Good hand hygiene is essential for protecting yourself and others from germs, chemicals and dirt that build up on the skin during the day. There are situations where washing your hands is essential, but you can use a disinfectant if they are not too dirty. Either way, it’s important that you adopt the right technique to keep your hands as clean as possible.
I-Wash hands with soap and water
1-Wash your hands when they are dirty.
You can wash your hands whenever they get dirty, but there are some situations where it is necessary. The situations where you really need to wash your hands are:
if you hurt yourself
after using the toilet
before and after eating or preparing a meal
before and after caring for a sick person
after changing a diaper or helping a child defecate
after groping or handling an animal or after handling animal waste
after taking out the garbage
after coughing or sneezing into your hands or after blowing your nose
before putting on or taking off contact lenses X.
2-Wash them for at least 20 to 30 seconds.
You can do this longer, the important thing is to wash them for at least 20 to 30 seconds in order to kill germs.
3- Wet your hands.
Turn on the faucet and run your hands under hot or cold water to wet them. Make sure they are completely wet.
Cold or hot water will do the trick. It should not be hot. Avoid standing water, as it can contain germs.
4- Apply soap.
Apply a small amount of soap to one of your palms and start rubbing your hands together to distribute the product. Lather the soap and rub the 2 sides of your hands, between your fingers, around and under your nails and around your wrists.
You can use liquid, bar, or powder hand soap. It doesn’t have to be antibacterial.
5- Interlace your fingers.
Place one hand on top of the other so that the palms of both hands are facing down. Place the fingers of the top hand between the fingers of the other and move them to clean between the fingers. Join the palms of your hands and continue.
Rub your hands in this way for 3 to 5 seconds per hand.
6- Clean your thumbs.
Take out the thumb of your left hand and circle it with your right hand. Rotate the right hand, rubbing your thumb after putting soap where the thumb meets the hand. Do this for 2-3 seconds and then do the same with the other thumb.
Hold your thumb firmly, but not too tightly for the soap to work well.
7- Rub your palms with your fingers.
Open your left hand with the palm facing up. Bend the fingers of the other hand and scratch the open palm with the fingertips. Do this for 3 to 4 seconds and then do the same with the other hand.
This allows the soap to go under your nails to clean them well.
8- Rinse your hands.
After covering with foam and rubbing your hands, run them again under the tap and let the water run over them. Rinse all the soap off your hands.
9- Dry your hands with a clean towel.
After you’ve rinsed off all the soap, dry your hands with a clean towel or use a hand dryer. Make sure your hands are completely dry.
If you are using a hand dryer, rotate your hands and rub them together under hot air to dry them completely.
10- Turn off the tap with a towel.
If the water does not shut off automatically, you will need to use something to turn off the tap. Take a clean towel and put it on the faucet before turning off the water.
You can also use your elbow if there is no towel nearby.
If you use a towel, wash it at least once a week so that germs don’t accumulate too much.
II-Using hand sanitizer
1-Ask yourself if the hand sanitizer is suitable.
In some situations, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer in place of soap and water. However, you must first assess the situation. Below are the elements to take into account.
Are your hands really dirty? If you see dirt or grease on your hands, it is best to use soap and water to clean them.
What do you have on your hands? Alcohol-based hand sanitizer does not kill all germs and is ineffective against some substances (such as pesticides and heavy metals). In these situations, soap and water are recommended.
The availability of water. If there is no running water available to wash your hands, hand sanitizer is better than nothing. However, if you have access to soap and running water, use them to wash your hands.
2- Apply a small amount of disinfectant on one of your hands.
To use the disinfectant to wash your hands, apply a dab of the disinfectant to one of your palms. Make sure there is enough to cover your hands completely.
If you have them, you can also use alcohol wipes.
3- Rub your hands together.
Rub your hands between them until the disinfectant has completely evaporated. This step lasts about 20 seconds, enough time for the alcohol-based disinfectant to evaporate. Distribute the product at the same time on your hands as if you were washing yourself with soap and water without forgetting to intertwine your fingers and clean your nails. Cover both sides of your hands, between your fingers and around your wrists.