When we were very young, our parents and elders would insist on us ‘washing up’ after we returned from playing outside. Really strict mothers would stand over their children till they were sure that their hands, feet and faces were scrubbed clean. It wasn’t possible to sit down to eat or even touch anything in the house till our hands were washed to a squeaky clean shine!
Those habits were rightly inculcated to encourage good personal hygiene in us. The hands are the single largest carrier of germs causing communicable diseases. They are the primary source of infection spread. If not washed with soap and water, they can make us and our loved ones really ill.
The simple act of keeping the hands clean by washing them frequently and sanitizing them at regular intervals can go a long way in staving off infection and illness. For this, you require an effective hand soap to do the trick.
Why use hand soap?
Just washing your hands with running water will not kill germs or even dislodge dirt and dust. Our hands can get greasy after eating fried chicken and trap more dirt. Or we may touch contaminated surfaces such as elevator buttons or landline phones. Some people also do not wash their hands after using the restroom. All of these activities can open the door for the entry of germs and hence, illness.
An effective hand soap can eliminate the possibility of microscopic bacteria and germs entering our system and making us ill. When used frequently during the day, your hands will be rid of surface oils, dirt and bacterial infections for long.
Which kind of hand soap should you use?
When picking a bar of soap for use at the wash basin, make sure it is an antibacterial variant that is gentle on the skin. Give its surface a light scrub with a small brush to remove any germs you may have transferred to it. Look for pH balanced soaps that are not harsh on the skin. Some hand soaps contain extracts of aloe vera or rose oil to provide skin protection while cleaning.
It is advisable to use liquid hand soap instead of a bar. You take a quantity of liquid from the dispensing bottle. The rest of the soap is untouched and can be used by others without fear of infection. Pick a mild hand soap that is pH balanced and which provides as much as 99.9% protection from germs.
The right washing technique is important
All of us wash our hands, but only a few of us wash our hands correctly! The best of hand soaps need the user to wash the hands for at least 30 seconds for the soap’s effects to take hold.
Wet your hands and take a dollop of hand soap on your palm. Rub your palms briskly over one another, working up lather. Now run the palm of one hand on the back of the other hand and rub firmly. Repeat the process by switching hands. Clean out your fingernails and cuticles as well. Once 30 seconds have elapsed, you can wash off the soap.
Take care to wipe your hands on disposable tissues instead of face towels hanging over the wash basin.
That’s all it takes – frequent use of hand soap can eliminate the possibility of disease. Also teach your children to wash their hands frequently and steer clear of infection outdoors.