Don’t Forget to Wash Your Hands on National Hand Washing Day!
And every other day after that…
According to a University study, 95% of people aren’t washing their hands long enough to kill germs. So, as it’s National Hand Washing Day, we thought we’d give you all the information you need to wash your hands effectively today and every day after that.
The Assumption is that you have to use hot water!
To effectively clean your hands, you may assume that you have to use hot water. If you think hot water is effective at killing germs, you’re not alone.
However, cold water is just as effective as killing germs as hot water is. In fact, the temperature hot water has to be at to effectively kill germs is 212 degrees Fahrenheit – ouch!
Despite the widespread belief that hot water is more effective than cold at killing germs, soap does all the hard work for you. As long as your hands are scrubbed, rinsed, and dried properly you will enjoy bacteria-free hands.
Washing your hands with bar soap
Washing your hands with bar soap can be a risky business. If bar soap is not stored correctly (on a drainer where it can dry out), it can harbour harmful bacteria.
If you are using bar soap to wash your hands, ensure that it can dry out properly between each use to avoid the transference of germs back onto your hands.
If you want to avoid the difficulties of bar soap altogether, use liquid soap.
Rushing when washing your hands
One of the main culprits of ineffective hand washing after using toilet cubicles is rushing. Rushing when washing your hands doesn’t clean them properly.
On average in the UK, people wash their hands for about 6 seconds! And that is far less than they should be.
When washing your hands, you should scrub them thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Not sure how long that is? Sing the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end, twice and you will have washed your hands for long enough.
Avoid using the hand dryer
Nearly every public restroom provides hand driers for washroom users. These prevent paper towels being flushed down the toilet – causing blocked drains.
However, despite their convenience, hand dryers are harbourers of bacteria and can make your hands even more unhygienic than they were before you washed them!
In fact, as stated in The Daily Telegraph, using hand dryers after washing your hands can be “so unhygienic that it might be better not to wash at all.”
Therefore, if possible, always opt for using paper towels when you can. Just remember to dispose of your used paper towels in the rubbish bin and not down the toilet!
And if you’re a germaphobe, prioritise carrying a bottle of hand sanitiser with you for those situations when paper towels are not available.
You’re not drying your hands properly
Unfortunately, the most diligent hand washing techniques are undone by ineffective hand drying. Germs love to breed in areas of moisture, so if your hands are still damp after washing, it can be far easier for you to pick up germs from the next surface you touch.
So, don’t skimp on hand drying! Use paper towels to thoroughly dry your hands after washing to avoid germ build-up. If hand dryers are the only option available to you, use them until your hands are completely dry – even if it takes a while!
You only wash your hands after the bathroom
One of the most common problems when it comes to picking up germs, is that people only wash their hands after using the bathroom and this is not enough.
Because you touch various surfaces and your face various times a day, you should prioritise washing your hands periodically throughout the day.
If it is not convenient for you to get to a sink, be sure to stash a bottle of hand sanitiser in your bag to use for killing germs on the go.
You’ve Been Washing Your Hands Wrong This Whole Time
After reading our hand washing advice to celebrate National Hand Washing Day, have you been washing your hands wrong all this time?
We hope our advice has been a good reminder to wash your hands properly the next time you use a public washroom or your bathroom at home.
Rachel Kerr is a copywriter for Concept Cubicle Systems. Concept Cubicles provide customers with cubicles for commercial, education, health care, and leisure. We know all about toilet cubicles, vanity units, and washrooms.