Learn how to properly wash your hands!“Public-health officials across the globe are urging people to wash their hands, calling it one of the best methods to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus. But decades of research tell a sobering truth: People need to learn a thing or two about personal hygiene. Many don’t know proper handwashing technique. They do it for too little time, or they don’t do it at all. Proper handwashing means scrubbing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” – Wall Street Journal. Here’s WSJ’s tips on how to keep your hands clean!
How to wash your hands:
- Scrub between your fingers
- Before applying soap to your hands, run water over them. Soap and water together, with rubbing, is what helps rinse organisms off your hands and down the drain. “Don’t worry about removing hand jewelry, Dr. Larson says. Those need to be washed, too.”
- Dr. Larson suggests half a teaspoon of liquid soap is enough, or a glob about the size of a quarter, although bigger hands might need more. Health experts say that too much soap can remove your skin’s natural oils, which have helpful antibacterial properties.
- People on average wash their hands for only about six seconds, according to several studies. Twenty seconds is what’s recommended—or, the length of the “Happy Birthday” song sung twice—though it depends on what you touched and how often.
- The most vulnerable parts of your hands are your fingertips, between your fingers, the backs of your hands and under your nails. Rubbing these surfaces with enough force is critical, health experts say. People who have longer nails should be extra cautious, they add.
If you’re on the go:
- If you’re on the go, alcohol-based sanitizers are great alternatives to soap and water. They cannot kill all viruses, like the norovirus, which lacks a dissolvable envelope. But a sanitizer can kill any coronavirus on your hands as long as it’s made up of at least 60% alcohol, health experts say. Plain rubbing alcohol also works, but sanitizers maintain a balance of alcohol and other ingredients to help keep skin healthy and moisturized.
- Sanitizer also works only when it’s still wet, so health experts advise against using paper towels to dab your hands. Give the product at least 10 seconds to complete its job, then rub your hands together or let them air-dry.