Everything you need to know about handwashing to protect you from Coronavirus

Keeping our hands clean is one of the most important steps that we can take to avoid getting sick and transmit the pathogen to others. Many infectious diseases are officially spread by not washing hands with soap and clean water under running water. CDC recommends cleaning your hands in instructed ways to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.

1. Routine handwashing steps

To eliminate all the viability of the virus on your hands, washing your hands for a short time or through tangerines does not help you. Below is a step-by-step handwashing procedure to perform handwashing effectively.

  • Step 1: Wet your hands with running water
  • Step 2: Get enough soap to rub all over the surfaces of your hands
  • Step 3: Rub all surfaces of the hand – including the back of the hand, between the fingers and under the nails (fingertips) – for at least 20 seconds.
  • Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water
  • Step 5: Dry your hands with a clean towel or disposable towel, or hand dryer.

Note when washing your baby's hands

The routine handwashing procedure has 5 steps

2. Why wash your hands 5 steps?

Step 1+2: Wet your hands with clean, warm (warm or cold) water, turn off the tap, then apply soap.

Since hands can be contaminated if placed in a water pot that has been contaminated through a previous use, we should use clean water. However, washing with water that cannot be drunk directly when necessary still gives a part of the effect of protecting you. The temperature of the water does not affect the elimination of bacteria. However, warmer water can cause more skin irritation and more affect the environment.

Turning off the hose after weting your hands saves water. There has been a small number of data proving that pathogens can be transmitted through hand-to-tap contact.

Using soap for handwashing is more effective than using only clean water because surface active substances in soap can remove soil and bacteria from the skin, and people also tend to rub their hands more thoroughly when using soap, which better eliminates germs.

Step 3: Clean your hands by rubbing them together with soap:

Make sure you rub your hands with soap in the back areas of your hands, between your fingers and fingertips, under your fingernails.

Rubbing and rubbing your hands creates friction, which removes dirt, grease and bacteria from the skin. Bacteria are present on all surfaces of the hands, often with a particularly high concentration under the nails, so the entire hand should be rubbed clean.

Rub your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you need a convenient tool to measure time. Sing "Happy Birthday" from start to finish twice. Surgeons are more likely to come into contact with the pathogen and have a high risk of infecting patients who are considered vulnerable, so they may need to wash their hands longer than the female subject before she prepares lunch at home for her family. However, evidence suggests that washing hands for about 15-30 seconds removes more germs from the hands than washing in less time.

wash your hands often

Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds

Step 4: Rinse your hands under clean water.

Soap and scrubs help remove dirt, grease and bacteria, including pathogenic germs from the skin so they can be washed away from their hands. Washing soap also minimizes skin irritation. Because hands can be reinfected if washed in a basin of contaminated standing water through a previous use. Therefore, it is recommended to use clean water to wash hands. Some recommendations are to use paper towels to turn off the tap after handwashing, this practice leads to increased use of water and paper towels, and no studies have shown it to be more effective.

Step 5: Dry your hands with a clean towel or dry them

Germs can be moved from wet hands more easily than dry hands; therefore, it is recommended to dry the hands after washing. However, the best way to dry your hands after handwashing remains unclear as there is little research on ways to dry hands and the results of these studies contradict. However, studies show that using clean towels or hand dryers is best

3. When is the time to wash your hands?

In the context of COVID-19 prevention, you should be sure to wash your hands at the following times:

  • After sneezing, coughing, or sneezing
  • After visiting a public space, join public transportation, markets and religious places, worship
  • After touching non-indoors (external) surfaces, including money
  • Before, during and after caring for a sick person
  • Before and after eating

In general, you should always wash your hands at the following times:

  • After going to the bathroom
  • Before and after eating
  • After garbage disposal
  • After touching animals and pets
  • After changing a baby's diaper or helping them use the toilet
  • When your hands are dirty


Hands should be washed before and after eating

4. How can I help my child wash their hands?

You can guide your child to wash their own hands and make handwashing easier, for example, by setting up a high chair so that they can access water and soap on their own when washing their hands. You can get your child excited by singing their favorite songs while you help them rub their hands.

5. Do I need warm water to wash my hands?

No, you can use any temperature of water to wash your hands. Cold water and warm water are equally effective in killing germs and viruses – as long as you use soap! However, hot water can make your hands dryer.

6. What better way: wash your hands or use hand sanitizer?

In general, both washing hands with soap and water and using a quick hand sanitizer, when properly practiced / used, are highly effective in destroying most pathogens. Hand sanitizer is usually more convenient when you are outside the home, but can be expensive or scarce in an emergency context. In addition, alcohol-containing hand sanitizer kills the coronavirus, but it does not kill all kinds of bacteria and viruses. For example, it is relatively ineffective against norovirus and rotavirus.

How does dry hand sanitizer work?

Fast disinfectants are convenient when you're outside your home

7. What if I don't have soap?

Using chlorine disinfectant or quick hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol are the best second options if you don't have soap and running water. In case these are not available, using laundry soapy water can help get rid of bacteria, although not as effective. If these methods are used, it is important to wash your hands as soon as possible when you have access to handwashing devices and avoid contact with people and surface items while there are no conditions for handwashing.

8. How can I help prevent the spread of coronavirus?

  • Practice cough and sneeze protections: Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or paper towel when coughing or sneezing, dispose of used paper towels immediately, and wash your hands
  • Avoid touching your face (mouth, nose, eyes)
  • Social distancing practice: avoid swaying, hugging, or kissing others, sharing food, belongings, mugs, and towels
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu symptoms
  • Go to a medical facility early if you or your child has a fever, cough, or shortness of breath
  • Clean surfaces of items that are likely to contain viruses and practice them more often (especially in public spaces)

Source: unicef.or; cdc.gov; nhs.uk


  • Should children use hand sanitizer or soap?
  • Guidance on handwashing steps according to the standards of the Ministry of Health
  • What happens when you don't wash your hands?

About: Minh Quynh

b1ffdb54307529964874ff53a5c5de33?s=90&d=identicon&r=gI am the author of Share99.net. I had been working in Vinmec International General Hospital for over 10 years. I dedicate my passion on every post in this site.


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