Five Facts About Washing Your Hands
- Hand washing is vital for maintaining good hygiene
The reason we clean our hands is to try and get rid of dirt and germs. This is vitally important as countless studies show that washing hands is one of the most effective things we can do to prevent the spread of disease. Bacteria and viruses are often transferred by touch, but hand washing significantly reduces the chances of this happening.
We should spend between 15-20 seconds washing our hands
39% of people wash their hands before eating food
15% of men and 7% of women don’t wash their hands at all
- People frequently touch their eyes, nose and face
One of the easiest ways of catching diseases such as Covid-19 is by touching your face after having contact with an infected surface or another person. According to a study undertaken in New South Wales, Australia, people touch their faces about 23 times per hour on average. This alone makes frequent washing of your hands and use of hand sanitiser a very good idea.
- Alcohol and non-alcohol based hand sanitisers help kill 99.7% of bacteria
Non-alcohol based sanitisers are non-flammable, friendly to children, halal friendly and are effective against bacteria.
Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are hygiene agents that do not need water to act. They are simple to rub in and you don’t need towels to dry your hands afterwards, which makes them very convenient for use in the home, in the workplace or in leisure facilities. Studies suggest that 30 seconds after using a hand sanitiser, 99.7% of bacteria on the hands are destroyed. In simple terms, they are extremely effective.
- Hand washing can protect against respiratory illnesses
Illnesses such as influenza, the common cold, and now Covid-19 are often transmitted by touch. When infected individuals cough and sneeze into tissues, they are likely to touch their nose, mouth or face. Unless they wash their hands, they are running the risk that they will infect others. So, once again, washing your hands using soap and water or a hand sanitiser can help prevent the spread of infection.
- Water is not enough, because fats and proteins don't dissolve in water alone
One of the most important points you need to know about washing your hands is that water alone isn’t enough to remove germs effectively and hygienically. Harmful micro-organisms can cling to your hands and remain after you’ve used water. These micro-organisms are found in organic soil and absorb fats and proteins which do not dissolve easily in water. So it’s vitally important to use something besides water, whether soap or hand sanitiser, to clean your hands effectively and ensure germs are destroyed.
* Sources - Michigan State University; Centre’s for Disease Control and Prevention; Queen Mary University of London; London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Global Handwashing Day - School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Medicine, UNSW Australia, Sydney, New South Wales *