When to wash hands? Know do's and don'ts of hand washing

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 15, 2018
Quick Bites

  • Hand washing is the first step to maintain overall hygiene
  • Know when to wash hands
  • Also know how to wash hands properly

Hand washing is the first step to maintain overall hygiene. Keeping your hands clean should be your priority regardless of where you are. Washing hands is the simplest way to stay healthy. It stops spreading of germs and helps to prevent several diseases. If you do not wash your hands, you are prone to many deadly diseases like influenza, respiratory infections and hepatitis. Wash your hands properly with running water and soap to get rid of all the germs and avoid infections. If water is not available near you, sanitizer can be a good option which can be very effective to kill germs. Hand washing should be an important habit among children also because they are more prone to germs as they spend a lot of time outdoors. So you must inculcate hand washing habits in your children. Here are answers to all your questions related to hand washing.

When to wash hands?

  • Before and after cooking and eating food
  • Before treating your wounds, taking medicines and giving medicines
  • After playing with your pet and touching animals
  • After using the toilet or changing diapers of your child
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • Before and after visiting someone at the hospital
  • After dumping the garbage or handling household cleaning items and garden chemicals
  • After shaking hands
  • Children should wash hands after playing outside
  • After cleaning and dusting
  • Before inserting and removing contact lenses

How to wash hands properly?

  • Wet your hands properly in running water
  • Apply soap or liquid hand wash and lather well
  • Rub your hands, palm to palm for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces of your hands properly, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails. 
  • Rinse well
  • Dry your hands properly with a clean towel
  • Try not to touch the tap and handles of door again. You can use a towel for the same

Do's of hand washing

  • Make sure that your hands are wet properly and use clean water only
  • Once you apply soap you must rub your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Do not forget to apply soap to every part of your hands
  • Dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel only
  • Antibacterial soaps are the best to wash hands the best way possible

Don’ts of hand washing

  • Do not use hot water to wash hands. Hot water does not remove germs effectively and promote chapping of the skin
  • Do not keep your hands under running water while applying soap because it will wash away the soap
  • Try not to touch the tap and sink after washing hands
  • Do not skip hand washing, use sanitizer when you do not get fresh water

Hand sanitizer or water? 

Alcohol-based sanitiser does not require water to clean your hands. It is a good alternative when soap and water aren't available. But do not depend on sanitizer always. Running water is better than sanitizer. Never replace water with sanitizer. Use sanitizer only when required and make sure that the product contains at least 60 percent alcohol. You should apply enough sanitizer on your palm to wet your hands properly. Then rub your hands together until your hands are dry. 

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