We’ve been told “wash your hands!” pretty much our entire lives. Some people wash them often, others….not as much. Washing your hands is super important to not only keep clean but to keep the germs away. But washing your hands involves more than just slapping on a little soap, moving your hands for 2 seconds, and rinsing your hands. Did you know there was a correct way to wash your hands to be the most effective at banishing germs?
1. Add Water
Yes, the first step is to get your hands wet! Once they’re wet, you’ll want to turn off the tap so you don’t waste water. Be careful if you’re out in public as faucet handles harbor germs. After, apply your soap!
2. Lather, Lather, Lather!
This is arguably the most important part! Make sure you are lathering your hands up well - the key here is to make as many suds or bubbles as possible. This is what is killing the viruses by breaking down their outer “shells”. Make sure you scrub the backs of your hands as well as in between all of your fingers and under your nails.
While you’re busy lathering and making sure all sides and corners of your hands are soapy, sing a song for 20 seconds. This is the optimum time for hand washing! A popular song is “Happy Birthday” from start to finish twice. But there are many songs to choose from! Kids love this part too. Make a dance out of it if you need to keep them entertained during handwashing (ok, and because it’s just fun!)
4. Rinse Those Germs Away
Rinse your hands under clean water, cold or warm. Again, make sure if you’re out in public to be wary of touching the handle of the faucet as they can be full of germs. You can use your elbow or a paper towel to turn on the sink if needed.
5. Dry Your Hands
Use a clean towel to dry your hands or simply air dry them. If you’re in public and going to get paper towels, don’t touch the handle to the paper towel dispenser as that is full of germs too (you would be surprised how many people don’t wash their hands and get paper towels!). Make sure to use your elbow to get some out. Then use the paper towel to touch the door handle to open it. Don’t get us started on the germs there!
When Should You Wash Your Hands? Here is what the CDC has to say:
Before, during, and after preparing food
Before eating food
Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
Before and after treating a cut or wound
After using the toilet
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
After handling pet food or pet treats
After touching garbage
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you should also clean hands:
After you have been in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens, etc.
Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth because that’s how germs enter our bodies.
Stay safe out there everyone! Wash your hands, practice social distancing, and be healthy!
Squeaky Green House Clean