Proper Hand Washing Technique

Proper Hand Washing Technique

Whether you work in food service, long-term care, healthcare or somewhere else that requires a safe, germ-free environment, you spend quite a bit of money every year on keeping your patrons safe. However, one of the easiest and most important ways to keep your facility safe is right under your nose: hand washing.

Hand washing with the proper technique and at the correct times significantly cuts back on the risk of spreading any viruses or bacteria. No amount of cleaning or safety procedures matter if your employees are spreading germs around anyway.

How to Do It

To wash your hands correctly, you’re going to need running water and soap.

Squirt at least a dime size amount of soap in your palm, and rub your hands together thoroughly, making sure to get the front and back of your hands, along with in between the fingers and under the fingernails. You may want to wash up to your elbow for a more extensive clean.

Make sure to rub the soap over your skin for at least 20 seconds. You can hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice to easily time yourself.

After you’re finished scrubbing your hands and arms, it’s time to rinse off the soap with warm running water.

Once you’ve washed all the soap off your hands and arms, dry off with a paper towel or a clean cloth towel.

When to Do It

Simply put, it’s best to wash your hands before touching something clean/something you want to stay clean and you should wash your hands after handling or touching something that is dirty or may have bacteria on it.

If you’re in food service, you would always want to wash your hands after working with raw meat or cleaning the toilets. As a healthcare worker, you’d want to wash your hands before meeting with each new patient.

The Facts

You may think you’re washing your hands an appropriate number of times, but it turns out that even healthcare providers only are washing their hands half as many times as they’re supposed to. One in 25 hospital patients has a healthcare-related infection, many of which could be avoided with proper hand washing.

It is also widely believed that anti-bacterial soap is superior to hand soap, but recent studies have shown that they keep people equally as healthy, though antibacterial soap aids in the mutation of bacteria. This can lead to the creation of “superbugs.” So stick with regular hand soap  for your best, safest clean.



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