Ayush is a cleanliness addict. He has a habit of washing his hands more than a dozen times a day. Along with this, he also has a habit of using hand sanitizer and instructs his kids to do the same as frequently as possible. Do you also have the same habit like Ayush?
Does frequent handwashing give you a feeling of clean and germ-free hands? If yes, then you would be surprised to know that over washing or over usage of hand hygiene products such as sanitizer does not make you germ-free, instead, it may make you more susceptible to germs.
Check out these Myths about handwashing and sanitizer that you believed to be true.
Myth1: Wash wash till you kill all the germs
Remember the “dhote jao..dhote jao” ad? You need to wash your hands for only 15-20 seconds to effectively remove germs. Also, frequent washing of hands with hand cleaning products can cause contact dermatitis. This is a type of allergic reaction that occurs when your skin comes in contact with too many harsh substances.
“Clean well so that you can live well”
Myth2: Use antibacterial soap and be 100% sure
Do you know that we have both good and bacteria in our body? The problem with anti-bacterial hand wash or soaps is that they kill all the bacteria, both good and bad which is not an ideal condition. Also, there is no scientific evidence that anti-bacterial soap is better than plain soap and water. Proper handwashing with normal soap will also give you clean and germ-free hands.
“Wash hands and keep doctors at far end”
Myth3: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can kill up to 90% of germs
No doubt hand sanitizers are effective in killing most of the germs and also very convenient to use. But they are found to be less effective against certain viruses including the Norovirus which causes diarrhea and vomiting. Also, excess use of hand sanitizer may kill the good bacteria present in your hands.
“Don’t be lazy, be smarter, wash your hands with soap and water”
Myth5: Hand dryers are more hygienic than paper towels
It’s a very common confusion that baffles many of us in the toilet: when you come to drying your hands, should you reach for the paper towel or the electric dryer?
But you will be surprised to know that the air produced by the dryers could actually be spreading the micro-bacteria present in the toilet.
“Keep calm and use paper towels”
Myth6: Handwashing with warm water is more effective for germ removal
We all have grown with this myth that washing hands with warm water kills germs. To your surprise, water temperature doesn’t affect germ removal at all. In fact, warmer water can irritate your skin and affect the protective layer, leaving you more vulnerable to bacterial infections.
“Hygienic handwashing is not controlled by water hot or cold”
Myth7: Once washed, it does not need to be dried
So you have washed your hands with the best anti-bacterial products but did not consider drying them! Think again, as germs and bacteria grow really fast in damp spaces, and if your hands are not properly dried after a wash, half the effort you did is already lost. Use paper towels in drying your hands as it is quicker than electric dryers and the rubbing motion may physically remove the germs.
“Want to give your friends a handshake or a deadly disease? Dry your hands to put everyone at ease”
On this Global Handwashing Day, make a promise to not only protect your own health with proper handwashing but also build your future as well as those of your communities and the world.