Especially for the cold and flu season: how to wash your hands properly

June 13, 2018

I read that properly washing one’s hands can reduce your chance of catching a cold by 45%, and as I’ve written on this blog before, I once asked my GP what I could do to prevent getting sick. His words? “Wash your hands”.

So, since it is the season of colds and flu, I thought I’d publish some handwashing tips to help prevent the spread of germs. Also, nothing is stopping you from carrying waterless cleanser around to keep hands clean on the go. I’m not obsessive, but after touching escalators and the slot and coins of the parking ticket machine, I’m often reaching for the sanitiser.

Tanya Kovarsky mommy blogger south africa

Here are Dettol’s guidelines for when to wash:

  • Before handling food or eating.
  • Before preparing a baby’s feed or handling sterilised equipment.
  • Before applying contact lenses.
  • Immediately after handling raw foods, such as poultry.
  • After visiting the toilet or changing a nappy.
  • After touching animals or their toys or equipment.
  • After contact with blood or body fluids (like vomit, nasal secretions, saliva).
  • After touching a contaminated area (e.g. cleaning cloth, drain, soil).
  • Before and after dressing a wound, or giving medicine
  • More often when someone in your home is sick.
  • Whenever hands look dirty.

It’s all very well knowing when, but *how* does one wash for maximum effect? Dettol offers these tips:

  • Wet your hands with warm water and apply a small amount of liquid soap.
  • Rub your palms together vigorously (away from the water) to make a lather.
  • Rub every part of your hands including the backs of your hands, your thumbs, between your fingers, and under and around your nails.
  • Continue for at least 20 seconds. It takes that long for the soap and scrubbing action to dislodge and remove the germs.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands thoroughly using a clean dry towel.
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