When was the last time you thought about how you wash your hands? You’ve been doing it all of your life – but have you been hand washing correctly?
Did you know to wash your hands thoroughly, you need to rub your hands together using soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds or roughly the time to sing "Happy Birthday" twice, to get them properly clean? You may not want to sing it out loud, but it's a handy reminder for you to take the time you need to wash your hands!
Good hand hygiene can significantly reduce the spread of harmful bacteria and other germs that can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting and other harmful infections. Follow these 8 steps to perfect your hand washing technique.
Good hand washing technique
- Wet hands with clean warm running water
- Apply a small amount of soap
- Rub your palms together, (away from the water)
- Rub your fingers and thumbs and bits in between
- Rub your nails on your palms
- Rub the back of each hand
- Rinse with clean running water
- Dry with a clean towel or paper towel
With so much going on, it’s easy to forget about washing hands. So try to make it a routine so you get into the habit. Leave yourself a note, draw on your hand, set a reminder on your phone, or write out this list until it sticks:
Hand hygiene on the go
Of course, you can’t always get to soap and water when you’re out and about. But this is no excuse for poor hygiene. You can use an alcohol based hand sanitiser such as Dettol Hand Sanitiser which kills 99.9% of germs.
Apply a teaspoon-sized amount to your palm and massage it over both hands until it has completely gone.
This is especially useful before eating, and if you’ve been in busy places like shops, parks and on public transport. But remember, you should still wash you hands if they are visibly dirty. Use of hand sanitisers by children should be done under adult supervision.