5th of May marks International Hand-hygiene Day. On this very day, you should put your hands under the microscope and you would be amazed by how dirty your hands really are! In fact, did you know that up to 80% of all infectious diseases are transmitted by your hands since our hands are in direct contact with bacteria on a daily basis?
With these 6 Helpling tips, find out how you can keep your hands hygienically clean.
Wash your hands: More is more
When washing your hands, just like kids are taught in school, follow the 30 seconds rule. The longer you wash your hands, the better. Use this time to reflect about your weekend, think about holiday plans! We were surprised to find out that only a small percentage of people actually stick to that 30 seconds rule, and the average washing time is approximately 5 seconds.
It is not only the duration, but the thoroughness that reduces the bacterial colonization to almost 0%. Focus on your palms, fingertips, back of the hands and spaces in between your fingers – your hand is larger than you think.
Dry your hands properly
Done with the soaping, 30 seconds scrubbing and rinsing? Quite so often, we miss out on the final and very important step, which is drying your hands! The drying of your hands is more important than you think. This is because bacteria spreads 500 times quicker on wet surfaces than on dry surfaces. Simply dry your hands with a dry hand towel or even disposable paper towel.
With that being said, ensure that your hand towels are not damp as it creates an attractive environment for bacteria to manifest in. A tip would be to keep a spare hand towel in the drawers close to the sink and replace them as often as possible.
Everyday germ-trapping items
Did you know that your keyboard can accommodate up to 400 times as many germs as a toilet seat? Many items that we use on a daily basis, such as your remote control or light switch, are often overlooked when cleaning! This leads to viruses lasting from 24 hours to as long as several weeks! Disinfect your surfaces regularly and make sure that you wash your hands regularly.
The top 3 germ traps are:
- smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices
- remote controls
- door handles and light switches
For more tips on how to clean your electronic devices read here.
We are certain many of you have been through this stinky situation where your hands start smelling like fish after cooking a meal, ruining our appetite. In such cases, the 30 seconds washing rule does not help. Do not worry, you do not have to stay away from fish, onions and garlic. Instead, try using a salt scrub! The salt removes the garlic and onion odours almost instantly.
Replace your gloves
We all know that gloves are used to protect our hands from bacteria. But instead of keeping our hands germ-free, they have the potential to do the opposite if they are not taken proper care of. Always make sure that your gloves are clean and dry after use and replace them at least twice a month. Place them for 10-15 minutes in a bucket of hot water with two teaspoons of vinegar and a little detergent and rinse well.
Unless otherwise stated on the package, you can clean the rubber gloves at 40 degrees in the washing machine. The last and most important step when it comes to keeping your gloves clean and germ-free, is to hang your freshly rinsed gloves to dry.
Can’t leave your house without your handbag?
Our handbag is not only our best companion, but also a nest for bacteria. Did you know that 30% of the bacteria present in our handbags contain bacteria? As women involve their hands in a lot more things as well as bags, it is no wonder a woman’s hand generally attract more germs. It is important to wash your hands and wipe your handbags regularly. Hand sanitisers are a good and fast solution to counter these sneaky bacteria. However, even though this helps get rid of most germs, diseases and harmful bacteria, it is not as effective as the 30 seconds hand washing rule.