Constant handwashing is a fundamental component in keeping the germs away. Unfortunately, only 5% of people know the proper hand hygiene steps for washing their hands, statistics show. The majority of the population will clean their hands for just 6 seconds. But, this is not enough to get rid of all the germs, bacteria, and infections.  A Person is washing hands and rubbing with soap The idea is to get the soap under every nook and cranny and avoid getting sick. If you have no idea how many steps in achieving optimum hand hygiene there are, you've come to the right place. This is a detailed handwashing guide that will come in handy. 

Why Is Washing the Hands So Important?

Many people, especially children, underestimate the importance of regular hand hygiene. But, what most don't realize is that our hands are the main carriers of germs and dirt. Since they often come in contact with all kinds of surfaces, they are exposed to these contaminants that get stuck on the skin.  The problem is, we use our hands to do almost anything, and when they are not clean, we risk transferring those contaminants. Eventually, dangerous viruses will enter our body and spread through the entire bloodstream. From the body, it will start to spread everywhere, including the furniture, objects we touch, clothes, etc. This is what we call cross-contamination. Let's say you are working with food. Your job is to handle all kinds of plates, dishes, and cutlery. If you don't wash the hands and you've touched a dirty surface, you may carry dangerous pathogens. After touching the food with the dirty hands, all the pathogens will spread to the dish and affect the customer that eats it.  This is how infections and viruses get easily spread. If you don't follow adequate hand hygiene steps, you risk infecting someone else. So, set an example for your children and show them how to do it right.

How Many Steps in Achieving Optimum Hand Hygiene

According to the CDC, you need to scrub the hands for at least 20 seconds. This will give you enough time to scrub off the germs and leave the skin clean. So, take your time and do it well. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make it work.  1. Start Wetting the Hands Use lukewarm water to rinse the hands. Then, cover the hands with plenty of soap. If you want a more potent solution, use an alcohol-based hand rub instead, suggests Daily Mail. The lukewarm water and the hand rub will work perfectly for the skin.  wetting hand before following hand hygiene steps 2. Time to Rub the Hands Rub the palm of your hands against one another to create some friction. The hand motion will puff up the soap and help it get into the skin. 3. Use the Fingers to Scrub the Back of the Hand Interlink the fingers over the left palm of your hand and rub the soap in. Swap the hands and repeat the same process.   4. Interlink the Hands Clasp the hands and let the fingers interlink. Rub the hands and the fingers to spread the soap. 5. Cup the Fingers Create a cup-like form with the left hand and place the right hand over it. Interlock the fingers and rub the hands. Repeat the same process with the other hand.  6. Move to the Thumbs Cover the right thumb with the left palm and rub it in a circular movement. Repeat the same process with the other hand. 7. Scrub the Palms With the Fingers Rub the fingers over the palms, rinse, and dry.

The Awesome Benefits of Using Sanitizer

Water washing is not the only thing you can use to get rid of bacteria. Alcohol-based sanitizers are much better at getting the job done.  Did you know that using sanitizers for 30 sec could destroy as much bacteria as you would get to remove by washing your hands for two full minutes?  That's right; sanitizers can drop the presence of bacteria by 97%. Just a little bit of the formula is all it takes to clean the hands to perfection.   man and woman applying spray hand sanitiser for hand hygiene

Benefits of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers

The positive aspects of these sanitizers are noted in numerous studies. Some of their prominent features are:

• Deactivating dangerous microorganisms

• Stopping the growth of bacteria

• Promoting well-being

• Boosting work performance

• Decreasing unnecessary waste

According to the National Institutes of Health, these products can deactivate the dangerous microorganism on the skin and even stop their growth for a short while. This is extremely important for people who want to steer clear of the flu or cold.  These sanitizers also promote well-being and proper hygiene. Based on reports from the AJIC( American Journal of Infection Control), these products reduce the rate of absence from school by around 20%. This benefit can also be useful in the workplace since employees won't have to take so many sick days. Using hand sanitizers in the office can reduce the possibility of getting sick by 70%, which can promote employee productivity by 40%.  Another cool feature of sanitizers is that they decrease unnecessary waste. Instead of having to rely on paper towels in public areas, particularly the office, people can use these products to stay away from germs. This can come in handy for individuals looking to prioritize zero waste.  Tip: If you prefer an alcohol-based product, go for the one that has at least 60% alcohol. Anything below that won't be able to disinfect the skin. 

Benefits of Hand Sanitizer vs Soap and Water? 

The right sides of hand sanitizers vs soap and water are evident when we take a look at the number of bacteria they can dispose of.  These products are meant to kill germs, and they do a pretty good job. If you use them properly, they can get rid of 99.9% of the bacteria on the hands. Besides, even when you don't have water and soap nearby, you can still get the hands clean.  First of all, it is a lot more accessible and portable option for disinfecting the hands. Sanitizers will come in handy for anyone looking to disinfect the skin on the go. The chemical substance can neutralize any microbe that soap and water cannot. When travelling, they will be the most convenient disinfectants to use.   Secondly, they have some fantastic anti-microbial properties that can prevent an infection. This will limit the transmission of any germs that would otherwise be present on dirty skin.  However, they are not designed to replace regular handwashing completely. Sanitizers can't get rid of grease, dirt, or other similar substances from the skin. Therefore, it's essential to keep washing the hands often and use a hand sanitizer from time to time.

Pros of Hand Sanitizer

There are plenty of good things about using a hand sanitizer. The benefits of alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a lot; it's such a convenient product you would love to use it regularly. From fighting bacteria to boosting cleanliness, there is little this sanitizer can't do. Here are all the positive aspects of owning one. 

• Provides exceptional cleanliness

• Ideal for on-the-go

• Excellent for group settings

• Reduces the risk of disease

• Gives the skin a soft-like feeling

How to Use a Hand Sanitizer?

It doesn't matter what you use; whether it is a hand sanitizer or water and soap, your efforts will be for nothing if you don't do the proper technique. The way you wash the hands' matters, so stick to the hand hygiene steps listed above. For a hand sanitizer, the CDC recommends you do these few simple tricks. First, apply the product on the hand. Every product will have a recommended amount to use, so check the label.  Then, use the palm of your hands to rub the product in. Make sure you get it all over the hands. Lastly, let it dry. It is important not to wash the hands while the sanitizer is drying. That way, the product will keep its effectiveness, and the disinfection will be complete.   

Final Thoughts

To avoid infections, diseases, and all sorts of bacteria, you need to do a proper handwashing routine. The sooner you implement this technique, the better. Plus, even if you don't have soap and water near you, you can still keep the hands squeaky clean. The hand sanitizer can do the trick. We can argue a lot about the benefits of hand sanitizer vs soap and water, but at the end, both are doing a great job in fighting against the Covid19, you only need to know how to use the technique.   Let us know if you found this guide helpful in the comments below.