Global Handwashing Day 2018
Handwashing is such a simple task, that we’re taught as youngsters and is a crucial step in helping to prevent the spread of colds, flu, bacteria and diseases.
Yet so many of us either aren’t washing our hands properly or even worse aren’t bothering to wash them at all after using a washroom.
That’s where Global Handwashing Day 2018 comes into play - reminding you and your family the importance of washing your hands.
This year their theme focuses on the link between handwashing and food, whether you’re handling food, or preparing it to cook and eat.
You can view their infographic here, on how and what to do when handling food and reduce the chance of spreading germs and bacteria such as Salmonella.
Handwashing the facts*
We all know how germs easily spread via our hands, but do you know exactly just how quickly they spread with our own hands?
- A 1000 resident bacteria can be found on each centimetre squared of your hands
- Damp hands can spread bacteria more than 1000 times than dry hands do
- Office worker hands can come into contact with 10 million bacteria every day
- Bacteria can stay alive on hands for up to 3 hours and grow best at 37?, which is coincidentally our typical day to day body temperature
- Contaminated hands transfer viruses to many different surfaces and objects, in fact, bacteria can multiply rapidly, doubling in size every 20 minutes
So what can be done to help improve the chances of more people taking responsibility and washing their hands?
Well, there are many avenues to take advantage of, the first being simple; to learn how and when to clean one’s hands thoroughly. This will significantly help reduce the chance of germs being transferred around.
Secondly, in public washroom or workplace washroom signs could be displayed to remind people to wash their hands, with pictures showing how to wash hands effectively.
By providing the public, and staff with modern, clean washrooms that are easy to use, will also increase the likelihood of the user washing their hands. If they’re using a dirty and out of date washroom, they’ll be less enthused to clean their hands.
When should you wash your hands?
Typically, hands should be washed throughout the day to remove germs anyway, but there are certain times when you should without a doubt wash your hands, or if no sink and soap are available, to use an antibacterial gel.
These specific times include:
- Before, during and after preparing food
- Before you eat
- When you look after someone, who is sick, washing your hands both before and after you have been in contact with them
- When treating a cut or wound, hands should be washed before and after
- When you have used the toilet or changed a nappy on a child
- If you sneeze, cough or blow your nose, wash your hands to stop the spreading of these germs to other surfaces and people
- You should also wash your hands when you have finished petting and feeding an animal, and also when you have finished removing animal waste
What is the best way to dry your hands?
So we know when to wash our hands but what is the best way to dry your hands and prevent the increased chance of germs spreading?
As the statistic above explains, wet hands transfer germs 1000 times more than dry hands so how should we be drying our hands?
Paper towels, towels, cloth roller towels, hot air hand dryers, blade dryers?
There has been much discussion as to whether hand dryers are better than paper towels, which has consequently lead to many advantages and disadvantages to being noted.
Paper towels are used across the world in public washrooms and are one of the most effective drying devices. You grab a few paper towels, dry your hands and dispose of them in the bin provided.
It’s a quick and easy method of drying your hands and removes any bacteria off your hands. However, this bacteria will lye and mix with other bacteria in the bin, creating a haven for bacteria to increase and spread.
The bin should be changed regularly throughout the day, to remove the chance of users coming into contact with the bacteria.
The other issue with paper towels is, of course, the environmental effect it has. Not only are trees cut down to create them but they aren’t typically recycled either.
Hot air hand dryers
These are the dryers that tend to blow hot hair in the hope that it will heat the water on the hands, so it evaporates.
The power of the drier doesn’t always feel as though it is doing much, and you can spend a long time waiting for your hands to dry - forty-five seconds to be precise.
Blade hand dryers and high-speed hand dryers
Blade and high-speed hand dryers are the latest innovation that is extremely popular for drying hands.
Not only do they dry hands in under ten seconds, thanks to their power and ability to quickly heat up, but they also are the best for the environment too, using less energy and lowering both their and your carbon footprint.
There has been some negativity surrounding these types of hand dryers suggesting that they expel the bacteria into the air, but there is yet to be any conclusive, concrete evidence of this.
Cleanliness of the sink
To help stop the spread of germs when washing hands, the sink and tap area needs to be cleaned often throughout the day, especially when they are in a public washroom.
There is a new kind of tap and soap dispensers too, which helps to minimise the spread of germs - a sensor tap. You simply place your hands underneath the tap/soap dispenser, it senses your hand and allows water/soap to flow.
When you are busy washing your hands the tap will stop running water until you place your hands back underneath the sensor. This not only prevents you from touching both the soap dispenser and tap, further picking up and transporting bacteria, but it also helps the environment by reducing water waste.
So if you’re thinking of updating your washrooms, whether that’s for your office, shopping centre, leisure centre or sports club, why not have a look at what Interfix can do for you? Interfix can help you tackle down on the spread of bacteria and increase your users' chances of handwashing, with our innovative and user friendly designs.
*Facts courtesy of www.www.initial.co.uk