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The Most Overlooked Facts About Hand Washing

The development of transportation and technology has enabled people to move more than ever before.

Also, these two factors have increased the number of contacts an average person has with other people on a daily basis.

Since every interaction between people includes an exchange of microorganisms, the question of our hygiene is becoming more and more important.

Shaking hands with acquaintances, spending time on the means of public transportation or using your gadgets are all situations in which various germs can get into your body.

You don’t know if these people wash their hands regularly or not. What you can do is keep the hygiene of your hands at a high level. This guide will show you why hand washing is extremely important and when it is imperative to do so.

The Risk of Unhygienic Toilets

A recent study has shown that about 30% of men and about 10% of women in Australia don’t wash their hands after using the toilet.

Given that toilets (and bathrooms) are usually rife with germs, such irresponsible behaviour puts other people’s health at risk. Therefore, hand washing is obligatory every single time after you use the toilet, especially in public places.

Apart from that, it’s recommended to sanitise your hands even before you use the toilet.

Also, when talking about going to restrooms in cafes, at bus stations and in other similar settings, you should wash your hands even if you haven’t used the toilet. Touching knobs, towels or taps can also result in acquiring some unwanted germs.

Another smart tip for such places is to wipe your hands with paper towels or dry them with an electric hand dryer. That way you’ll give your hands a proper treatment after washing them, which is also an important part.

The Hygiene of Office Equipment

Washing hands using Fresh & Clean products

Let’s start with a disclaimer: we are not selling any cleaning wipes or liquids. So, when we say that your computer keyboard is about 20,000 times dirtier than your toilet, we do it only because we want to illustrate how important washing hands really is.

Similarly, your smartphone contains about 9,000 times more microorganisms than your toilet. These data are even more shocking in the offices in which workers don’t work at the same computer.

Knowing all this, you need to clean your keyboard and your monitor with a wet wipe. Also, apply some special liquid made specifically for cleaning computer equipment.

What you can also do is install a hand sanitiser dispenser in your office. It will help you keep your hands clean during busy work hours without having to leave the office.

However, all these actions can only be an addition to your supreme hygienic habit – washing your hands before and after you use your computer and your keyboard. The same principle should be practised by every worker who uses any technical equipment in a public environment.

Washing Hands Before Every Meal

Even if you’re the most pedantic person in the world when it comes to hand hygiene, you can still get infected by other, not so pedantic people. What’s even worse, you don’t have to be in direct physical contact with them at all. It’s enough only to touch “dirty money”. By this, we literally mean money that’s contaminated with bacteria and viruses.

These harmful microbes originate from people who don’t wash hands and places they go to, from their homes to various public venues. When Staphylococcus, Escherichia coli or any other similar microorganism gets into your body, you can have a lot of trouble recovering your own (macro)organism.

This is why your hands need to be washed before every meal. Even if you’re just going to grab a slice of pizza on the street, make sure that your hands are clean before you start your snack.

However, it’s not always possible to wash your hands, especially if you’re eating outdoors. In order to keep your hands in a hygienic condition, have handy wet wipes and sanitise your hands. This routine is even more important in hot summer months, as well as in the high flu season.

These two periods are extremely dangerous for your intestines and your respiratory system, respectively. If you stick with a strict hand-washing policy, you’ll reduce the risk of coming down with annoying diseases.

Hand Hygiene in Nature

Hand hygiene in nature

Going for a trip or a vacation in nature shouldn’t make any difference regarding your hand hygiene. On the contrary, you’ll expose your limbs to an even greater number of various bacteria, but this time in uncontrolled, natural surroundings. And if you’re planning to prepare food outdoors, it’s imperative for your health to keep your hands clean.

Also, keep your hands clean on your trip to the country. Let’s say you’ve been driving your car for a few hours and you’d like to stop by to grab a sandwich. Exhausted and hungry, most drivers will forget to wash their hands in such situations.

However, you need to know that cars are often largely populated by bacteria. There’s a two-tier solution to this problem. On the one hand, fight against car germs before you hit the road.

On the other hand, bring a hand sanitiser or a bar of soap and some water with you. That way, you’ll be able to clean and wash your hands whenever you pull over to take a break.

When you finally get to nature, it’s crucial that you wash your hands before you touch your clothes and after you get in physical touch with money. Likewise, touching plants in nature requires the same set of actions.

Beware of Wet Bathroom Towels

It’s much easier to hold on to your hand-washing rules in your domestic environment. However, even if you do everything by the book and wash your hands in every potentially contagious situation, you can still expose yourself to health-threatening germs.

One of the most common sources of such contamination is damp bathroom towels. If your bathroom doesn’t have a window or the bath fan is dead, it will contain a high concentration of damp. Bacteria thrive in wet and damp surroundings.

So, what happens is that you wash your hands and you still end up with some germ-provoked infections.

This is why you should frequently change your bathroom towels and dry them outside the bathroom. Otherwise, the entire effort of regular hand washing will be in vain.

Furthermore, in some offices, people still prefer traditional towels to paper towels for wiping hands. If you work in such an office, make sure that you always have paper tissues stored in your desk. That way, you’ll be able to wipe and dry your hands in a hygienically friendly way every time you wash them.

People who don’t wash their hands regularly behave in a socially irresponsible way. Since it’s difficult to change others, you need to start from yourself. After all, your hands and your arms are among the most active parts of your body. They deserve a great treatment.

If you try and keep them clean throughout the day, they won’t infect you with various transmitted diseases. As a result, you’ll be a healthy and socially responsible person.

Need a hand soap dispenser or hand sanitisers in your workplace? Alsco provides fully-managed hand care systems and supplies for a convenient and cost-effective hygiene solution for your workplace.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr Images by Rob Lawton
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Images by Arlington County

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