How Washing Your Hands Keeps You Healthy

How Washing Your Hands Keeps You Healthy

  • This page was last updated at June 17, 2024.

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic, people have started to focus more on hygiene. Before, washing hands was one of the most neglected habits for a healthy lifestyle. People might have covered their mouths with their hands when they sneezed, wiped it off on a handkerchief, and that would have been the end of it. 

COVID-19 has changed the perspective on this. The virus has shed light on the importance of having good hand hygiene. We've been forced to educate ourselves on the necessity of maintaining good hygiene even in the aftermath of the coronavirus epidemic.

Gone are the times when we used to laugh at people, call them germaphobes. Using a good hand sanitizer, handwash, and soap are today's reality.  At the beginning of the pandemic, people almost immediately hoarded hand sanitizer, which led to a shortage of the product. It left many people without a way to keep their hands clean. Some even resorted to using alcohol-based perfumes. 

As many of us have noticed, keeping our hands clean and to ourselves is part of the key to beating the battle against coronavirus.

There is a proper way to wash your hands, just holding them underwater for a few seconds doesn't do the trick. Let's discuss the importance of hand sanitizer, the proper way to wash hands, and just how long a person has to rub their hands with soap or hand wash to be considered effective.

How To Properly Wash Your Hands:

  • Turn on the faucet, wet your hands with the running water. Apply soap or hand wash to your hands, cover all the surfaces.
  • It doesn't matter whether the water is hot or cold, washing hands with either doesn't kill the germs more effectively. Wash your hands with the water at room temperature. 
  • Make sure that you cover all parts of your hands, the palms, the back of your hands, the spaces between your fingers, the back of your fingers, and also the thumb. 
  • Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds, cover all the spots, then turn the faucet on and wash your hands. 
  • In case you are using a public bathroom, use tissue or paper towels to turn the faucet on and off. 
  • After you have done washing, Dry your hands with a towel. 

When to wash your hands?

While there are no limitations to how many times a person should wash their hands. It is necessary to figure out when it’s required.

These are some of the instances where you have to wash your hands. In the absence of water, soap, and hand wash, switching to rubbing hand sanitizer on your hands can prevent the spread of germs.

Here are some further tips about washing your hands:

  • Wash your hands after you have touched things other people could have touched, for example, railings, shopping carts, doorknobs, and dumpsters. 
  • If your hands are visibly dirty, with the presence of grime and grease, you cannot use hand sanitizers. You need to wash your hands with water and soap or hand wash. 
  • Wash them before preparing food, during the preparation of the food, and after the food is cooked. Also, remember to wash them after eating or drinking.
  • Those who take public transportation should wash their hands before and after they use the transport. 
  • Wash your hands after exchanging money for bill payments and other activities.
  • Also, if you have pets, wash your hands before and after you groom then. Do not forget to wash your hands after handling animal waste. 
  • Washing hands effectively eliminates most of the germs we come into contact with daily. But as most of you may have surmised, it's not always possible to wash your hands on the go. That’s where the hand sanitizers come in, they are portable and effective in killing germs. 

How To Use Hand Sanitizer?

  • Hand sanitizer with 60% and above alcohol content is the most effective. Below this, the alcohol might not have enough strength to kill the virus.
  • Using hand sanitizer is simpler than washing your hands. Squeeze or spray a little amount of hand sanitizer on your hands.
  • Rub the sanitizer all over your hands, between the fingers, back of the hands, and back of the fingers.
  • Let the hand sanitizer absorb into your skin. When your hands are dry with no residue of sanitizer, you are free to go about your day. 

Benefits Of Using A Hand Sanitizer:

  • Most hand sanitizers kill 99.99% germs. Hand sanitizer achieves the goal quicker than soap and water, but may not be as effective when it comes to soiled skin.
  • Unlike water and soap, sanitizer doesn't take up much space in your bag. We can fill a small bottle with it and carry it anywhere. 
  • Some germs are left behind even after a thorough scrub. Hand sanitizer effectively gets rid of the leftover germs, reducing bacteria.
  • Many of you must have noticed how dry our hands get when we wash them with soap. Hand sanitizer is gentler and less irritating on your skin. 
  • In certain cases, some sanitizers have also improved the quality of the skin on the hand. Healthcare Unlocked has skin-friendly sanitizers with 80% alcohol content. They are not toxic or irritable to the skin. The sanitizer can also be used to clean devices. 

When To Use Hand Sanitizers?

  • It isn't necessary to use hand sanitizer all over inside the house. You can easily wash your hands with soap and water while at home. Sanitizer gets to work when you step out of the house, you can come in contact with numerous germs. 
  • Hand sanitizer is best used on visibly clean hands. Hand sanitizer might excel at killing germs, but it does very little for greasy and dusty hands.
  • Use hand sanitizer before and after you have visited a friend or family member in the hospital. Or when you are outside, driving a vehicle with no source of water and soap.

Due to the increasing demand for hand sanitizer, several companies have taken the bull by the horns and began manufacturing alcohol-based hand sanitizer in bulk. Unfortunately, people still have trouble weeding out the fakes from the good.

All of the topics in this article are simple in nature and should have been taught to us in schools. While a person might come out of COVID-19 safely, they could still unknowingly spread the disease. We unintentionally come in contact with many objects and surfaces, yet we rarely notice. The only way to prevent us from ourselves is to keep our hands clean.