We keep hearing about how important handwashing is to help keep us healthy and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. To ensure we are cleaning our hands properly, many of us adhere to the old notion; sing Happy Birthday to ourselves and when the song is over, were done.
Well, that may not be enough to help protect us against COVID-19.
Here are the six steps we need to follow for effective handwashing.
They are frequently used in the food service industry and should now be used by all of us. Following these six steps will not only help ensure your hands are clean, but help prevent the spread of coronavirus or most any type of contamination:
Wet your hands first before applying any soap. Once your hands are wet, then apply hand soap.
Try to avoid using block hand soap. It may contain contaminants that are passed from one set of hands to another. Further, if using a hand soap dispenser, best to use a “soap cartridge” dispenser if possible. Soap cartridges have less chance of becoming contaminated. We can help you get these for your facility.
Rub your hands together palm to palm. Not only does this clean the palms, but it builds up the soap lather so that it can be used on other areas of the hands. This is also a good time to rub the tips of your fingers in the palms of your hand. This helps clean under the nails.
Rub the palm of one hand along the back of the other; be sure to include the fingers. Then repeat the process with the other hand.
Here’s where things get tricky. Now, interlock your hands with your left-hand fingers (except the thumb) pointing to the right and your right-hand fingers (again without the thumb) pointing to the left. While in this interlocked position, push and pull the hands to clean the sides of the fingers.
Rinse off your hands thoroughly and then dry with a disposable hand towel. Rinsing and drying are very important. Rinsing removes chemical residue. Chemical residue attracts soils to hands like a magnet. Further, even if the residue has been removed, wet hands are more likely to gather dust and soils than dry hands. Once hands are dry, use the hand towel to turn off the faucet, if manually operated.
Handwashing and Hand Sanitizers
Another thing we should discuss is the use of hand sanitizers. As we have mentioned in previous posts, hand sanitizers do not replace hand washing. Further, hand sanitizers were never designed to remove soil and contaminants from hands.
Instead, they are intended to kill most but not all surface-level germs and bacteria. We should also note that our hands have layers, creases, and folds. Germs and bacteria can be tucked away in these areas, which sanitizers cannot reach. These can only effectively be removed with proper hand washing.
However, hand sanitizers should be used if handwashing is not possible. But before using them, here is something to remember.
Hand sanitizers lose their effectiveness if hands are wet or there are substances present on the hands. Before using a hand sanitizer, make sure your hands are dry and wipe off any visible soils.
More information on how Secure Clean is working to protect your facility from COVID-19 can be found here.
The Secure Clean blog is designed to help building managers keep their facilities cleaner, healthier, greener, and safer, in the most cost-effective ways possible. To learn more about us, please take a few minutes to explore our website at www.securecleanbsi.com, contact us here, or at 888-609-1410.