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Hand washing is the act of cleaning your hand with soap or hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of germs and cold causing bacteria. Hand washing is like a DIY vaccine you can use to prevent various illnesses.


You have probably heard that regular hand washing can help prevent sickness. Hand washing can also help stop germs causing cold or flu. It can help stop the spread of various preventable sicknesses. Since the importance of hand washing has been discovered over 150 years ago, we don’t have any excuse as to why we shouldn’t wash our hands properly.


Hand washing is still one of the easiest way of preventing respiratory infections and colds transmitted by hand to mouth. According Samuel N, Grief, MD, (University of Illinois, Chicago), ‘Soap acts as a container to trap germs (viruses, bacteria) that are discharged by the act of rubbing your hands under water’.


A variety of activities can result to cold-causing germs such as petting animals, touching doorknob and contact with other people. In this article, you will learn recommended methods for hand washing.

Effective hand washing is more than scrubbing your palm against each other.  Using hand sanitizer or soap and water to wash your hand is equally recommended. You should do this severally in a day. If your hands are really dirty or greasy then the use of warm water will do a better job in getting your hands clean. According to Samuel Grief, the type of soap to use does not matter as long as you lathers and spread over your hands.

Germs can be found everywhere. They are within our bodies, on the things we touch but not all germs are bad. Your hands have good germs on them and your hands can have bad germs on them which make you sick. Washing your hands regularly is the preferred method of cleaning and keeping your body healthy. Alcohol based sanitizers are also recommended.


To prevent transmitting disease to others, wash your hands:


  • Before and after cooking or eating
  • Before and after changing diapers
  • After using the restroom
  • After sneezing, coughing or touching the toilet door knob
  • Before and after using contact lenses
  • After handling the garbage
  • Before and after touching a sick person


Proper method for hand washing


  1. Wet your hands with clean water and apply soap.
  2. Make sure to rub your hands (lather) together to cover all spaces.
  3. Continue rubbing your hands together for up to 20 seconds (the time it takes you to sing happy birthday)
  4. Rinse your hand thoroughly under running water to make sure that you have removed every possible residue germs.
  5. Use hand dryer or towel to dry your hand and to turn off the faucet
  6. Make sure to use the right amount of hand sanitizer to clean your hands. The efficiency of hand sanitizer mostly depend on the quantity used



  1. Thumbs
  2. Fingertips
  3. Between fingers


Most hand sanitizers makes for a good substitute during hand washing or when water is not available.  Recent study by the Center for Disease Control and prevention shows that while washing the hand with soap and water is quite effective in fighting off germs, using hand sanitizers (alcohol based) is almost a close substitute. When using a hand sanitizer, do apply the gem in one palm and then rub both hands together for up to 15 seconds or until the hand is dry.

Spending 20 – 25 seconds out of your time is enough to prevent a 2 weeks cold or flu. Please beware that swallowing alcohol based sanitizers can cause poisoning. Make sure to keep hand sanitizers out of Children’s reach and consult your doctor in case of any complications as a result of washing your hands.




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