I’m not if you have asked yourself the same question in the last couple of weeks, but here it goes. With all this talk about the need to wash our hands, have people not been washing their hands all this time? If we have had to remind everyone to wash their hands with the pandemic, have they not been washing their hands on a regular basis?
Something that I learned as a child, was to wash my hands. After working in the garden or handling raw meat, there is nothing better than the feel of clean hands. Although using hand sanitizer while out and about, why is washing our hands the best solution for staying virus-free?
Why is washing your hands important?
Germs that cause diseases like Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus that cause diarrhea can be found on your hands at various times during the day. The same germs can spread some respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease. These kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the toilet, but also in less obvious ways, like after handling raw meats that have invisible amounts of animal poop on them.
A single gram of human feces—which is about the weight of a paper clip—can contain one trillion germs 1. Germs can also get onto hands if people touch any object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it or was touched by some other contaminated object. When these germs get onto hands and are not washed off, they can be passed from person to person and make people sick.
Washing your hands with soap removes germs from your hands and prevents infections. People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. The germs enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth and make us sick.
Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick. Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.
How does washing your hands work?
Soap is a salt derived from an oil or fat and it has a unique chemical structure. The soap molecule acts as a double-agent. The salty end is attracted to water, while the fatty tail is attracted to the dirt or oil.
When you wash your hands with soap, it dislodges the dirt, grease, oils, and disease-ridden particles on your hands by creating micelles. Surrounded by the soap, the oil molecules become suspended and distributed in the water rather than stubbornly clinging to your skin. This allows the dirt and germs on your skin—or on clothing, surfaces, or towels—to be rinsed away with the water.
Germs are transmitted through contact. The more surfaces or things that are touched with dirty hands, the greater the chance for germ and virus transmission. Using an automatic hand soap dispenser allows you to easily get the right amount of soap on your hands without touching anything. These dispensers use infrared sensors to sense that your hand is within the area to receive the soap. They come in various sizes and designs. My favorite is the stainless steel options that match my kitchen appliances.
Foaming or Liquid Soap
There is no major difference in the effectiveness of the soap and its properties. The soap used is based on your personal preference and the dispenser. The liquid soaps can have shea butter added to them to leave your hands soft and nourished. All-Natural soaps with essential oils for scenting are wonderful for the cleaning properties and for the long term health of you and your families.
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