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When water and soap are unavailable, use hand sanitizers–here’s the proper way

When water and soap are unavailable, use hand sanitizers–here’s the proper way


We’ve all been taught the proper way to wash our hands as a preventive measure against COVID-19. However, for those who have to leave their homes, water and soap aren’t always within reach. In these instances, alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The sanitizer must have at least 60 percent alcohol concentration.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that these sanitizers can only reduce the number of microbes in your hands—not totally eliminate them especially if your hands are greasy or dirty. Therefore, it is essential to still use water and soap especially if you have touched greasy metal or plastic.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are an effective alternative to water and soap, as long as they’re used properly. Babylon Health, a health service provider in the United Kingdom, has published a video on the proper use of hand sanitizers. The CDC has also released similar reminders on this. The following steps should last for 15 to 30 seconds.

  1. Apply sanitizer and rub your palms together
  2. Rub the back of both hands.
  3. Make sure to reach the skin in between your fingers.
  4. With fingers interlocked, rub the palms together.
  5. Clasp your hands together and rub on both sides.
  6. Clean the skin around your thumbs.
  7. Rub your fingers in a circular motion on the palms of your hands.
  8. Clean wrists as well.
  9. Continue rubbing until hands are dry.


Header photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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