Covid-19 has made the subject of handwashing and hand hygiene more prominent than it has ever in our lifetime. Whilst it has always been good practice to wash hands and maintain good hygiene practices, it is more critical now than ever before that we understand the importance of regular and thorough hand washing; the kind that would make a surgeon proud. So, what exactly does it take to remove the bacteria and germs that can make us sick?
We know that for handwashing to be effective when we are using shared facilities, it is essential to have the right soap and towel dispensing facilities available.
Satino by WEPA offers the latest hand hygiene solutions and can provide expert advice to ensure you get the right products for communal spaces such as washrooms or kitchens.. Here, we look at their advice for washing our hands effectively and maintaining good hand hygiene.
The handwashing process
First, wet your hands with warm water, then apply a suitable soap or hand wash. The time spent handwashing is more important than your choice of soap, and effective handwashing does not require liquid antibacterial soap.
However, you should ensure that you have suds up to your wrists and between each finger, making sure you pay particular attention to fingernails to remove dirt from underneath. Regular use of a nail brush will help avoid dirt build-up.
You should spend at least twenty seconds, ensuring your hands are fully soaped and clean before rinsing. Use clean running water and continue to rinse until all the soap is gone. Again, check under nails and between fingers.
Once rinsed, you should dry your hands using a clean towel where available. It is essential to dry them effectively to avoid them drying and cracking, as cracks in the skin give bacteria a place to hide and grow.
Studies have shown that whilst many public washrooms have cloth towels or air dryers, the most hygienic drying method is by single-use paper towels. Using towels from a towel dispenser ensures each user has their own individual, unused and clean paper towel. Paper towels will also ensure that any remaining bacteria is wiped from the skin.
Whilst cotton towels and air dryers will dry your hands equally well, when there is the option to use a single-use paper towel; this should be the choice for good hygiene.
Using the right equipment
Liquid soaps dispensed in single-use doses through a suitable dispenser are known to provide the most hygienic hand washing solution, especially when followed by a single-use towel to dry.
Dispensers are available in various designs, and many now offer dispensing of a controlled measure of soap without having to touch the dispenser, reducing any risk of bacteria being transferred. This makes them ideal for a busy washroom facility. Any liquid soap dispenser is more hygienic than a bar of traditional soap.
Towel dispensers can offer the same non-contact option by using a sensor to detect when to dispense a towel portion to the user. Towel dispensers that require the user to pull a single-use towel or a portion of the towel from a roll are still useful in that the user is only touching the piece that they will be using and will not suffer the drying effects of an air dryer. Nor would they need to worry about cross-contamination from a roller towel.
Avoiding cross-contamination is one of the critical defences in stopping the spread of diseases. Now more than ever, we should be washing our hands repeatedly to help reduce virus and bacteria transmission.