Proper hygiene is significantly important, and has always been so even before the advent of everyone finally realizing to WASH THEIR HANDS!!!! Seriously though, good hygiene and cleaning habits are an important part to staying healthy, and can have a significant impact on your overall health and every day life.
For example, did you know that depending on they type and thickness of your toilet paper, it can take up to ten layers to stop fecal bacteria from passing through? Kind of makes you think twice about walking out before scrubbing the ‘ol paws, right? Don’t stress too hard over it; there’s already bacteria on the toilet paper BEFORE you use it anyway. Oh, wait… That’s all the more reason to WASH YOUR HANDS!!!
Good hand washing practices have been pushed for decades, and has in fact been explained as one of the top ways people can easily prevent the spread of germs, bacteria and disease. It’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic for people to lose their proverbial shit and start washing their hands more often, hoarding and slathering layers of sanitizer to boot. If you want my thoughts on hand sanitizer, you can read one my previous posts here: Cleaning? Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That…
Bearing in mind that you should be washing your hands properly and often, whether they’re dirty or not, what is the “proper” method? Well, according to the Centre For Disease Control, one should wash one’s hands for at least 20 seconds or more, using soap and fresh, running water. Close attention should be paid to ensure your scrub all areas of your hands, including between the fingers, back of the palms and under the nails.
The length of time depends on how dirty your hands may be, or what kind of filth they may have been exposed to. But once you’re done scrubbing, they need to be properly rinsed under fresh, running water. This is because soap will help to lift and remove filth, bacteria and germs from your hands, but then need to be rinsed off. Then, be sure to dry your hands properly as germs can be transferred easier on wet hands.
The article provides for both air drying or towel drying, and the jury is out on which one is optimal. Personally, I despise hand dryers in public restrooms as I’m not a fan of whatever bacteria ay be floating the washrooms being heated and blown across my flesh. But the jury is out on which method is optimal. The jury is still out on whether hot or cold water makes any measurable difference, but the reality is that hot water will at least help lift some of the germ-ridden oils from your hands that will remain if you use cold water. Additionally, some of the dirt-lifting properties of soap are deactivate by cold water.
Last but not least, remove rings and jewellery when washing. I once saw a television report where they coated the hands in a UV-sensitive chemical that would light up under a black light. They then had the person wash their hands and expose them to a black light. The hands were mostly clean, except for some spots he forgot to scrub. But when he removed his wedding band, a bright blue band of chemical was still present. The same applies to germs and bacteria.
Just to be clear, you’ll never eliminate 100% of bacteria. Nor should you want to. Your body needs some of that shit (pun fully intended). The biggest challenge I’m facing at the moment is trying to teach my 5-year old son the importance of hand washing. He’s of the opinion that if he doesn’t “touch himself” while using the washroom, he doesn’t need to wash his hands. He’s also terrible at understanding to scrub up when he comes inside from playing. Kids…
As usual, all of this can be easily applied to Diabetics, especially since we tend to be prone to infection and should try to keep clean as much as possible. This is especially important if you still use a traditional blood glucose monitor and prick your fingertips repeatedly throughout the day. You should wash your hands in hot, soapy water before and after testing. No matter the state of the world, everyone should be washing their hands often and properly. Not only for good hygiene and to protect yourself but because it also helps to protect others. ☯