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How to Wash Your Hands Properly

When we touch surfaces that are contaminated with germs, our hands can then carry those germs to any new surface we touch. Read on to learn about how to properly wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs from the experts in urgent care in Gainesville, GA.

Use Running Water

The first thing to keep in mind when properly washing your hands is the importance of using running water. In order to conserve water, you can turn off the tap while scrubbing, but your rinsing should always be with clean, running water. This is because any water in the basin may be contaminated or dirty, and rinsing with that contaminated water just reintroduces germs back onto your hands. Instead, use clean, running water to rinse away any germs and leave your hands nice and clean.

Choose the Right Soap

While many people assume that soaps labeled as antibacterial do a better job at killing germs and preventing illness, this is actually a common misconception. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that regular soap is just as effective, so you can choose any hand soap that you prefer. Make sure you use actual soap, however, and not hand sanitizer or wipes. 

How to Lather and Scrub Thoroughly

Dispense a pump of soap into your wet hands, and lather and scrub the entire surface of your hands in order to create friction. This friction allows the soap to dislodge microbes, dirt, grease, and more. Many people only manage to effectively scrub their palms and parts of their fingers, allowing germs to remain on the hands. Instead, think about each tiny surface on your hands and intentionally scrub each section. This should include the backs of your hands, the tops of your fingers, the webbing between fingers, underneath your fingernails, and the lateral sides of your hands that often rest on surfaces such as keyboards. 

Don’t Cut It Short

The process of scrubbing all surfaces on your hands will take longer than a couple of seconds, but it can be helpful to have a timer or go-to song to ensure you don’t cut the washing process short. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend washing your hands for 20 seconds, which is about the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

Properly Rinse and Dry

Once your soap and scrubbing have loosened the microbes, dirt, and other unwanted materials, it’s important to rinse them away completely. Once you have thoroughly rinsed your hands, dry them on a clean towel, or allow them to air dry. It’s important to avoid recontamination of your hands by drying them on a dirty surface.

By following these steps, you can do your part to remain healthy and prevent the spread of germs. For health care questions or urgent care services in Gainesville, GA, Lanier Urgent Care is an excellent resource to keep your family healthy and cared for. Call us today at 770-824-4610.