Did you know the Journal Environmental Health reported that only 5% of people wash their hands correctly? If you’re feeling a little grossed out by that, we’d like to help by offering some pro tips to get those hands clean, and keep germs away.
- Use soap. Seems pretty basic, but researchers found that only two-thirds of us use soap. That means the germs on your hands are staying put. If you have the option, choose liquid soaps. Bar soap will work too, but try to avoid it if it’s been sitting in a goopy or wet dish – germs love hanging out in all that moisture.
- Put some muscle in it, and scrub vigorously. Remember – the point of washing your hands is to remove germs from your skin. Get your lather going and make some bubbles.
- Keep scrubbing. For 20 seconds. Sing a tune like the ABCs or Happy Birthday, count to 20 (slowly!) or do whatever you need to do to pass the time, but keep scrubbing until that 20 seconds is up before you rinse the suds off.
- Don’t touch the faucet! Touching the faucet to turn it off is a little like never washing your hands to begin with. Unless you’re working with a no-touch faucet, your pre-washed hands turned it on. Grab a paper towel before you turn the faucet on so you’re prepared to turn it off.
- Dry your hands, all the way. Leaving the bathroom without drying your hands all the way is like not washing your hands at all. We’ve probably all realized paper towels are out after we’ve washed our hands and start furiously wringing our hands to dry them, or we grab a half sheet because we are in a rush to get out the door. Partially dried hands are a great place for germs – see #1. Germs love moisture. A cloth towel is fine to dry your hands with as well, just make sure you throw it in the washing machine every few days to keep it fresh.
Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infectious disease – like COVID-19. So let’s all do our part and take a little extra time – 20 seconds to be exact – at the sink to give those hand germs the boot.