The Best Way to Wash Your Hands

Apicha Community Health Center Sep 05, 2018  

Apicha CHC

Washing your hands is a no-brainer. It’s such a simple thing, you’d be surprised that so many people do it wrong. The truth is, washing your hands the right way does take some thought (and effort).

Why does washing your hands matter?

Washing your hands with soap and water prevents the spread of germs and illness. Bacteria from everyday life (especially living in New York City) easily gets on your hands, which can then be transferred to your eyes and mouth. For example, it’s common knowledge to wash your hands after using the bathroom because fecal (poop) matter contains a lot of germs. One gram of human poop -- which is about the weight of a paper clip -- can contain up to one trillion germs.

Does washing your hands make a difference?

Yes, it definitely does. Research shows that communities that wash their hands can significantly reduce the rate of people getting sick from diarrhea by 31 percent, and reduce respiratory illness (like the common cold) by up to 20 percent. And when it comes to you personally, you can protect yourself from getting sick.

What about hand sanitizer?

Generally speaking, washing your hands with soap and water is better than using hand sanitizer. If soap and water isn’t available to you (especially when you’re on the subway), it’s best to use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

How to Wash Your Hands Correctly

1. Rinse your hands with clean running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap to your hands.

It’s important to use clean running water when washing hands. If you use water that’s been stagnant or has been sitting around, it has a higher chance of containing bacteria. And, using soap with water has been shown to be more effective than water alone. Soap lifts soil and microbes from skin, and people tend to scrub hands more thoroughly when using soap, which further removes germs.

2. Lather and scrub your hands together with soap.

Make sure you cover all parts of your hands with soap, including the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails, so it gets clean.

3. Scrub your hands for 20 seconds!

Research suggests that washing hands for about 15-30 seconds removes more germs from hands than washing for shorter periods. If you don’t know how to time yourself, hum (or sing!) “Happy Birthday” two times through.

4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

Soap helps remove bacteria and dirt from your skin, but it’s necessary to wash off the soap when you’re done too.

5. Dry your hands with a clean town or air dry them.

Not only is it more convenient for you to just dry your hands, but drying your hands also prevents the spread of germs. Bacteria can be more easily passed through wet hands.

Information for this blog was derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health Clinic New York | Apicha Community Health Center

 

 

 

 


Ready to take action about your health?
 request an appointment

Subscribe For Updates

Early Signs of HIV

Early Signs of HIV

Early HIV is the beginning stage of HIV disease, right after HIV infection occurs. If you were not...
Transgender Sexual Health Guide: Safer Sex

Transgender Sexual Health Guide: Safer Sex

When it comes to sex, there’s a serious lack of resources available to transgender people that...
What you need to know about PrEP, the HIV Prevention Pill

What you need to know about PrEP, the HIV Prevention Pill

  What You Need to Know About PrEP PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis, the HIV prevention pill, has...
Healthy Recipes & Cooking Tips for Latino Thanksgiving

Healthy Recipes & Cooking Tips for Latino Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and the holidays are fast-approaching, and there never seems to be enough time to get...
Using Hook-Up Apps in 2017: Emotional Health

Using Hook-Up Apps in 2017: Emotional Health

"Using Hook-up Apps in 2017" is a series addressing issues of safety, racism, and emotional health....
Diabetic-Friendly Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Diabetic-Friendly Thanksgiving Side Dishes

  Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and it's hard not to be excited about all the delicious...
Apicha CHC Presents:

Apicha CHC Presents: "How to Survive a Plague" World AIDS Day Film Screening

You're invited to a special event in honor of World AIDS Day! 
Join us: Jackson Heights Family Health Fair

Join us: Jackson Heights Family Health Fair

Your health, and your family's health is important to us. Which is why we're proud to co-host a...
Join Apicha CHC in Recognizing World AIDS Day 2018

Join Apicha CHC in Recognizing World AIDS Day 2018

This year, World AIDS Day is Saturday, December 1. During this day, folks unite against HIV,...
Recetas Saludables y Consejos de Cocina para la Celebración Latina del Día de Acción de Gracias

Recetas Saludables y Consejos de Cocina para la Celebración Latina del Día de Acción de Gracias

El día de acción de gracias y las vacaciones se acercan rápidamente, y nunca parece haber...