Hand hygiene: How long do you wash your hands?

Hands are shown lathered up with soap under running water at a kitchen sink.

Pop quiz: When is the last time you touched your face with your hands?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people touch their eyes, nose and mouth about 25 times per hour without even realizing it—that’s about once every 2-3 minutes.

That may not seem like a big deal until you think consider all the germ-laden surfaces you touch each day and remember that your eyes, nose and mouth are all gateways for germs to enter your body.

Germs could be anywhere

Was there a flu virus on that handrail? A stomach bug on the ATM keypad? Or maybe the ubiquitous cold germ on the pen you found in the conference room. And we haven’t even brought up the myriad surfaces in public restrooms or on public transportation and the fact that some bacteria or viruses can live on a surface from a few hours to a few weeks.

We know the minute you start telling yourself not to touch your face, your nose develops an irrepressible itch and your eyes start to water, but there are other ways to avoid germs. One of the most effective—outside of living in a bubble—is also one of the easiest.

Wash your hands

There’s a reason the CDC refers to handwashing as a do-it-yourself vaccine: It’s one of the biggest and easiest things you can do to reduce your chances of getting sick or passing your germs onto someone else. Some researchers estimate that if everyone washed their hands regularly, a million deaths a year could be prevented.

Experts have a few suggestions for when handwashing is essential: food preparation, eating, caring for someone who is sick or when you are sick, changing diapers, using the bathroom, or interacting with animals, animal food or animal waste.

But handwashing should be a regular habit and be more than running your hands under the water and calling it good. The CDC recommends five simple steps for the most effective handwashing:

1. Wet your hands

Run your hands under clean water, turn off the tap and apply soap.

2. Use soap

Rub your hands together with soap to form a lather, making sure to scrub all areas including the backs of your hands, under your nails and between your fingers. According to the CDC, using soap is more effective than water alone because the surfactants in soap lift soil and microbes from skin.

3. Scrub—a lot

Continue scrubbing all those areas for at least 20 seconds. (TIP: Hum the “Happy Birthday” in your head twice to ensure you’re hitting the 20 second mark, or channel the surgeons on your favorite medical drama.)

4. Rinse with clean water

Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. Running water ensures you remove all the microbes and soil you scrubbed away from your skin.

5. Dry with a clean towel

Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.

A container of G&H Protect Plus Concentrated Hand Soap and a collection of four different containers of G&H Nourish Plus Hand Cream, both by Amway.

Protect your hands

All that washing can take a toll on your skin, so make sure you choose your soap wisely. G&H Protect+™ Concentrated Hand Soap by Amway is designed to provide a deep clean without drying out skin.

If other soaps are drying out your hands, consider keeping a lotion or cream in your purse, desk or gym bag. G&H Nourish+™ Hand Cream, for example, helps rebuild skin’s moisture barrier, relieving and soothing it while leaving it feeling moisturized and looking healthy. Plus, it absorbs quickly, so hands don’t feel greasy.

Learn more

Want to learn more about G&H and other Amway products? Visit the websites for Amway US or Amway Canada.

10 Comments

  • Arun says:

    Can pusue as a disinfectant cleaner , kill coronovirus on surfaces. Should it be used in homes and offices for the purpose.

    • Amway Connections says:

      Hi Arun, while Pursue Cleaner and Deodorizer Spray effectively kill 99.9% of germs on a variety of home surfaces, we cannot specifically claim effectiveness against COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at this time and they are not to be positioned as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces are just one action people should take to help reduce the risk of spreading or contracting the virus.
      Thanks for your question!

  • Carlos says:

    That reply didn’t directly address the question. Without regard to other methods (such as hand washing), does Pursue kill Coronavirus? The label doesn’t state what percent alcohol. So, does it kill Coronavirus? Yes or no?

    • Amway Connections says:

      Hi Carlos, the answer is no. We cannot specifically claim effectiveness against COVID-19 (Coronavirus) at this time.

  • Janie says:

    Janie,

    Being a compulsive hand washer is not such a bad thing! LOL

    Love ya!

  • Layna says:

    Layna,

    Good information while @ work.
    Love ya!

  • Siobhan says:

    good information for the family!

    Love ya!

  • leslie says:

    Good information!

    Love ya!

  • Dorothy says:

    Does Pursue disinfectant kill Coronavirus?

    • Amway Connections says:

      Hi Dorothy, thanks for your question! While Pursue Cleaner and Deodorizer Spray effectively kill 99.9% of germs on a variety of home surfaces, they are not to be positioned as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces are just one action people should take to help reduce the risk of spreading or contracting the virus.

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