Hand Hygiene

01 December 2021
Hand Hygiene

Cold and flu season is in full swing, and while it may feel like an old refrain at this point, handwashing and proper localized hygiene really are crucial to avoiding the spread of these illnesses. Although many of us are still acclimated to our pandemic handwashing habits, there are undoubtedly more than a few who could use a refresher on the basics and/or the finer points.

How to Wash Properly

Soap is not a surface sanitizer—it doesn’t kill germs or other microorganisms on contact. It only aids in the removal of those contaminants; scrubbing all over the skin on the hands is still necessary to get the job done (in most cases, 20 seconds is sufficient). In this sense, most soaps are equally effective. Dial®, Boardwalk®, Mrs. Meyer's®, and Seventh Generation® all make time-tested, well-loved products, and the latter two have particular appeal among those prize sustainability and/or environmental friendliness.

When to Wash

As important as handwashing is in controlling the spread of illness, it can absolutely be overdone. Hands should be washed before and after food preparation, before meals, and after being out of the home and in a public space (that last one is especially important if you’ve been out shopping since the microorganisms that cause influenza are surface transmissible). It’s also important to wash your hands thoroughly before interacting with people individuals likely to have weakened or otherwise compromised immune systems—the elderly, very young children, people with chronic illnesses, and so on.

Hand Sanitizers

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers (with concentrations above 60%) are an excellent supplement to handwashing, but they shouldn’t be treated as a substitute. As the name suggests, hand sanitizers are very much like their hard surface counterparts in that they don’t kill all the germs on your hands, they just reduce the number below a specific threshold. Sanitizers are also not appropriate for removing other contaminants, like harmful chemicals, from the skin. Handwashing mechanically removes many more microorganisms, both in terms of volume and type, and is appropriate for removing a much wider range of unwanted substances from the hands.

Gergely’s Maintenance King has decades of experience and a reputation for reliability. We stock a wide range of hand soaps and sanitizers, and our knowledgeable customer service representatives are available to help you make the right choices for your business or the facilities you manage.

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