Washing Hands

Coronavirus Tip of the Day: Wash Your Hands

By this point in time, with everything going on you would think everyone is already washing there hands properly, but you would also think they are social distancing!

While washing your hands is important, it is equally important that you are doing it the correct way and even though we all learned how to do it in kindergarten, many of us have forgotten. So today I am providing a wonderful how-to video featuring my eleven-year-old, who will show us all how to correctly wash our hands!

The first step of washing your hands correctly is ensuring that anywhere in your home where you will be washing your hands has the correct supplies:

  • A clean sink with hot water: While this may seem obvious to everyone, its not. The sink needs to be clean, so if you’re going to be using the kitchen sink to wash hands its important that the sink is kept clean and not full of food particles or dirty dishes.The water you wash your hands with needs to be at least 100 degrees. It’s important to keep in mind that the water alone does not kill germs. Hot water will kill germs but it needs to be at least 140 degrees, which at that temperature you will also burn your hands.
  • Hand Soap: Hand soap is actually different then other types of soap, like dish soap. While any soap is better than nothing at all, it is best to use liquid hand soap. Bar soap should be avoided as the soap itself can actually end up growing germs!.In our house, we use Foaming Soap from Vermont Soap Company. I am partial to this not only because it is an awesome product but because my stepfather is the founder of Vermont Soap Company. While you can use any hand soap purchasing Vermont Soap Company products help support a small Vermont business while keeping your hands clean. Best of all the product is 100% natural!For those of you looking for an at home project, Spruce Crafts has a good set of directions online for how to make your own liquid soap. This is especially useful in areas where it has become hard to find liquid hand soap in the stores.
  • Disposable Paper Towels: While it does produce waste, using disposable paper towels over a cloth towel is actually important. If you use a cloth towel it can end up with the germs from the person who didn’t properly wash their hands before you. If you are going to use a cloth towel its important to ensure it is washed daily and that everyone is washing their hands correctly. The cloth towel should also not be used for any other purposes than drying hands.
  • Hand Sanitizer: While not required to use hand sanitizer as part of the handwashing process is certainly isn’t a bad idea. Hand sanitizer is a bit hard to come by these days but if you have trouble finding it then it is easy enough to make. It is literally 2 parts alcohol and 1 part aloe vera, plus some scented oil so it smells good. The only reason for the aloe is to keep your hands from drying out as a result of continued use. So worst-case situation you can use alcohol to sanitize your hands, rubbing alcohol is best but cheap vodka works too.

Actual Process of Washing your Hands

  1. Turn on the Water: Turn on the water to as hot as you can stand. The water should be a minimum of 100 degrees but not more than 120 degrees. Note that most residential water heaters won’t exceed this temperature unless you have intentionally set it for higher.
  2. Wet your hands: You are not washing your hands or rinsing them you are simply wetting them to allow the soap to lather. Once your hands are wet turn off the water so you are not wasting it.
  3. Apply hand soap to your hands: Apply a quarter-sized amount of hand soap to the palm of your hand. Once applied rub your hands together for 12 – 16 seconds to work up a lather of soap. Ensure you get the palms of your hands, your fingers, between your fingers, the back of your hands, your wrist and the first couple inches of your lower arm.
  4. Rinse your hands: Turn the water back on, again as hot as you can stand and rinse all the soap off your hands.
  5. Dry your hands: Dry your hands using a paper towel and throw it away.
  6. Apply Hand Sanitizer: Apply a pea sizer amount of hand sanitizer to the palm of your hands and rub it into your hands the same way you lathered up the soap before. Continue to rub it in until you can no longer feel it on your hands. DO NOT DRY IT OFF YOUR HANDS.

Always Wash Your Hands Before

  • Before putting on gloves.
  • Before preparing food.
  • Before eating food or snacks.
  • Before touching bodily fluids.
  • Before putting in or removing contacts.

Always wash your hands after

  • After coming home and taking off your gloves.
  • After preparing food.
  • After going into the bathroom for any reason.
  • After cleaning up animal waste.
  • After having contact with a person or animal.
  • Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick person.
  • Handling garbage.
  • Handling pet food or pet treats.
  • After handling any type of chemical.

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