The Five steps to Hand Washing

The Five Steps to Hand Washing

The Five steps to Hand Washing and why it’s so important.

Now we all know that keeping our hands clean is one of the most important things we can do to prevent the spread of germs. Ever since we experienced the Covid-19 public pandemic, awareness of hand washing properly has increased as it’s vital that we do everything we can to keep ourselves and others safe. In this blog, I will be talking to you about the correct way of washing your hands while also giving you some insight as to why it’s so important.

Now you may be thinking to yourself “Washing your hands is easy!” and although you’re right, you’d be surprised how many wash their hands incorrectly and how many simply forget or can’t be bothered!

Clean hands deserve two thumbs up!

5 Simple & easy steps to wash your hands.

Antibacterial Soap

What if I have no access to clean water or soap?

How often should you wash your hands?

Answers to your questions?

Clean hands deserve two thumbs up!

Our body’s immune system does an amazing job of protecting us from harmful germs (or pathogens), such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and even cancer cells. However, even if you have a healthy immune system, you are still prone to infections that can become dangerous or even fatal.

5 Simple & easy steps to wash your hands

Run your hands under tap water (either cold or warm water is fine) and apply a small amount of soap.

Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap. Always make sure to clean the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

Scrub your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds to loosen the dirt off. Take your time doing this to ensure that you don’t miss any spots.

Rinse your hands with clean water to get rid of the remaining soap.

Dry your hands with a disposable hand towel.

You will notice that there are thousands of soap brands out there and while some soaps are more expensive than others, they all work in a similar way. The main job of general soap isn’t to kill off the bacteria but to loosen the dirt and germs from your hands and help the water remove them from your skin.

Studies have shown that hand-washing with water alone reduces the presence of bacteria to around 23%, whilst hand-washing with plain soap and water reduces the presence of bacteria to around 8%.

Antibacterial Soap

You can also buy antibacterial soap which contains certain chemicals that can help prevent bacteria from growing. Ingredients such as triclosan and triclocarban were originally used in these products but have since been banned in the UK due to health concerns.

Manufacturers have since been using more organic ingredients such as natural tea tree oil, lime, and glycerin. Although there isn’t any evidence suggesting that antibacterial soaps are more effective than plain soap, manufacturers view them as an extra measure of protection against bacteria.

What if I have no access to clean water or soap?

If you are someone who has an allergic reaction to certain substances within soap, or if you don’t have soap and clean water handy, there are alternative ways to keep your hands clean.

For instance, alcohol-based hand sanitisers can be an effective replacement for hand-washing as it will quickly reduce the number of germs in certain situations, but it does not eliminate all types of germs. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers usually contain at least 60% alcohol, but some brands may contain a higher percentage.

Always make sure to read the product instructions when you’re buying these to avoid any incidents. Here are the following steps for using hand sanitiser effectively:

APPLYsome product on the palm of your hand, you don’t need to use a lot but check the instructions for the recommended amount. Make sure you don’t have any open wounds or cuts before applying the product as this will most likely dehydrate the tissue under your skin and cause a painful burning sensation (you can thank me later…)

RUB your hands together making sure you get the product in between your fingers and fully covering the surface of your hands.

ALLOW for the product to sit and completely dry before touching anything.

When using alcohol-based hand sanitiser, it’s important to keep it out of reach of young children under 5 and avoid getting it in your eyes and mouth. Many hand sanitisers are made with alcohol such as ethanol and isopropanol, which can cause alcohol poisoning if ingested.

Symptoms from alcohol poisoning can include loss of balance, sleepiness, low blood sugar, seizures, and coma, and it can be fatal. Younger children are more likely to be interested in hand sanitisers that are brightly coloured or scented so it’s best to keep them higher up where they can’t be easily reached.

If you don’t have access to hand sanitisers or clean water and soap, another great option is to use wet wipes that are designed for your hands and body. These wipes are used a lot in hospitals and care homes where patients need to be regularly cleaned, but they can also be a good option to have in case of an emergency.

These type of wipes are often referred to as Cleansing body wipes and are ideal for situations like these.

How often should you wash your hands?

Washing your hands with soap regularly doesn’t mean that you need to stick to a schedule or keep a count of how many times you do so each day. But it’s important to keep your hands clean in key situations such as:

  • Before making or eating food
  • After coughing or blowing your nose
  • After playing with pets and animals
  • After using the toilet
  • After being outdoors
    • It’s also important to keep your hands clean after you’ve been out in a public place. Places such as public transport and toilets are frequently used by the public and are known to be a hotspot for germs and viruses.

      You can also catch germs from certain areas such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, and computers – basically, any surface that gets used frequently by the public. You can also keep your household safe by cleaning and disinfecting surfaces to reduce germs.

      Here’s a range of Antiviral/Antibacterial wet wipes which are great for keeping your household clean.

      In places such as hospitals and care homes, it’s vital to keep your hands clean because these places usually have patients who have weak immune systems and are more likely to get ill.

      This is because microbes spread more easily due to physical contact between healthcare professionals, patients, and relatives. Maintaining good personal hygiene in places like these greatly reduces the risk of cross-contamination and transmission of contagious infections.

      Answers to your questions?

      After washing, do I really need to dry my hands?

      Drying your hands after washing them is a key step to keeping your hands germ free as studies have shown that germs are more likely to be transferred between wet hands than dry hands.

      In recent years, air dryers have become a more popular way of drying your hands in public places as they don’t particularly produce bacteria and produce less waste.

      But the problem with using air dryers is that they expose you to higher amounts of bacteria compared to paper towels by circulating the bacteria throughout the air.

      There are some air dryers that come with a HEPA filter which can decrease the number of bacteria being exposed to the air. The best option is to use paper hand towels to ensure maximum hygiene is achieved.

      Is it better to use warm or cold water?

      A new study has shown that washing your hands in cold or warm water is equally beneficial in killing germs as long as you use soap.

      But it’s recommended to use warm water as it’s more effective in removing oils from your hands which can harbor bacteria. The recommended temperature for washing your hands should be at least 100˚ F (38˚ C) but always test the water to avoid any burns and scalds.

      How can I prepare for a public health emergency?

      In case of a public health emergency, you can build yourself an emergency supply kit that includes personal hygiene items such as:

      • Soap (liquid or bar works fine)
      • Disinfectant wipe or spray – to sanitise surfaces
      • Hand sanitisers that contain at least 60% alcohol
      • Clean bottled water
        • Can you use disinfectants after their expiry date?

          Usually, disinfectants have a shelf life of 2 years if unopened. Once the product has passed this, it shouldn’t be used as the protection promised by the manufacturer can no longer be guaranteed. Many disinfectant wipes and sprays will have a different shelf life and usually they will state they are suitable for use up to a certain period once opened such as 6 or 12 months.

          It’s always best to check on the container before use to clarify these points for that product. Work from the manufacturer date and add on 2 years to arrive at the use by date. Some disinfectant products will have space on the label to write the date the product was first opened so product use by date can be tracked. It’s also good to remember that hand disinfectants usually consist of 60-80% alcohol so make sure to keep it away from heat or open flames when stored or in use.

          I hope this blog has answered some of your questions and given you a bit of insight as to why it’s so important to keep ourselves and others safe.

          What can you do if you have a question that’s not listed here?

          If you have a question about our products that you can’t find an answer to, you can always contact us at or call us on 01738 629839. Our friendly team can answer any questions you may have, and they will get back to you as soon as possible.

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