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5 Tricks for a Better Hand Hygiene

Tricks for a Better Hand Hygien

We all know that practicing hand hygiene, such as hand washing, is a simple yet effective way to reduce the spread of germs. Germs are spread from surfaces to people whenever we touch things around us and then touch our faces with unsanitary hands.  Throughout the day, imagine how many contaminated surfaces a single person has touched and how many germs have been transmitted to people directly.

The Center for Disease Control says that “clean hands are the single most important factor in preventing the spread of pathogens and antibiotic resistance in healthcare settings.” This is actually true for any setting, healthcare or not.

Hand hygiene has never been more crucial. Washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based sanitizers regularly can reduce the risk of catching or transmitting viruses, especially the COVID-19 virus. Cleaning your hands helps prevent the spread of almost all types of germs, including those that are resistant to antibiotics or those difficult to treat.

Here are some hand hygiene tips to keep your hands clean all the time.

Tip #1: Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

Proper handwashing is still the best way to protect yourself and other people from being infected with viruses and germs, particularly the SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. CDC recommends regular hand-washing using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially if you’ve been to a public place or have sneezed, coughed, or blown your nose.

Here are the recommended steps to hand washing.

  1. First, moisten hands and forearms with water.
  2. Apply the recommended amount of soap.
  3. Rub hands together for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to cover all surfaces of the hands, fingers, and forearms.
  4. Rinse hands and forearms under running water.
  5. Dry thoroughly with a disposable towel.
  6. Use the towel to turn off the faucet.
  7. Dispose of the used paper towel properly.

Tip #2: Use alcohol-based sanitizers as an alternative.

When you have no access to soap and water to wash your hands, the best alternative is to use an alcohol-based sanitizer. However, you can only use an alcohol-based sanitizer when your hands are not visibly dirty. If your hands are dirty or greasy after playing or doing some outdoor activities, hand washing is the best option. But if you just went out to buy some groceries or bought coffee from the coffee shop, using a sanitizer before going inside your home should kill any germs that you might have touched.

Tip #3: Don’t just use any sanitizer.

A hand sanitizer is meant to kill the germs and viruses on your hand using alcohol. However, not every sanitizer is powerful enough to kill these germs. CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. The higher the concentration of alcohol, the better. If you can, choose a sanitizer with a moisturizer to prevent your skin from drying up due to frequent usage.

Tip #4: Isopropyl vs Ethyl.

When you purchase alcohol or sanitizers, you often see Ethyl or Isopropyl as the active chemical. What’s the difference between these two and which one’s more effective.

Ethanol is always used in concentrations of 70%. This is because higher concentrations evaporate too quickly while lower concentrations aren’t as effective. It is used in some soaps and hand wipes, but it can dry your skin so it should never be used directly without additional agents.

Isopropyl alcoholalso evaporates quickly and kills germs as effectively as Ethyl. However, it does not dehydrate living tissue as much as Ethyl, so it is a better solution for disinfecting the skin.

Tip #5: Keep your fingernails short.

Keep your natural nail tips at ¼ inch in length. Make sure to buff them so there are no sharp edges. Do not use artificial nails as much as possible. 

Summary

These five hand hygiene tricks should keep you protected from germs and viruses that are spread via surfaces. If you have more tips, let us know in the comments below.

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