wash hands, hand sanitizer
wash hands, hand sanitizer

The Basics of Hand Washing Everyone Must Know

19 November 2020

Germs and bacteria are everywhere. These microbes are present on almost all surfaces. 

Hand washing prevents the transmission of these microorganisms from one person to another. Germs can be transferred through touching your face, eating, and other activities.

Microbes pile up in your hands as you spend the day, so it’s very important to do frequent hand washing. It’s one of the most convenient ways to keep yourself and your loved ones from getting sick. 

What is the importance of hand washing?
Hand washing can defend you from COVID-19 and other infections such as diarrhea and pneumonia. Most of these illnesses can be severe for people who have weak immune systems. Even if you’re not sick, you have to wash your hands all the time to prevent the passing of disease-causing germs. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highly recommends washing your hands often with running warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. The CDC strongly encourages you to do this, especially after going out, coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose. 

Proper Handwashing 
As much as possible, you have to wash your hands with running water and antibacterial soap. 
Follow these six simple hand washing steps:

  • Remove all hand accessories like ring, bracelet, and watch
  • Wet your hands with running water. Use warm water if possible. 
  • Apply antibacterial soap thoroughly. Regular soap will do.
  • Rub every part of your hands for 20 seconds. For time reference, you can hum the Happy Birthday song two times. 
  • Rinse your hands well. Ensure that all suds are removed. 
  • Use a paper towel or air dryer in drying your hands.


When should you wash your hands?
Frequent hand washing must be done daily. 
If you’ve been in public places like grocery stores and public transportation, you have to wash your hands even more. 
Here are some instances that you need to wash your hands:

  • When your hands are filthy
  • Before, during, and after handling food
  • After using the toilet
  • After putting out the trash and using household chemicals
  • After sneezing and coughing
  • After playing with an animal
  • After touching a wound or scratch
  • After cleaning up a toddler

If your kids are still young to use the basin, you can use disposable wipes or a facecloth with soap instead. Make sure that their hands are rinsed and dried well. 

If you go to public places, you have to be aware of surfaces that are often touched by many people like:

  • Railings
  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Shopping carts
  • Car doors
  • Gas pumps

In case water and soap are unavailable, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Make sure they contain 60% alcohol or more. 

The COVID-19 can be transferred by touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.

Handwashing offers an excellent and effective way of preventing diseases. Including this habit in your routine can protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19 and other health conditions. 

Well, it’s impossible to maintain germ-free hands. However, frequent hand washing can restrict the transfer of viruses and bacteria.