in protecting ourselves from falling ill. Germs can easily spread through various means. The act of touching one's mouth, eyes, or nose with unclean hands is a common way for germs to spread. Additionally, food and beverages prepared by individuals with unwashed hands can carry and transmit germs. Another way germs are spread is when a person coughs or sneezes and then proceeds to touch others or public surfaces. To prevent the spread of illness-causing germs, especially to those at high risk for COVID-19, it is important to regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap at specific moments throughout the day.

When Should One Wash Hands?

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Hands must be washed consistently throughout the day. However, it is important to wash hands especially during these times to avoid germ attack and lead a healthy life:

  • Before eating food
  • After using the washroom
  • After blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing
  • Before and after treating a cut
  • After caring for somebody who is ill
  • Post touching garbage or dirt
  • After handling animals
  • After visiting public places where you touch handles of doors, counters, bills, shopping carts, etc.

The Nine Steps to Washing Hands Perfectly

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  • Wet your hands using clean water, which may be hot or cold. Ensure that it is clean and free of dirt.
  • Apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces.
  • Rub hands palm to palm.
  • Right palm over left dorsum with interlaced fingers and vice versa.
  • Palm to palm with fingers interlaced.
  • Backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked.
  • Rotational rubbing of left thumb clasped in right palm and vice versa.
  • Rotational rubbing, backward and forwards with clasped fingers of the right hand in the left palm and vice versa.
  • Rinse hands with water.

What to Do if One Doesn’t Have Soap and Water?

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Using soap and water to wash your hands is considered the most effective method for minimizing the amount of germs present on them. In situations where soap and water are not accessible, it is recommended to opt for an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It is useful only if it contains a minimum of 60% alcohol content. When utilizing hand sanitizer, one must follow these guidelines:

  • To accurately apply the product, take a moment to read the label and discover the appropriate quantity. Then, generously place the product onto the palm of your hand.
  • Together, rub your hands.
  • Using the product, be sure to thoroughly rub it over all surfaces of your hands, making sure to also get in between your fingers.
  • Before handling anything, make sure your hands are completely dry.
  • In numerous scenarios, hand sanitizers efficiently decrease the amount of germs on hands. However, it's important to note that not all types of germs are eradicated by them.

The Bottom Line


In conclusion, mastering the correct way of washing hands is a fundamental yet often underestimated practice that can significantly impact our health and well-being. As we've learned, a mere 20 seconds of thorough handwashing with soap and water can prevent the spread of harmful germs and viruses, safeguarding not only our own health but also that of others around us. By incorporating this simple habit into our daily routines, we empower ourselves to become the first line of defense against illnesses.

Let us remember that clean hands are more than just a personal choice; they are a powerful act of fostering a healthier world for all.


tags
hand hygiene infection control ai in healthcare
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Himanshi