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Be Well! Wash Your Hands!

Updated on September 13, 2011

Just a few moments makes a big difference!

Title: Handwashing ~ License:SXU license ~ Photographer: Padrino
Title: Handwashing ~ License:SXU license ~ Photographer: Padrino

Hand-washing is the first line of defense against all disease!

It seems like every few months we are urged to fear for our lives because of a newer and more deadly virus. What I have found between the lines every time is the fact that these new and deadly viruses are spread just like any other virus, and if you practice proper hygiene and take care of your self, you are unlikely to contract the new and deadly virus, no matter what it is.

According to the Centers For Disease Control, hand-washing is the first line of defense against all disease. Your hands touch anything and everything throughout the day. They carry food to your mouth, and rub your eyes, and cover your nose when you sneeze. This is why it is so important to wash your hands and wash them well, frequently. Wash your hands before you eat. Wash your hands after using the restroom. Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands after handling any animal, especially a reptile. Wash your hands from time to time just for the heck of it!

Just Six Easy Steps!

Hand-washing is for everyone!

All hand-washing is not created equal!

Washing just your fingertips is not washing your hands. Letting running water run over your hands for a few seconds is not washing your hands. Turning a bar of soap over in one hand under running water is not washing your hands. To get your hands completely clean, you must wash both hands, with warm water and soap. It doesn't have to be antibacterial soap. In fact, there has been some proof that the overuse of antibacterial products is one of the things that is helping germs to become stronger and stronger and harder to manage. Use any soap, liquid or solid and warm water running at a fairly brisk pace.

Be sure to wet your hands thoroughly and lather up the fronts and backs of your hands, around and under the nails, between each finger, and up onto your wrists. Scrub for a count of 30. Rinse all the soap off thoroughly under running water and dry your hands completely. If you are in a public restroom, use two paper towels and hang onto them to turn off the water and open the door to leave. You can toss them in the first waste can you encounter.

If you need to clean your hands, but you are not able to get to soap and water, keep some baby wipes close at hand. When you clean your hands with baby wipes, clean the backs of the hands first, wiping from the wrists toward the fingers, then clean the palms in the same way, then clean each finger wiping from the base of the finger to the tip. Use two wipes. Clean the hands thoroughly with one wipe, then repeat the process. Don't bother with antibacterial gels that you simply rub onto your hands. These do nothing but spread the dirt and germs around and dry out your skin.

Another alternative is simply to keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol and some paper towels nearby. I always keep a big bottle of rubbing alcohol and a roll of paper towels in my car. They come in handy for a lot of things, but they are especially good to have for cleaning my hands after checking my oil or performing some other task that gets my hands dirty. Just pour a little rubbing alcohol into the palm of one hand, rub your hands together for 20 seconds and dry your hands with paper towels. Repeat, if you wish.

By keeping your hands clean, you will greatly reduce the number of germs that make it to your mouth, nose, and eyes. You will also reduce the number of germs you spread to other people. Remember, that even if you are not sick, you could be carrying a germ that would make someone else sick, so be considerate, and keep your hands clean.

Copyright:SuzanneBennett:May 7, 2009

Learn from a pro!


Submit a Comment

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

    Indeed! :)

  • joedolphin88 profile image

    Joe 4 years ago from north miami FL

    People just don't seem to understand that there are so many health benefits to washing your hands. Its just important to keep your hands clean.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Commenting again because it is amazing to me, but there are still people out there who do not wash their hands as they should. Hopefully this will be a reminder.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! :)

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

    For some odd reason it did not show up so am going to pin this again and will also tweet.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

    Thanks, yes I am just adamant about this! It really is the first line of defense against illness!

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Hi Suzanne,

    I am going to add this hub to my Health related subjects board on Pinterest. Will be the 2nd one about hand washing, but it is definitely an important topic when related to staying healthy.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

    Thanks IC!

  • Indian Chef profile image

    Indian Chef 5 years ago from New Delhi India

    Suzanne, you have demonstrated how to wash hands very nicely. I really liked the illustration. Voting it up and awesome,

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

    Thanks, Shyron! I appreciate your reading and your comment! :)

  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 5 years ago from Texas

    Suzanne, this is a very useful hub, I was always taught to wash all ways. Everyone should read this and realize the importance of washing your hands. And how to do it properly.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! Yes, it really is important and so much better than using those hand sanitizer things. I think that's just another gimmick to extract money from people. Thanks for commenting, voting and sharing! :)

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

    As a former operating room nurse, I have been very cognizant of the need for washing hands well and frequently. I also keep my fingernails short and rarely use polish. Had to do that as an OR nurse and it became a habit. Just more places for bacteria to hide! This is a good hub. Hope that more people realize the importance of hand washing! Up and useful and sharing.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    Many thanks! :)

  • 2besure profile image

    Pamela Lipscomb 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    I have always know of the importance of washing your hand, but as I got older, I had a heightened awareness of the possibility of contracting bacteria from everything I touched. Not OCD, but cautious! Simple truths that can save you a lot of sickness. Love the diagrams! Great hub.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    Interesting, Dallas! That would make sense; although, I thought they put a big apron on over their uniforms before doing surgery...

    Thanks, Midnight! :)

  • midnightbliss profile image

    Haydee Anderson 6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

    this hub is a perfect reminder on how often we should wash our hands.

  • dallas93444 profile image

    Dallas W Thompson 6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

    Recent studies have indicated most of the infections from operations are from the doctor and nurses uniforms... Thanks for sharing. Flag up!

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    Great ideas! Thanks! How hard would it be to set a trash can outside the door for that paper towel, I wonder? ;D

  • ktrapp profile image

    Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

    I live north of Chicago where it seems like me have at least 7 months of winter and 7 months of cold-virus season. I for one leave my gloves on for the most part when I run into the grocery store to avoid putting my hands on the germs on the cart and then wash my hands after bringing in all my bags. I also use towels to turn on public faucets and to open doors. I do my best to make a good shot getting my door-opening paper towel into the trash can after opening the door. I just wish public restrooms had no doors after the sinks and wouldn't it be nice to be able to turn faucets on with foot pedals like doctors often have. Thanks for the hand washing tips!

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    Thanks all! I don't know... I still shake hands, but I also wash my own hands quite frequently!

  • BkCreative profile image

    BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

    Such an easy and healthy thing to do. But so many people just don't do it. I think it's time we stopped shaking hands.

    I was new to a job many years ago and I watched from a distance a woman deeply picking her nose. When she was introduced she extended that hand to me. Of course I did not shake that hand. Ugh. Yes, I told her I could not shake that hand and why - but I could tell that to her it was a regular thing. Every hand is suspect to me now because I know people simply do not wash their hands.

    Thanks for such a necessary reminder. Whew! Rated up of course. Yay!

  • profile image

    JBunce 6 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Having just seen "Contagion" yesterday, you better BELIEVE I'm washing my hands every time now. Good to be reminded, though, especially with the proper procedures.

  • Cutters profile image

    Cutters 6 years ago from South Carolina

    Yes that is me but it is not what you think! LOL I was getting ready for the birth of one of my children. The hosp staff made me wear a germ suit so I could be in the room while the c section was being performed.

  • justmesuzanne profile image

    justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

    LOL! Well,now if that's actually a picture of you, I'd think you'd know all about washing your hands! ;)

  • Cutters profile image

    Cutters 6 years ago from South Carolina

    WOW I never realized how much there was to washing your hands thanks.


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