Washing With Soap, Part 2 (Hand Washing)

We have been using the Mayo Clinic’s information about hand washing for quite a while. In 2009, the Mayo Clinic was ranked as the #2 hospital in the United States. They have taught us a lot about when to wash your hands and how to wash your hands. There are a great resource whenever you have a question about this topic.

When to wash your hands has been preached thousands of times schools and the news. It is important to remember that as you touch people, surfaces and objects throughout the day, you accumulate germs on your hands. In turn, you can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Although it’s impossible to keep your hands germ-free, washing your hands frequently can help limit the transfer of bacteria and viruses.

Always wash your hands before:

  • Preparing food
  • Eating
  • Treating wounds or giving medicine
  • Touching a sick or injured person
  • Inserting or removing contact lenses

Always wash your hands after:

  • Preparing food, especially raw meat or poultry
  • Using the toilet
  • Changing a diaper
  • Touching an animal or animal toys, leashes or waste
  • Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing into your hands
  • Treating wounds
  • Touching a sick or injured person
  • Handling garbage or something that could be contaminated, such as a cleaning cloth or soiled shoes

Of course, it’s also important to wash your hands whenever they look dirty.

Even though we here a lot about frequently washing your hands, we do not hear a lot about how to wash your hands. It doesn’t make sense to wash your hands several times a day, but do it incorrectly. Here are some helpful hints that we learned from the Mayo Clinic as well.

  1. Wet your hands with running water.
  2. Apply soap. (we suggest using Alabu) :)
  3. Lather well.
  4. Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. An easy way to make sure you wash long enough is to sing a child’s song to yourself like Twinkle Little Star, Row Your Boat, or Jesus Loves Me.
  5. Rinse well.
  6. Dry your hands with a clean disposable towel or air dryer
  7. If possible, use towel to turn off faucet.

Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.

Keep in mind that antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap. Using antibacterial soap may even lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the product’s antimicrobial agents — making it harder to kill these germs in the future.

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