How clean are your hands

Do you have clean hands? Of course, you wash them when you come from the street and after the toilet. But the new experiment showed that everything is not as optimistic as it seems.

Wash your hands properly is very important because they can be carriers of pathogenic bacteria, including E. coli, salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, causative agents of colitis (infections of the intestines), as well as cold, flu and norovirus viruses (causes severe vomiting).

But what does it mean to wash your hands correctly? Do we have enough of them to protect ourselves?

To test this, the author of the experiment used a special ultraviolet camera to test different ways of washing hands: from the usual “wash and shake” to a high-quality wash for 30 seconds, as doctors usually advise.

“First, I apply a special gel that mimics the effect of bacteria on my hands. He himself is transparent, but glows in the ultraviolet. It is usually used in training nurses preparing to work with dangerously infected patients - when disinfection plays a vital role.
The gel contains particles of the same size as the bacteria. Glowing white areas are dirty parts, and dark ones are clean.

Before washing - completely dirty

Before washing - completely dirty

Rinse and shake

We all do it so often: when there is no soap or towels, or we are in a hurry, so we just rinse our hands under water and shake to dry them. According to the study, a quarter of respondents do this even after a public toilet, and men do it more often.

rinse and shake

rinse and shake

But in the present experiment, such washing did nothing. After three seconds under the stream of water, only a small part of the bacteria was washed off the fingers. And to wash them thoroughly is important, especially after using the toilet. According to the study, no matter how careful you are in the latrine, there are fecal bacteria on your hands.

6 second wash without soap

6 seconds is the average time people wash their hands. But this is not enough. You need to wash your hands for at least 15 seconds: so that you can sing the congratulatory “Happy Birthday” twice. 6-second washing improved my result, but not to the perfect.

6 seconds

Doctors remind you not only to rub your palms while washing, but also to twist your fingers, wash their inner sides, areas around and under the nails, where dirt is often collected.
It is also very important to wipe your hands with a towel.Such a scrub cloth will help remove the remnants of bacteria. And wet dirty hands are a breeding ground for infections. But never wipe your hands on a dish towel!

6 second wash with soap

Washing with soap is perfect. Soap, though not killing bacteria, but helps to wash them off the skin. Therefore, there is no point in buying a more expensive, supposedly antibacterial soap. It is better to choose well foaming soap.

6 seconds with soap

15 seconds with soap

The best option. But do not just stand with soaped hands - wash every inch of your hands, especially around the nails. And especially if you tend to bite your nails or touch your face with your hands.


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