Q. Do I need to use soap when washing my hands, or is just using water as effective?
A. You definitely need to use soap when washing your hands to remove the dirt and germs. If there is no soap available to you, then just using water is better than not washing at all, but for the best results you should wash with water and soap.
Q. When are the most important times to wash your hands?
A. Wash your hands often! You should definitely wash them after changing a changing your child’s diaper, when you go to the bathroom or before preparing or eating food for yourself or your family.
Listen to The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)! They recommend that you should also wash your hands after you touch an animal or pet food, or garbage. And like your mom always said, wash your hands after you cough or sneeze to avoid spreading your germs!
Q. Is there a “right” way to wash your hands?
A. Yes, there is! FIrst of all, make sure to use soap and running water. Wet your hands completely, and then spread soap all over your hands and make sure to scrub the soap all over, including the palms of your hand, the back, under your nails, and in between your fingers. Sing “Happy Birthday” twice while you scrub your hands together. People say that you should scrub for at least 20 seconds, which is how long it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Then rinse off your hands, and use a clean towel to dry your hands.
Q. What water temperature is the best to use to wash my hands?
A. It is a good idea to use warm water to wash your hands. This is especially important when you are preparing food.
Q. Can I use hand sanitizer instead of washing my hands with soap?
If you don’t have access to soap and water, you can use hand sanitizer in a pinch. However, in order to remove dirt, it is always better to wash your hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizers do not get rid of dirt.
Q. Is bar soap the same as using liquid hand soap?
Many people wonder if using a bar of soap works the same as using liquid soap. In fact, there have been studies that found that bar soaps used by multiple people have more potentially harmful microbes than liquid hand soaps. Think of all the people using the same bar of soap, and how germs can be spread that way.
When many people use the same bar of soap, water can’t eliminate all of the bacteria, and so some bacteria stays on the soap when they are done. While some bacteria will be washed off when the bar is rinsed, it will not eliminate all of the bacteria. Of course, using a bar of soap in your home is less of an issue than using a bar of soap in a public place, where many more people are sharing the same bar of soap, and spreading more germs.
Liquid hand soap is generally the better option to use. In fact, the CDC recommends that consumers use liquid hand soap to reduce the risk of spreading germs. However, if you continually refill the same soap dispenser, that can also spread germs. So, make sure to throw away the container when you have finished the liquid soap.
While some people think that the combination of liquid and bar soap is the best way to wash your hands, the CDC does not agree, and does not see any additional benefits to consumers by using both types of soap in washing their hands.