The Science Behind Hand Washing & Are You Doing It Properly

Posted by Kylie Team 101 on 8th Jul 2020

The Science Behind Hand Washing & Are You Doing It Properly

The Facts Behind Hand-Washing

Hand washing has become the number one hygiene rule during this Corona Virus pandemic. We see it everywhere with hand sanitizers now at every entrance and reminders to wash our hands after touching anything that could be contaminated. However, with all of us now eager to up our hygiene habits, it got us wondering about the science of hand washing and why it is so important, not just during health pandemics but in general daily life.

The number one reason to wash our hands is to prevent the spread of germs that we could have picked up from surfaces, other people and our bodily functions...gulp! Though we may snigger at the thought of excrement being on our hands. Faeces from humans and animals is a significant source of well-known diseases such as Salmonella, E-coli, norovirus, adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth virus.

When we go to the toilet or change a nappy, particles of bacteria can be transferred onto our hands and spread on to our surrounding areas without us knowing. If we then touch our nose, eyes or mouth with the germs still present on our hands. We are at a much higher risk of getting sick. But if we always wash our hands after going to the toilet, then we should be ok, right? No, Though washing your hands after going to the bathroom or changing a nappy is essential for disease control. There are lots of other ways we can come in to contact with germs.

Playing and touching animals, as well as handling raw meats, are other significant sources of bacteria. As well as touching objects or surfaces where someone has coughed or sneezed and left their germs to settle.


Washing our hands properly and thoroughly after going to the toilet and before eating or drinking anything will significantly reduce the number of germs and bacteria we come in contact with, which in turn will reduce the likelihood of us becoming sick.

According to the CDC, handwashing ;

  • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhoea by 23-40%
  • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%
  • Reduces respiratory diseases, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%
  • Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal disease in schoolchildren by 29-57%


Though everyone washes their hands at some point during the day, the majority of people do not wash them properly. It takes more than just a quick rinse in the sink to get rid of bacteria in fact; it is recommended to wash your hands for a minimum duration of 20 seconds, which is approximately two verses of Happy Birthday!

So, to guide you through the stages of proper handwashing and to make sure that you stay healthy and germ-free. Here is an illustration showing you the necessary steps you must take when washing your hands.


Now that you have mastered the art of handwashing and your hands are sparkling clean what other steps should you take to stop the spread of germs?

Wiping down surfaces and objects in your home and workplace with anti-bacterial wipes or cleaners is the best way to ensure that all germs are eliminated. Have a look at our anti-bacterial wipes and cleaning products to help you keep your home and workplace clean.

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