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How To Avoid Infection 101

How to Wash Your Hands To Reduce Risk Of Infection

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To wash your hands with the best chance of removing all harmful bacteria, it is advisable to:

  • Use warm water.
    • Water that is too hot can harm your skin.
    • Water that is cold doesn't product enough suds.
  • Use any type of soap, preferably one that produces a good lather. Antibacterial soap is unnecessary.
  • Soap every millimeter of your skin for 15 - 20 seconds including:
    • The underside of nails. (When possible, a nail scrub brush should be used to get under your fingernails).
    • The backs of your hands.
  • Singing Happy Birthday twice takes about 20 seconds.
  • Rinse repeatedly. It's easiest if you keep the water running. The idea is to get rid of every millimeter of suds and every germ.

If you are in public when you wash your hands, use a cover such as a hand towel to close the faucet. If you use your hand, you will reinfect yourself. Use a similar technique on the washroom door when you leave.

If you would like to see a video about the correct way to wash hands, click here offsite link.

NOTE: Hand sanitizers can take the place of hand washing when necessary. However, it is better not to use them in place of soap and water. Hand sanitizers generally don't cut through dirt to get to germs. They also don't kill all germs.

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