What you need to know about handwashing and Coronavirus

What’s a “good washing?”
  • Rub your hands together with soap for at least 20 seconds. (That’s 2 rounds of the Happy Birthday song.) Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Is bar soap hygienic?
  • Yes. Let's be clear: soap and water don’t kill germs; they work by removing them from your hands.
  • So while bar soap does have some bacteria on it, it is unlikely to make you sick. When you wash yours hands well, the bacteria on the soap will wash off your hands when you rinse.
  • If you don’t like the way bar soap gets slimy when it sits in the dish, use a soap dish that drains and lets the soap dry between uses. My favorite soap dish has ridges that the bar sits on and air can circulate underneath. It never gets soggy because it's not sitting in a pool of water.
Since regular soap doesn’t kill bacteria, should I use anti-bacterial soap?
  • No. There is no conclusive evidence that anti-bacterial soap is better at preventing illness than regular soap. In fact, there is more evidence that anti-bacterial additives like triclosan overall do more harm than good.
  • In case you're thinking of using anti-bacterial soap “just to be safe” against Coronavirus, know that anti-bacterial additives are meant to kill bacteria and germs; they have no effect on viruses (like Coronavirus).
Is that thin foamy soap in the public restroom as good as a thicker soap?
  • Probably not. There’s not as much soap in the foamy stuff, so it may not provide as much cleansing as a full-strength soap. Do a double or triple pump if it feels like parts of your hands aren’t getting soaped up.
Can you wash too much?
  • Yes. According to health.harvard.edu, “our hands weren't meant to be sterile objects. Having some bacteria on the skin is perfectly natural, and ’resident flora,’ as the experts call it, is probably healthful — unless you're a surgeon about to put your hands inside someone's body. Frequent hand washing, even with mild soap, can damage skin, worsening cuts and causing cracks that can harbor even more bacteria. Dry, damaged skin may also spread germs more easily because it flakes off, taking bacteria with it.”

Research more for yourself. Here are some articles I used as reference for this blog:




If you don't want to read, here's a video: https://youtu.be/6JY86dOqk9w
Mālama pono!

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