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Washing Hands 101

Surely by now everyone has heard about washing your hands during this pandemic, but what does it mean to wash your hands and why is it so important? As a skin care therapist, I am usually talking about washing your face, but today we are taking a moment to talk about our hands. Did you know there are approximately 5,000 germs on your hands at any given time? Most people think cold germs are passed along by coughing and sneezing, but did you know most cold germs are carried by hand-to-hand contact? Germs can also live on many different surfaces and can be transferred into food and drinks by unclean hands as well. Basically, germs make people sick!

How to sanitize your hands properly:

There are different methods people use to wash their hands. Some people use anti-bacterial soap, others use a regular soap with cleansing properties, and a number of people use hand sanitizers, which are often used when soap and water is not available. The most important thing when washing your hands is to make sure you are applying the soap in between your fingers, lathering the soap and reaching under the exposed fingernails as well. You will also want to include the wrist and work the soap back and forth for at least 20 seconds. A hand sanitizer is usually derived from 60% alcohol and you will want to place the directed amount to the palm of one hand and rub the sanitizer over the hands until they are dry.

Why washing your hands is so important:

Why do we say wash your hands frequently? Well in today's technology world, we are constantly touching screens, keyboards, and other shared technology devices, which are a breeding ground for germs, since our fingers and hands along with others have also touched these items. It is not only our technology sources that remind us to wash our hands, but also other surfaces and areas we commonly use with other people. Door handles, fitness and exercise equipment, any type of ball used in athletics or recreational sports, even stores where others have picked up an item and replaced it. This should be a reminder to wash those hands!

Many of us are moms and caregivers. We know kids get dirty and their little hands like to go everywhere. Some of us are pet parents and the same rules apply. When you are taking care of another person or cleaning up after a pet, it is extremely important to wash those hands often.

What the pandemic has taught us:

As this pandemic has altered our daily routine in so many ways, it has also brought about some very important and good health practices to follow. Washing your hands frequently should not only be done in a health crisis, but it should be taught, practiced and done multiple times a day everyday. Let's keep those hands clean and germs from spreading. Stay safe and well!


  • Most germs are carried by hand-to-hand contact

  • Wash with anti-bacterial or regular soap with cleaning properties

  • Use hand sanitizer when soap is not available

  • Lather in between fingers and under fingernails

  • Wash for at least 20 seconds

  • Cleanse Daily


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