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Promoting effective hand washing techniques

Promoting proper handwashing techniques can be a tricky topic. Office & Facilities Managers should focus on educating staff and clients on proper handwashing techniques, which, in turn, can help to ensure that they use the right amount of soap – not too much and not too little…

When you dispense soap into your hand, you are not looking for a specific quantity. A reasonable amount of soap would be about the size of a 20p coin and the user should have  enough soap in the palm of their hand to build up a good amount of lather to wash both hands and in between fingers.

While using the right amount of soap is important, proper handwashing techniques are equally important, if not more so. If you have the right amount of soap but you’re not washing your hands correctly, that can cause cross-contamination.

Research carried out by the American Institute states that the amount of soap used is secondary to good hand hygiene practices. Typically, it doesn’t take much soap to lather up and adequately wash your hands. It’s the mechanical action of handwashing — along with the formulation of the soap and rinsing with water — that can make the difference in a proper handwashing routine. Hands should also be washed for at least 20 seconds.

Water also plays an active role in making sure the user gets the most out of their soap and don’t overuse it. People should be wetting their hands before they apply the soap because that helps to distribute it. If you skip that step, you’re going to run out of soap, and you won’t have enough to cover your hands properly.

Encouraging people to wash their hands is a good investment for any office. If people aren’t properly washing their hands, that potentially leads to the spread of illness, which could potentially lead to absenteeism.

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