News and information from the world of NatraSan, plus some of the science and research behind the products.

Why hand hygiene is so important

The ‘SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands’ global campaign was launched in 2009 by the World Health Organization and is marked annually in May. It aims to globally promote the importance of hand hygiene in health care.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront how regularly cleaning and sanitising our hands is vital for stopping the spread of germs, but it’s something that shouldn’t just be thought about during a global crisis.

Let’s look at a few nasty facts:

  • Germs can survive on your hands for up to three hours
  • You can spread germs 1,000 more times when your hands are damp, than when they are fully dry
  • Between 2 and 10 million bacteria can live on your fingertips – this can double after using the toilet
  • Without washing your hands, bacteria will be transferred to surfaces, your face, or the food you’re eating.

So, if you think about it, hands are gross! You should therefore be washing your hands:

  • After visiting the toilet
  • Before and after handling food – whether eating or cooking
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After coughing or sneezing
  • Once you’ve cleaned the house
  • When visibly dirty
  • After you’ve been outside to do some gardening, walk the dog, etc

How to wash your hands properly

Whilst you may not think it, there is a right and wrong way to wash your hands. Simply showing your hands some water will not do the job.

  • Step 1: wet your hands – warm water and cold water are equally as effective, so there’s no need to wait for the water to get up to temperature
  • Step 2: apply enough soap so it covers all surfaces of your hands – both sides
  • Step 3: start by rubbing hands palm to palm and then interlock fingers and rub again
  • Step 4: put one hand over the other and interlock fingers, then switch hands
  • Step 5: clasp your left thumb in your right hand and rub, then vice versa
  • Step 6: rub the back of your fingers and the tips of your fingers against your palms
  • Step 7: rinse your hands
  • Step 8: completely dry your hands – disposable hands towels are ideal, but otherwise ensure you change a standard hand towel every three to four days
  • Step 9: use a towel to turn off the tap

The whole process should take 20 seconds, or as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday or the chorus of Jolene by Dolly Parton twice, or for kids, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star twice. Alternatively, Twitter users came up with some different ideas, which included completing 20 squats to tone up your derriere, or having a mini meditation by taking 20 seconds to think about what you see, hear, smell and feel.

We understand that when you’re out and about it can be difficult to find the facilities to wash your hands regularly, which is where carrying a hand sanitiser, such as our Pocket Buddy Spray which kills 99.9999% of germs on contact, can really be beneficial. We want everyone to add hand sanitiser to the objects we all remember to take with us when we leave the house – keys, wallet, phone, hand sanitiser!

NatraSan’s 50ml Pocket Buddy is ideal for carrying in handbags, rucksacks and workbags, or putting in pockets, so you can sanitise your hands wherever you are. NatraSan also comes in a 250ml spray and 100ml Travel Buddy. It’s completely alcohol, chemical and preservative free, so is safe to use on the skin of every member of the family, including a new-born baby, and is available from our online shop or by calling 0800 707 6883 to place a telephone order.