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How to Wash Your Hands

Updated on July 8, 2012

Prevent the Spread of Germs and Food-borne Illness by Hand Washing

Hand Washing is the single most important method of preventing the spread of illness, infection and food-borne illness.

Every year more than 164 million school days are lost due to illness and children are often passing on the illnesses to their parents and siblings.

In light of the concerns over seasonal flu (or influenza), washing your hands is one of the most important and effective things you can do to prevent getting the flu.

Estimates are as many as 76 million Americans get a food-borne illness each year. Of these, about 5,000 die as a result of their illness.

Those who are particularly vulnerable to these infections are the very young, the very old, those who are hospitalized and those fighting diseases such as AIDS or Cancer.

Many of those illnesses could have been avoided if adults, children and caretakers had done something as simple as wash their hands correctly.

I have worried about preventing infection and hand washing professionally when I was practicing medicine and also as a surgical intern. I have also worried about preventing infections and surgical scrubbing personally, when my youngest was in the Intensive Care Nursery as a baby.

Read on to discover more about how to prevent the spread of germs through proper hand washing and stay healthier this year.

Image from Microsoft Clipart

Hand Washing is the single most important means of preventing

the spread of infection.

People Most at Risk from Poor Hand Hygiene

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 76 million Americans get a food-borne illness each year. Of these, about 5,000 die as a result of their illness.

Those most at risk for infection or a food-born illness include:

  • Premature and NICU Babies
  • Newborns
  • Young children
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Patients in the hospital
  • Immunocompromised Patients - Those with AIDS, Cancer
  • Transplant Patients
  • Elderly

Note to Wash Hands!

A reminder when I wash my hands with soap and clean to it under running water for 20 seconds.

Review the list of when I need to wash my hands.

If soap and clean water are not available, I can use an alcohol-based product to clean my hands

When should you wash your hands?

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends the following situations that you want to be sure to wash your hands:

  • After going to the bathroom
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has gone to the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After handling an animal or animal waste
  • After handling an animal or animal waste
  • After handling garbage
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • Before and after tending to someone who is sick
  • Before preparing or eating food

Remember to Wash Hands

Remember to Wash Hands
Remember to Wash Hands

Recommendations on When to Wash Hands...Before

The Mayo Clinic recommends the following situations when you should wash your hands:

  1. Before eating
  2. Before and after treating wounds or cuts
  3. Before and after touching a sick or injured person
  4. Before and after preparing food, especially before and immediately after handling raw meat, poultry or fish
  5. Before inserting or removing contact lenses
  6. Before and after using public restrooms (gas stations, restaurants, airports, train stations and bus stations)

Recommendations on When to Wash Hands...After

The Mayo Clinic recommends the following situations when you should wash your hands:

  1. After using the bathroom
  2. After blowing your nose
  3. After coughing or sneezing into your hands
  4. After touching animals or animal waste
  5. After handling garbage
  6. After changing a diaper - wash the diaper-wearer's hands, too
  7. After cleaning up a child who has gone to the bathroom
  8. After using public restrooms (gas stations, restaurants, airports, train stations and bus stations)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 76 million Americans get a food-borne illness each year.

Of these, about 5,000

die as a result of their illness.

Basic Hand Washing Techniques

The Center for Disease Control recommends using the following technique when washing hands with soap and water:

  1. Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
  2. Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
  3. Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend!
  4. Rinse hands well under running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.
  6. P.S. (From me) Now that you have clean hands, watch out for the dirty door handles. Use a towel to open the door.

The Zen of Handwashing Poster

The Zen of Handwashing Poster
The Zen of Handwashing Poster

Simon and Garfunkel - The 59th Street Bridge Song

Feeling Groovy, for those who need the flashback reminder on the 59th Street Bridge Song from summitmusic70. Song lyrics are posted below.

Slow down, you move too fast.

You got to make the morning last.

Just kicking down the cobble stones.

Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.

Ba da, ba da, ba da, ba da...

Feelin' Groovy.

Zen of Handwashing

I saw this in a bathroom and had to track down the original source to share it as a resource. One of the suggestions is to sing the first verse of the 59th Street Bridge Song, otherwise known as Feeling Groovy, from Simon and Garfunkel.

Pink Grapefruit Hand Soap in the Amazon Spotlight

Method Naturally Derived Gel Hand Wash, Pink Grapefruit, 12 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Method Naturally Derived Gel Hand Wash, Pink Grapefruit, 12 Ounce (Pack of 6)

This hand soap cleans your hands safely and effectively without harsh chemicals. It is made from naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients, including Vitamin E and aloe that are safe for your skin and the environment.

I love the uplifting and energizing pink grapefruit fragrance.

Comes as a case of six 12-ounce recyclable bottles of hand soap (72 total ounces), so you'll have enough for a while.

 

Employees Must Wash Hands

Employees Must Wash Hands
Employees Must Wash Hands

Basics about Handwashing on YouTube

More Method Hand Soap Options

The Method brand hand soap cleans your hands safely and effectively without harsh chemicals.

The soap is made from naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients, including Vitamin E and aloe that are safe for your skin and the environment.

Beware of the Germs You Can't See

Beware of the Germs You Can't See
Beware of the Germs You Can't See

The Dangers of Not Washing Hands

Despite the proven health benefits of hand washing, many people don't practice this habit as often as they should - even after using the toilet. Throughout the day you accumulate germs on your hands from a variety of sources, such as direct contact with people, contaminated surfaces, foods, even animals and animal waste. If you don't wash your hands frequently enough, you can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth. And you can spread these germs to others by touching them or by touching surfaces that they also touch, such as doorknobs.

Infectious diseases that are commonly spread through hand-to-hand contact include the common cold, flu and several gastrointestinal disorders, such as infectious diarrhea. While most people will get over a cold, the flu can be much more serious. Some people with the flu, particularly older adults and people with chronic medical problems, can develop pneumonia. The combination of the flu and pneumonia, in fact, is the eighth-leading cause of death among Americans.

Inadequate hand hygiene also contributes to food-related illnesses, such as salmonella and E. coli infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 76 million Americans get a food-borne illness each year. Of these, about 5,000 die as a result of their illness. Others experience the annoying signs and symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Source: Mayo Clinic Staff. 2007. Hand washing: An easy way to prevent infection. MayoClinic.com

In 1847, one out of every six women who delivered a baby in the First Division at the Allgemeine Krankenhaus hospital in Vienna died of child bed fever; this situation was mirrored at other medical facilities in Europe and the U.S.

In the 1840s medicine was very different than today, no one knew anything about the germ theory.

At the time it was common practice for doctors to go straight from dissecting cadavers to delivering babies without washing their hands; the doctors and the medical students were infecting their own patients.

Ignac Semmelweis showed that deaths from puerperal fever (an infection following childbirth) at the Vienna Hospital could be reduced simply by making doctors and medical students wash their hands in a disinfectant solution before entering the maternity ward.

Image Source: Wikimedia. Ignaz Semmelweis Hand Washing Public Domain.

The Strange Story of Ignac Semmelweis

The Doctors' Plague: Germs, Childbed Fever, and the Strange Story of Ignac Semmelweis (Great Discoveries)
The Doctors' Plague: Germs, Childbed Fever, and the Strange Story of Ignac Semmelweis (Great Discoveries)

Read about the strange story of Ignac Semmelweis. It may inspire you to wash your hands.

Not recognized in his lifetime, Semmelweis's groundbreaking discovery of how childbed fever was transmitted was later validated by the work of Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister.

 

Wash Your Hands

Wash Your Hands
Wash Your Hands

CDC on Hand Washing - Video

Good Hand Hygiene Saves Lives

Good Hand Hygiene Saves Lives
Good Hand Hygiene Saves Lives

Hand Washing Timer Video Clip

See how the Intellitec Wash and Brush works in this video clip from Amazon.

Hand Washing Timers

Using a timer can make it easier to remember how long to wash your hands.

Washing Hands

Washing Hands
Washing Hands

Six Steps to Wash Your Hands on YouTube

Six Step Hand Washing Technique

This is the basis for a surgical scrub, except the time is longer.

  1. Roll up sleeves and wet hands with warm water.
  2. Using soap, not a hand sanitizer solution, work up a soapy lather that covers hands and forearms.
  3. Rub hands together for at least 20 seconds: make sure to wash palms, back of hands, between fingers, and forearms.
  4. Use a fingernail brush to clean under fingernails and between fingers.
  5. Rinse hands and forearms in warm water.
  6. Dry hands with single-use paper towels or cloth roller towel. Turn off the faucet with paper towels to prevent re-contamination of hands.

Use Your Elbow to Get Paper Towels

Use Your Elbow to Get Paper Towels
Use Your Elbow to Get Paper Towels

Hand washing is now a standard antiseptic technique used by

all surgeons in preparation for operations to prevent infections.

Surgical Handwashing Techniques

It is hard to imagine that there was a time when people didn't wash their hands before seeing patients.

Now hand washing is a required antiseptic technique used by all surgeons prior to operating to prevent infections.

Surgical hand washing techniques were the ones that I had to use when I was a medical student rotating through the surgery department and during my surgical intern year.

Surgical hand washing was the technique we had to use prior to entering the NICU to visit my daughter when she was hospitalized to prevent her from being exposed to any infections.

There are two methods of scrub procedure. One is a numbered stroke method, in which a certain number of brush strokes are designated for each finger, palm, back of hand, and arm. The second, a time method is described below.

How to Perform a Surgical Scrub

Infection Control Today Magazine published an article on the Surgical Scrub. In the timed scrub each scrub should last from three to five minutes, depending on facility protocol.

The procedure for the timed five minute scrub consists goes as follows:

  • Remove all jewelry (rings, watches, bracelets).
  • Wash hands and arms with anitmicrobial soap. Excessively hot water is harder on the skin, dries the skin, and is too uncomfortable to wash with for the recommended amount of time. However, because cold water prevents soap from lathering properly, soil and germs may not be washed away.
  • Clean subungual (under the nails) areas with a nail file.
  • Start timing. Scrub each side of each finger, between the fingers, and the back and front of the hand for two minutes.
  • Proceed to scrub the arms, keeping the hand higher than the arm at all times. This prevents bacteria-laden soap and water from contaminating the hand.
  • Wash each side of the arm to three inches above the elbow for one minute.
  • Repeat the process on the other hand and arm, keeping hands above elbows at all times. If the hand touches anything except the brush at any time, the scrub must be lengthened by one minute for the area that has been contaminated.
  • Rinse hands and arms by passing them through the water in one direction only, from fingertips to elbow. Do not move the arm back and forth through the water.
  • Proceed to the operating room suite holding hands above elbows.
  • Once in the operating room suite, hands and arms should be dried using a sterile towel and aseptic technique. You are now ready to don your gown and sterile gloves.

More Extensive Hand Washing Technique

More Extensive Hand Washing Technique
More Extensive Hand Washing Technique

Surgical Scrub Brush on Amazon

Surgical Scrub Brush, pack of 30
Surgical Scrub Brush, pack of 30

You can order surgical brushes if you want or need to be doing an extremely throughout hand washing, such as if you are caring for someone who is vulnerable to infections.

 
Image by Katherine
Image by Katherine

Teaching Children How to Wash Hands

Hand washing is a basic hygiene skill that should be taught to children by Parents and by Teachers. Hand washing includes washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Teaching good hand-washing techniques or hand hygiene can be a bit challenging since you have to teach children about invisible germs.

Fortunately there are a variety of great resources--books, products and Internet sites--to help make those germ more "visible" to children.

When done properly, the simple habit of hand washing becomes of the best ways to avoid getting sick.

Washing Hands by Katherine. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

Teaching Handwashing to Children & Squidoo Lensmasters on YouTube

How to Wash Your Hands Reviewed by Squidoo Lens Reviews

A special thanks to Mimi for her review of this lens in her blog.

Image Sources

Wash Your Hands - Wash Your Hands Posters. Minnesota Department of Health. Government Agency works in Public Domain.

Washing Hands - Tatiana. I Wash My Hands... Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

Use Your Elbow to Get Paper Towels - Philip Shannon. Use elbow to retrieve paper towels. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

Fun Things to Do with a SquidSoap Toy - Sharyn Morrow. Squid-ly hand. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.

Beware of the Germs You Can't See. Scotland's National Hand Hygiene Campaign. Wash Your Hands Often.

More on Hand Washing and Staying Healthy

Teaching Children About Germs
For children germs are invisible things that cause them to get sick. Remembering to do things like washing their hands or covering a cough may not come easil...

Pocket Hand Sanitizers
When traveling or even out and about on your daily routine, there may be many times when you encounter something that is less than clean and may be a potenti...

Cover Your Cough to Prevent the Spread of Germs
Serious respiratory illnesses like the H!N1 influenza (or Swine Flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough and severe acute respiratory syndrome...

Contagion - Be Watching for Germs
The viral thriller from director Steven Soderbergh will have most of us, in addition to the germophobes, reaching for the soap and hand sanitizer. Movie vie...

The 1918 Flu Pandemic or Spanish Flu
In 1918 much of the world was at war. The world would soon come under siege by something much smaller and deadlier than enemy forces. More people would die b...

How to Prevent Getting H1N1 Flu or Swine Flu
On June 10, 2009 the World Health Organization finally raised the level of concern about the H1N1 Flu to a level 6. H1N1 Flu has become the first 21st centur...

Ignaz Semmelweis
Ignaz Semmelweis was one of the first physicians to recognize the importance of Hand Washing prior to examining patients. Having spent so much time washing ...

Do you have any suggestions for what you've done to keep your hands clean?

Comments on How to Wash Your Hands

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    • HealthfulMD profile image
      Author

      Kirsti A. Dyer 3 years ago from Northern California

      @topclimb lm: Good reminder to clean the keyboard keys too.

    • topclimb lm profile image

      topclimb lm 3 years ago

      Love this lens. I am going to be sharing it with my kids. Now that I am done typing o the family computer... time to go wash my hands! Thanks for a great lens Doc...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very imformative Lens. Yes I agree I worked in care and I spent at least 5 minutes washing my hands, also using that anti bacterial stuff you get in hospitals helps but no too much, you have to wash your hands too don't ya. I see many people in the toilets either spend to less time, or don't bother and I think.. Yuk :) no offence to them but they will put there hands onto the door handle which I have to then touch when I have washed my hands so their germs have gone onto my clean hands!

    • HealthfulMD profile image
      Author

      Kirsti A. Dyer 4 years ago from Northern California

      @anonymous: Should carry stickers that say that to add to bathroom signs.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I always got a kick out of the signs in public restrooms that state that Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work. What I laugh about is that it really should continue with "And It Would Be Nice If Everyone Else Did It Too!"

    • HealthfulMD profile image
      Author

      Kirsti A. Dyer 4 years ago from Northern California

      @bwet: Very healthy habit to adopt.

    • bwet profile image

      bwet 4 years ago

      I think hand washing is so important whether or not you are in the hospital or somewhere else. Many diseases can be avoided by this simple habit

    • HealthfulMD profile image
      Author

      Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

      @jasminedessy: Keeping those kids hand clean helps to keep everyone in the house healthy too.

    • jasminedessy profile image

      jasminedessy 5 years ago

      I'll always teach my kids to wash their hands before activity

      Great Lens .... :)

      I like it & I love it

    • HealthfulMD profile image
      Author

      Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

      @MaggiePowell: Seems obvious to me too, but I think people are getting more relaxed about good hygiene. Of course children still need to be taught.

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 5 years ago

      Washing hands seems so obvious... I'm forever mystified that people need to be reminded... NOT washing seems so wrong.

    • profile image

      Terrie_Schultz 5 years ago

      Great lens! I'm glad to see none of the soaps you recommend are "antibacterial" and contain Triclosan. Using antibacterial soap is not any more effective than regular soap for preventing the spread of germs, and Triclosan is very harmful to people and the environment.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Another great solution to get in the habit of washing hands, is to use a hand wash timer. Its great for kids to get used to spending a decent amount of time washing hands.

    • HealthfulMD profile image
      Author

      Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

      @anonymous: Thank you for the suggestion. I added some hand washing timers to the lens.

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 5 years ago

      Handwashing is such a simple thing to do, and so important, yet so many people simply don't do it! More people should see this lens.

    • BraesideDisplays profile image

      Braeside Displays 5 years ago

      Great Lens! Very informative and encouraging.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Regularly cleaning the things we use most often like cell phones and doorknobs goes a long way to keeping our hands clean.

    • profile image

      helpmeetingneeds 5 years ago

      Thanks for this lens, my children do need to know how to wash their hads properly. Washing of hands is usually done in a rush.

    • profile image

      LilicMindfreak 5 years ago

      nice lens

    • profile image

      antoniow 5 years ago

      Great lens! great work!

    • Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 5 years ago

      Something we learn in school, but tend to take for granted after that. Thanks for the refresher course.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      I've heard that washing your hands with antibacterial soap too often makes the germs develop a resistance. I use warm water and keep bar soap around so I can just grab soap from there instead of contaminating a package handle such as if I'm handling raw meat.

    • profile image

      baby-strollers 5 years ago

      Nice refresher, I had sort of forgotten how long it really takes to properly wash my hands.

    • Daphsam LM profile image

      Daphsam LM 5 years ago

      Very, very informative information. One that we all need to review. Thank you!

    • profile image

      tojohnso 5 years ago

      Watch people in public restrooms, and you will see how few people really wash their hands after using toilets or urinals. Many just turn on the water, and twiddle their fingers under the stream; some just come out of the stall, and walk away. I saw one guy, after using the urinal, rip off a paper towel, wiped his hands on that, and then walk out. Checkout persons in stores routinely cough, or sneeze into their hands and continue to handle your stuff.

      I think following the rules you have listed about when to wash our hands, is a good way to stay safe from germs, and OCD. I hope everybody reads this lens. Thanks

    • profile image

      ojisan 5 years ago

      Very informative article. My family and I always wash our hands when in Hotels or motels. We carry sanitizing paper towels with us to clean the door handles and other surfaces that previous people touched. 10 minutes and we're done. We're not obsessive about it. Just due caution. Especially in flu season is washing hands important.

    • TheGourmetCoffe profile image

      TheGourmetCoffe 5 years ago

      Great points about basic hand hygiene to prevent illness and promote good health. Really liked your lens.

    • victoriuh profile image

      victoriuh 5 years ago

      Great lens! It drives me insane when people don't wash properly.

    • profile image

      hzwill 5 years ago

      Never thought about washing hands in these ways.

    • profile image

      MaartjeJepsen 5 years ago

      It looks so easy that majority do it wrong. LOL

    • profile image

      MBcandy 5 years ago

      I didn't know washing hands is such "technical" work till i read your lens, thanks for the useful advise. Wow seems i have to do something from now with my hands..for health.

    • profile image

      MBcandy 5 years ago

      I didn't know washing hands is such "technical" work till i read your lens, thanks for the useful advise. Wow seems i have to do something from now with my hands..for health.

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

      OUTFOXprevention1 5 years ago

      Yet another good lens by ComfortDoc! Good work!

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

      OUTFOXprevention1 5 years ago

      @girlfriendfactory: Good addition!

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 5 years ago

      Thanks for the advise, clean hands = health body :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Oh, this is absolutely so important. I usually manage to stay well throughout the year. And I attribute my good health to regular, but not obsessive, hand-washing. Great topic.

    • RickyDawn1 profile image

      RickyDawn1 5 years ago

      What a strange topic, but one that works very well! Great Lens

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      Seems like a simple thing to know how to do but this lens shows that it's actually not. Great lens! :)

    • TheFalconPress profile image

      The Falcon Press 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Thanks for creating this great lens - spreading the word about how important hand washing is to preventing cross-infection. Doctors in hospitals should particularly pay attention as the 2007 New Yorker article explains in "Annals of Medicine - The Checklist" ~ it's so simple to do yet so easily dismissed.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • profile image

      getopinion 5 years ago

      Educating lens, thanks!

      Need to wash my hands now!;)

    • profile image

      totalhealth 5 years ago

      very important topic to remember. thanks for the reminder that washing our hands is very important.

    • PastorCher profile image

      Pastor Cher 5 years ago from United States

      I don't use my hands to open the door after I've washed them in a public restroom. Where can you buy Squidsoap? You don't offer it here and I think it's a great idea.

    • heehaw lm profile image

      heehaw lm 5 years ago

      washing hand the proper way is very important, it is compulsory to use liquid soap to wash and clean our hands each day.

    • profile image

      sojourner-1 5 years ago

      I don't like opening the bathroom door in public places after I have washed my hands. It seems like I am entering the bathroom all over again. I think they should may it so the doors pull to go in and push to leave.

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Great lens! Thumbs up

    • LadyCharlie profile image

      LadyCharlie 5 years ago

      I work in food service so I definitely know how to wash my hand and appreciate your lens...best wishes for a great New Year!

    • newbizmau profile image

      Guided Abundance 5 years ago from Mobile, AL

      You know sometimes you just need a lesson. Wish more would read this.

    • profile image

      Ericastanciu 5 years ago

      Use a handwash that is primarily made of alcohol. It's better than regular soap

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 5 years ago

      Nice job and a good reminder to those who don't wash. Something to add to the bottom of the list after turning off the faucet with the paper towel if it doesn't turn off automatically is to also use it to open the door of the bathroom if you must touch it with your hands. One of the most contaminated places in the bathroom is the main door since so many people don't wash their hands. Personally, I don't use a public restroom unless it's an emergency. Another time I always wash my hands is after I pump gas and after I'm shopping at the grocery store (even though I sanitize the cart handle). :)

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Thank you for such an important lens. As a public health educator, I know this topic cannot be stressed enough. Many thanks. Liked.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 5 years ago

      I wash hands frequently and have wipes and hand sanitizer handy in my car.

    • davies86 profile image

      davies86 5 years ago

      very good information

    • profile image

      jeremykim2011 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing these tips. Now I know the proper way to wash my hands. Great lens!

    • profile image

      Africanos 5 years ago

      Nicely done.Personal hygiene is number 1 on my list.

    • SecondHandJoe LM profile image

      SecondHandJoe LM 5 years ago

      I learned something today! And who better to learn from the correct way to wash my hands, than a doctor. Before this, I did it more like Ed Norton on the Honeymooners!

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 5 years ago

      Awesome lens. I wash my hands pretty regularly and always wash after using the bathroom, and usually before and after meals. Nice info and videos, thanks for sharing!

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

      OUTFOXprevention1 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Love this comment!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      SO TRUE! I hate when people don't wash their hands, especially in healthcare settings because it can so easily spread things like Clostridium and it's SO EASY and quick to wash your hands properly!

      I like to carry soap around with me and I often have water in my car or a small bottle also. JUST in case! I prefer that to using hand sanitizer because it works better and overuse of antibacterials isn't a good thing. I also do anything I can to not have to touch anything in a public bathroom, like using paper towels to open the door if it doesn't kick open from the inside. I've seen many people leave a bathroom without washing their hands. I also like to wash the handles on the sink if there are any with soap and water in a public bathroom too before I wash my hands so when I turn the faucet off, I don't get germs on my hands again from the handles.

    • profile image

      MarkFashionista 6 years ago

      Very important! Thank for posting this lens.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Thank you - as usual you have such wonderful suggestions to keep healthy!

      (By the way, I really want one of those squid soup containers!)

    • Dee Gallemore profile image

      Dee Gallemore 6 years ago

      My parents driiled into us the importance of hand-washing and it has been second nature to my entire life. Thank you for thoroughly covering this important subject ... blessed!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Well done. Blessed by a SquidAngel:)

    • profile image

      mmanageprocedure 7 years ago

      Great lens. I agree with you. Washing hand before meal really good habit for health. Teach it your baby by showing.

      Thanks for sharing a health information.

    • profile image

      Implementmanag 7 years ago

      I am not a health guy but I agree with you to wash before every meal. You have well presented here The great way to wash hands.

      Thanks for the lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great lens, I work in a hospital and know the importence of good hand washing. 5*

      Cheers,

      Debra

    • profile image

      AcneFreeForLife 7 years ago

      Awesome lens! I wash my hands so often and encourage my family members to do the same. I can honestly say I haven't been sick in over 5 years and can contribute that to washing my hands frequently :)

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 8 years ago

      Fantastic lens! Love your tip about singing Happy Birthday twice while rubbing your hands together .... as a kid, I learned to sing the abc song which I guess would be the equivalent timer. 5*!

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 8 years ago from USA

      Perfectly Informative. 5* a LensRoll

    • TwinsMama LM profile image

      TwinsMama LM 8 years ago

      Great information! I lensrolled you to my hand sanitizer lens. Thank you for sharing such helpful information.

    • profile image

      mae777 8 years ago

      Great article and wonderful information that you have shared with us all. It is always important not just once but for a lifetime.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      This is sooo very important right now!

    • The Eclectic Muse profile image

      The Eclectic Muse 8 years ago

      This is very important information and should be taken seriously. I'm featuring this lens on my about Swine Flu.

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 8 years ago

      We're so glad you did this lens. It is needed and so much great detail. Very good lens.

    • Snozzle profile image

      Snozzle 8 years ago

      I guess hand washing is something we do automatically depending on how we were brought up. Here in the UK a form of hand washing has now been introduced to all hospitals for visitors when they arrive and when they leave. A simple step that has made a big difference.

      Mike.

    • GiftsByDiana profile image

      Diana Burrell-Shipton 8 years ago from Hubbard, Ohio, USA

      If only EVERYONE followed this !

      It is appalling how many times I see folks use the bathroom and leave without washing up.

      NASTY !

      Thank you for your efforts to teach others.

      Organically Yours,

      Diana

    • Arananthi LM profile image

      Arananthi LM 8 years ago

      5*4U

    • profile image

      site-builder 8 years ago

      A most informative lens that is right up there with watching the food that we eat

      I have learned a lot from this great lens. Thank you for creating it.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      We've been following your advice and have reduced the number of colds in our house compared to last year. Thank you for the advice.

      Lensrolled to Tooth Brushing and Natural Bathroom lenses.

    • WritingforYourW profile image

      WritingforYourW 8 years ago

      Heh, if I washed my hands every time I touched an animal, my dogs and I would have to live in the sink. :P

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      I had to learn this in CNA, HHA, RNA class. We were tested on our state exam by actually washing our hands. Knowing what I learned I always wash my hands the way we were taught and use aseptic techniques.

    • Khalid-Osman profile image

      Khalid-Osman 8 years ago

      Hey, this is a mad lens;-) I liked it, as I am always concerned about telling my family and friends to wash their hands many times a day after this and that. Thanks for the complete information.

    • Khalid-Osman profile image

      Khalid-Osman 8 years ago

      Hey, this is a mad lens;-) I liked it, as I am always concerned about telling my family and friends to wash their hands many times a day after this and before that. Thanks for the complete information.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 9 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      I can't believe the amount of information you've gathered in one place about handwashing. Well done. I'd like add, if you use a public washroom to wash your hands bear in mind that the last person to use the door handle on the way out may not have washed their hands. So use your paper towel or jacket sleeve to open the door.

    • HealthfulMD profile image
      Author

      Kirsti A. Dyer 9 years ago from Northern California

      Spirituality

      Thanks for catching the typo. Sometiems (see) my fingers get flying and I get in a few typos.

      I have spell checking in the text part of the modules (part of Firefox), but not the Titles (unless I remember to check the words in the text first). I left the typo in above on purpose.

      Perhaps something else to add to the Squidoo wish list.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 9 years ago

      great lens. just noting a spelling mistake though: Oragnic soap... (you can delete this comment if you wish)

    • profile image

      CleanerLife 9 years ago

      Great Lens!

      Thanks for including Nature's Gate soaps. I have bad reactions to some of the ingredients found in many commercial soaps, but I'm happy to say I've never had a problem with Nature's Gate. A quality alternative for anyone else who may have problems like me :)

    • profile image

      bethbar 9 years ago

      Awesome site! As an oncology nurse with immunocompromised patients, it can never be said too much! I think so many people disregard the importance of such a basic step in stopping the spread of diseases.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 9 years ago

      Bringing awareness is key...you have unlocked it with this spectacular lens! Thank you for sharing your expertise.

    • profile image

      herbie66 9 years ago

      Welcome to the 'Pregnancy and Baby' Group

      ( http://www.squidoo.com/groups/pregnancy-baby )

      5 stars for your great lens!