Hand Washing Facts
We’ve put together some of the most important Hand Washing Facts. With the uncertainty around COVID-19, sometimes it’s easy to lose sigh of the simple things we can do to protect ourselves and those around us. We’ll start with the easiest of them all, washing our hands correctly and the positive impact this can have.
- Women wash their hands significantly more often, use soap more often and wash longer than men.
- An undercover study has proven that only 5% of people wash their hands correctly.
- Researchers in London estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, a million deaths a year could be prevented.
- Sanitisers are less effective than soap and water because people may not use enough or may wipe it off before it has dried.
- Soap and Water are more effective than hand sanitisers at removing certain kinds of germs.
- Hand-washing reminder signs increase frequency and length of hand-washing.
- 7% of women and 15% of men do NOT wash their hands at all after using the bathroom.
- Using soap and water to wash hands is more effective than water alone because the surfactants in soap lift soil and microbes from the skin.
- Hand-washing does not protect people from diseases such as chicken-pox, measles, influenza, tuberculosis or mumps. These are all passed through the air, by sneezing, coughing or laughing.
Remember to wash your hands:
- After coughing or sneezing.
- Caring for the sick.
- Before & After you prepare food.
- Before eating
- After toilet use.
- When hands are visibly dirty.
- After touching cuts, blisters or any open sores.
- You can use Alcohol hand rub if hands are not visibly dirty.
See below for an illustration on the technique we should all be trying to follow whilst washing our hands.
Here are some useful guides from the HSE.ie website on how we can protect ourselves and others from COVID-19.