“Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.”
– Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Washing your hands is a necessary, hygienic practice. From the CDC’s webpage on Water, Sanitation & Environmentally-related Hygiene, it is suggested that hand-washing should be a frequent occurrence:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- After using the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick, treating wounds, etc.
While the “when” is a little obvious, the “how” can be a bit more ambiguous.
From the CDC, here is their step-by-step process you may follow to achieve the cleanest of hands:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.*
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
*Fun Fact: Did you know that the temperature of the water matters less than the time used to wash your hands?
A recent study by Rutgers University shows that washing your hands with cold water is just as effective as washing with warm water.
“What’s more important,” they said, “is that people scrub their hands with soap for at least 10 seconds.” You can read more about their findings by clicking here.
So rather than waste your time and energy for scalding hot water, use that time and energy on what matters most: clean hands!
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