When should you wash your hands?

When should you wash your hands? Five times or more is the recommended number. Read on to know why.

Did you know that you carry germs on your skin? Don’t worry, most of them are harmless and your skin traps them from the atmosphere. But there are some germs that are harmful and may cause ailments such as cold, cough and fever. Interestingly, the germs causing these ailments are transmitted via contact with contaminated surfaces. And they are easily spread around by people’s hands, which they then advertently touch to their own faces and eyes and then fall ill.

You cannot help touching surfaces that are shared by many people – door knobs, telephone receivers, elevators buttons, staircase bannisters and computer keyboards. These are often unclean and carry a host of germs. So the next best thing to do is to keep your hands as clean as possible.

Washing your hands often will keep them clean and free of disease-causing germs. Did you know that you can wash your hands a few different ways? Consider these hand washing types:

With soap and water. This is the best way to wash your hands and get them clean in a jiffy. Run your hands under clean water and pour a bar of Dettol Antibacterial bar soap on your palms. Rub your hands together for a full minute and work up a lather. Rinse off with water and wipe with a clean cloth. It is recommended that you use soap at least twice a day when washing your hands.

With hand sanitiser. Though this method does not use water, it is technically a hand washing type because it rids the hands of surface germs and disease-causing bacteria. Use a dollop of Dettol Hand Sanitiser on your hands after a meal, or after touching a contaminated surface, or simply to keep the hands clean during the day. Sanitisers are quite effective in killing 99.99% germs and keeping the hands clean.

With hot water. Hot water kills germs, so it is better to soak your hands in hot water for about a minute in flu and cold season. Many disease-causing germs are notoriously hardy, so it is better to kill them before you inadvertently spread them to others. Make sure that the water is of higher temperature than luke-warm but not hot enough that you end up burning yourself.

You must also wash your hands before and after you do certain tasks. The hand washing type you use depends on the activity your hands were involved in. For instance, washing hands with water and soap is necessary before chopping vegetables, cooking, preparing a baby’s formula, treating wounds, wearing contact lenses, etc. It is also necessary after using the toilet, returning home from outside, eating a meal with your hands, etc. You must use hand sanitiser when you have no access to water and soap, when you are away from home. When you shake hands with a person suffering from a cold, or even with a person who doesn’t or when you use public transport. A hot water wash is necessary when you are ill or when you touch a person who is ill, or when you have been working with soil or raw meat, or when you have just finished cleaning the kitchen and toilet, etc.