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How often should I wash my hands?

With increasing amounts of bacteria and new bacteria forming due to overpopulation, hand sanitizers are really handy. Yes, there was a time, where we didn’t have to worry about these sorts of things.

We washed our hands after using the restroom, before cooking, and generally throughout the day when coming into contact with something messy but now washing hands are crucial. It can mean breakouts of sickness in a restaurant, food poisoning, or skin reactions. Over the last 30 years travel has drastically increased allowing bacteria to attach itself everywhere without borders. Ever visit a zoo? Some zoos warn visitors to thoroughly wash their hands when visiting due to the increasing outbreaks of ecoli.

Even if you have been to certain countries, the airport will warn travelers to identify sick people and wash hands thoroughly. I remembered two years ago traveling from Europe back to Los Angeles and seeing signs warning travelers in the airport of MERS. Now has never been a better time to practice good hygiene. Our habits of hand washing could save someone from hospitalization. If any of you are mums and dads, you know how easily you and your children get flus. Children share objects, especially toys at school and daycare. They bring bacteria home resulting in different variations of flus.

How often should we wash our hands?

According to my research, there is no number of how many times we should wash our hands. Instead, you should follow these simple guidelines.

Wash hands

  • After leaving the bathroom
  • Before and after eating
  • Before you prepare any meals
  • After you prepare the meal
  • When handling raw meats and fish
  • After you come in contact with your nose
  • After coughing
  • When you enter your home

Did you know up to 80% of sicknesses are transferred from hand contact? For example flu and stomach flu. These kinds of bacteria need to enter into the mouth, nose, and eyes in order to transfer the bacteria to the new host and it all spreads from hand contact. Studies have shown that washing the hands decreases the likelihood of getting diarrhea by 50%.

Men wash their hands less often than women

A study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine with 250,000 visitors to a rest station bathroom. The results: not even one out of 3 men washed their hands and used soap and water.

How long should you wash your hands? Experts say 20-30 seconds of vigorous hand washing with soap should do it. Attention should be paid especially to fingertips and thumbs. These two are easily forgotten to clean thoroughly.

Kitchen and Bathroom bacteria

You might be surprised but the bathroom is less harmful than the kitchen. According to research the kitchen has 30,000 germs compared to the bathroom which has up to 300.

Door handles beware

Door handles are the worst spot for germs. If the person before you did not wash their hands, this bacteria now waits for a carrier to spread it further. A great habit, is to wash the handles of your doors on a weekly basis. Flush levers or flush handles on a toilet can also be infested with bacteria. Make sure to pay more attention to this part when cleaning. On flush levers are often found bacteria for stomach flus.

Get your employees or family members to wash their hands more frequently

Try putting a sign up saying 4 out of 5 men women or children wash their hands. This will have a positive effect upon the potential hand washers. A U.S University did this study using the mens restroom and the handwashers increased from 77 to 86 percent. That’s amazing!

If you cannot wash your hands immediately, use a hand sanitizer.

Hand sanitizers kill unwanted bacteria as well as good bacteria. But its better to rid any harmful bacteria before it reaches a way into your body. Most hand sanitizers dry out skin and use ethanol as the active ingredient. If you are like me, you use hand sanitizers as soon as you see them available; in the shopping market, the pet shop, the airport, postal office, or doctors office. The fact that a hand sanitizer is present for you to use indicates there are potentially more germs in the environment and its a good idea to partake in this common understanding and use the hand sanitizer in front of you.