Health Female Adda
1 year ago
There's a Right Way to Wash Your Handsâ€"and You're Probably Not Doing It

You know that washing your hands is super important in the war against germs. But it turns out that getting your clean on isn’t as simple as sudsing for a few secs at the sink. 

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In fact, according to new research published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the most effective way to wash your hands is a veeery specific six-step process that takes about 43 seconds from start to finish:

  1. Rub your hands together palm to palm.
  2. Rub your right hand over your left and clean between your fingers. Switch.
  3. Put your hands palm to palm, interlace your fingers, and rub.
  4. Interlock your fingers again, but this time with the backs of your fingers touching the other hand's palm and rub.
  5. Wrap one hand around the opposite hand’s thumb and rub. Switch.
  6. Rub the fingers of one hand in the palm of the other. Reverse. 

How exactly did experts come to this conclusion? To test the effectiveness of hand-washing techniques, researchers had one group of nurses and doctors in a UK hospital wash their hands with a three-step method using alcohol-based hand sanitizer. A second group used soap and water and followed the six-step recommendation issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). The researchers then tested both groups for residual bacteria on their hands and found that the docs who used the six-step soap and water method came out cleaner after an interaction with a patient.

The WHO also created a visual graphic that goes into even more detail than the six steps outlined in the study:

how to wash hands infographic
Image courtesy of World Health Organization

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So the next time you head to the sink, you might want to pay a little more attention to your scrubbing technique.

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