Washing your hands properly is important for maintaining health. Proper handwashing is the simplest way to keep you and others safe from both bacteria and viruses.
Parents always say, and they are right: wash your hands. The practice eliminates bad bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella, both of which cause common food poisoning. And you can also avoid colds and flu, not to mention scary things like the new coronavirus. So if you don’t wash your hands properly, you’re putting yourself at risk. Do not make the following mistakes:
1. Wash for insufficient time
A Michigan State University (MSU) study, distributed in the Journal of Environmental Health, found that 95% of individuals don’t wash their hands sufficiently long to effectively kill germs – it’s 20 seconds of washing with cleanser and water, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The normal hand-washing time was only six seconds, as per the MSU study. What’s more, 15% of men and 7% of ladies didn’t wash their hands in the wake of utilizing the restroom.
2. Stop washing your fingers
If you just rub soap between your palms and rinse, your hands are probably still dirty. “Germs like to hide under the nails and between the fingers, so you should rub these areas every time you wash your hands,”
3. Do not dry well
The most efficient hand washing techniques are useless if you don’t dry them properly. Germs like to reproduce with moisture, says Dr. Leaving the bathroom with your hands still damp can make it easier to collect microbes on the next surface you touch. If you have a choice of paper towels or air blowers, choose paper towels.
In a review of studies on handwashing, dated to the 1970s, the researchers concluded that paper towels are superior to dryers for drying hands properly. If blowers are your only option, stay long enough with your hands under the blowing air until they are completely dry, even if it takes a while.
4. Wash only after using the bathroom
Whenever you touch a public surface – elevator buttons, door handle, ATM, or subway pole – you are at risk of catching germs or bacteria. “Most people know that they should wash their hands after going to the bathroom, but you should also wash them periodically throughout the day, especially during pandemics, ” says Dr. For times when this is not possible, store a bottle of alcohol gel in your handbag or desk drawer.
5. Use hot water
Despite the widespread belief that hot water is needed to kill hand germs, warm or even cold water will also do the job. Dr. notes that while the heat has been shown to kill bacteria, you need to use boiling water at a temperature of around 100 ° C to significantly reduce pathogens.
6. Use only a hand sanitizer
If your hand sanitizer is alcohol-based, it can effectively remove and inactivate many types of microbes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But it has its limits, warns the organization, how to fail to eliminate all types of germs or harmful chemicals.
In addition, many people use gel alcohol incorrectly because they do not use enough of it to disinfect their hands. Nor do they expect him to have time to dry.
Soap and water are the best options to fight pathogens like the new coronavirus and Clostridium difficile , a bacterium that can cause life-threatening diarrhea or inflammation of the colon.
7. Touch other surfaces immediately after washing your hands
Nothing ruins your spotless hands more than contacting different surfaces directly in the wake of washing them. The general wellbeing and security bunch NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation) reports that its researchers discovered coliform microorganisms – a family that incorporates E. coli and salmonella – in 75% of wipes and apparel, 45% of kitchen sinks, 32% of ledges and 18% of meat sheets.
The bathroom was also problematic: 9% of the taps and 27% of the brush holders had traces of the bacteria. Since damp surfaces are breeding grounds for germs, it is best to turn off the tap and open the door in a public bathroom with a paper towel to keep your hands clean.
8. Stop rinsing the bar soap before each use
Pathogenic life forms can cover up in bar cleanser during and after use, as indicated by a CDC study. Microbes like microscopic organisms and infections can live for a few hours with damp cleanser, says Elaine L. Larson, RN, Ph.D., Professor at the School of Nursing, and Anna C. Maxwell, Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.
But there is an easy solution, she points out: “Avoid putting bar soap in a container in which it will be moist”. Larson also advises rinsing the bar under running water before using it. “Germs are usually carried down the drain, making it safe to use.”
9. Thinking that antibacterial soap is better than ordinary soap
Little evidence shows that antibacterial soap is better at preventing disease and spreading infections, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency said that antiseptic washing products labeled “antibacterial”, with ingredients like triclosan, will no longer be on the market, as manufacturers have not proven the effectiveness or safety of using these ingredients over a long period of time.
Some studies have shown that triclosan can increase resistance to antibiotics. The FDA is asking manufacturers to change their product formulas that contain or they will no longer be available to consumers.
10. Do not refill the liquid soap dispenser with refill
You may imagine that liquid soap distributors in the washroom are innocuous, however, a little 2011 investigation distributed in the diary Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that, in a school bathroom, soap dispensers refilled from a large bottle of liquid soap can transmit bacteria to your hands, compared to soap dispensers that have been replaced with a sealed refill. If you are tired of public toilet soap, take a container of soap with you.