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Hand Hygiene 101: 8 Facts You Should Know

Keeping your hands clean is one of the easiest and most important ways to prevent healthcare-acquired infections.

Follow these tips to keep yourself and others around you safe and healthy.


8 Hand Hygiene Facts to Keep You Healthy

#1 – Wash your hands with soap and water.

Soap and water work by mechanically removing microbes from your hands. And while they remove germs from your hands, they cannot kill germs.

#2 – Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills most, but not all, bacteria and viruses on contact.

Make sure to use enough alcohol-based hand sanitizer to cover all surfaces of your hands, and rub until dry. Hands should stay wet for approximately 20 seconds if you use the correct amount of sanitizer.

#3 – Wash your hands for longer than you think.

Most people don’t wash their hands as long as they really need to. You should wash your hands for at least 15 seconds, not specifically 15 seconds.

#4 – Dry your hands thoroughly after washing.

Wet hands are more likely to spread germs than dry ones. Always make sure you properly and thoroughly dry your hands after washing them.

#5 – Be sure to wash ALL parts of your hands.

The areas most often missed when cleaning your hands are the thumbs, fingertips and spaces between fingers.

#6 – Hand sanitizer is not a cure-all.

Hand sanitizer is NOT effective against C. difficile, a common healthcare-associated infection. Always wash your hands with soap and water after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.

#7 – Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer does NOT cause antibiotic resistance.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers kill germs quick and in different ways than antibiotics. There is no chance for the germs to adapt or develop resistance.

#8 – Prevent the flu. Wash your hands!

Flu season is here! the single most important thing you can do to prevent the flu from spreading is to wash your hands. If you’re sick or feeling under the weather, stay home to help prevent spreading germs!