Keeping your hands clean is one of the most basic ways of preventing infections and maintaining a hygienic lifestyle. In fact, many diseases spread by simply not washing hands and the germs get onto hands could actually make you sick.

Many studies and researches have shown that these germs pass so fast and cause the magnitude of infectious diseases. Some unpleasant examples can range from common cold to Hepatitis A, Pneumonia, gastrointestinal infection, a weakened immune system, repository infection and other contagious illness and surgical wound complications.

I know that most of those things won’t ever happen to you but think about it. Only by simply washing your hands more often could help you eliminate a lot of health risks associated with your hands’ hygiene.

In case you didn’t notice, germs are everywhere! on your kitchen shelf, doorknob, keyboard, tap, dishes, and everywhere. How could we avoid them and protect ourselves from illness caused by these micro-organisms?

Fortunately, it’s not hard to guess and the solution is pretty damn simple.

The only answer is an improved hand hygiene that starts with hand washing.

The brutal truth about hand washing

Hand washing is the most important, simplest and least expensive way to prevent harmful bacteria from spreading to others and avoid getting sick. It physically removes germs by friction and rinses them down the drain.

Many people still believe that simply rinsing your hands in running water is enough to clean out these harmful foreign objects lying on your hands. But hand washing regime is incomplete without soaping.

Soap reacts chemically to break down the oils and microbes build up on the skin, and friction from rubbing does it mechanically.

Thus, rubbing your hands longer with more soap helps to remove the maximum of microbes and oil from your hands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds for effective handwashing regime.

Why is Hand Washing Important?

How often should you wash your hands

1. Hands Provide Tremendous Hostage to Germs.

People touch their eyes, mouth, and eatables without realizing it and enable germs to travel from hands to get into their body.

The germs like Salmonella, norovirus cause diarrhea, respiratory infection and many other common health problems. Proper hand washing reduces this health risk by 31 percent.

2. Hand Washing Prevents Germs from Spreading.

Germs are easily transferrable via handshaking and objects like toys, laptops, smartphones, etc.

Properly and frequently washing your hands is important to stop the spread of germs from person to person.

3. It’s Less Expensive than Treating an Infectious Disease.

Prevention is not only better but also more affordable than cure.

Using a hand wash soap is inexpensive than getting sick and paying hospital bills.

When should you wash your hands?

When to wash you hands

Although it’s impossible to keep your hands germ-free all the time, frequent hand washing can limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

Wash your hands before:

  • Preparing meals
  • Eating
  • Visiting or caring sick people
  • Treating wounds
  • Using contact lenses
  • Going to bed at night

Wash your hands after:

  • Cooking
  • Eating
  • Shaking hands with others
  • Attending or caring sick people
  • Touching animals
  • House cleaning
  • Handling garbage
  • Gardening
  • Using washroom
  • Using a tissue or handkerchief
  • Sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose

Wash your hands whenever they look visibly dirty or whenever you feel you just touched a dirty object.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hands?

According to Global Hygiene Council, one should wash their hands at least 7 times and 10 times is a better goal. If it seems like a lot, wash your hands before and eating anything, and after toileting.

Many studies have shown that people who wash their hands 7 or more times suffer less frequently from infectious illness.

World Health Organization (WHO) states that hand washing is the single most hygienic act that can improve people’s health and reduce child deaths from diarrhea by half and pneumonia by quarter. It prevents diseases that are caused by pathogens from eating contaminated food or touching contaminated surfaces.

A casual water rinse won’t knock off the pathogens. You need a good hand wash and rub It on your hands vigorously for 20 seconds to drain out life-threatening pathogens. Also, don’t forget to dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel after washing them.

Further reading: Top body washes for men

How To Wash Your Hands Properly Step By Step?

Follow this 6-step hand washing policy to clean your hands effectively:

Step 1: Wet your hands and then apply the soap so that it doesn’t get rinsed off.

Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover the entire surface of your hands.

How to wash your hands properly step 2

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Step 3: Rub your hands palm to palm. Rub your right palm over left dorsum with interlaced fingers and vice versa.

How to wash your hands properly step 3

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Step 4: Rub palm to palm with fingers interlaced and backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked.

How to wash your hands properly step 4

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Step 5: Perform rational rubbing of left thumb clasped in right palm and vice versa.

Step 6: Rinse your hands with water making sure no soapy residue left in your hands.

How to wash your hands properly step 6

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Step 7: Pat dry your hands with a clean single-use towel and turn off the tap using the towel. Your hands are safe.

Bar Soaps vs. Liquid Soaps

Bar soap versus liquid wash has been a debate for decades, but a study conducted in 2006 discarded bar soap’s clean credentials. The study proved that bar soaps give more hostage to harmful microbes and viruses.

Bar soaps are available in a solid cake form, whereas liquid soaps come in fluid form. They are normally made using animal fats and plant-based oils like soybean, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, castor and olive oil using saponification process. These possess higher pH levels as compared to liquid soaps.

On the other hand, liquid soaps are derived from petroleum. Experts prefer liquid soaps because these avoid transfer of germs from one person to another, unlike bar soaps.

Initially, liquid soaps were made by dissolving solid soaps in water and later, ammonia was added to achieve desired soap consistency.

Modern day liquid soaps contain all ingredients used in solid bar soaps. Liquid hand soap uses potassium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide.

Just like washing your face with a face wash, Liquid soaps are considered more hygienic than bar soaps because one doesn’t touch the surface while using them. Thus, there is no chance that dirt and germs get trapped on the surface and transfer to others.

However, liquid soaps strip off oils from the skin and leave it in dry condition after usage. Addressing this issue, manufacturers of liquid soaps now add moisturizing agents in their products to tackle the skin dryness which works great as a addon to your favorite men’s hand cream and face moisturizer.

Most liquid soaps come in squeeze bottles or pumps to allow ease of use. These soaps produce more lather than bar soaps. Bar soaps are directly rubbed on hands, and therefore, known to have better exfoliating capabilities than a liquid soap.

All in all, liquid soap and bar soap have their set of advantages and disadvantages, and it depends on individual preference to use them. However, people mostly prefer liquid soaps because of ease-of-use and hygiene level that it packaging allows.

Further reading: Differences between face wash, cleanser and face scrub

Hand Wash Soaps Suggestions

Dial Complete Foaming Anti-bacterial Hand Wash

Dial antibacterial hand wash for men

Dial Anti-Bacterial hand wash comes with a gentle but powerful foaming formula that is tough on dirt and germs lying on your hands. The product promises to kill 99.99% germs, microbes, and virus utilizing its anti-bacterial properties.

It comes in four fragrances including white tea, fresh pear spring water, cranberry and clean citrus.

The Dial Complete Foaming Anti-Bacterial Hand Wash comes in a convenient packaging that doesn’t let the content drip and mess up your bathroom counter.

Its active ingredient is Triclosan that is very effective in reducing bacterial contamination. It does not make your skin dry even after frequent hand washing with this product.

The product comes in a not-so-triangular boxy featured with a pump and nozzle that allows hassle-free usage. You can put it in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry rooms, and more areas where handwashing is frequently needed after certain activities. As for the cost, Dial Complete Foaming Anti-bacterial Hand Wash is available at very reasonable pricewith top sellers.

Jergens Extra Moisturizing Liquid Hand Wash

Jergens hand wash

As the name suggests, this hand wash is designed with two aims – cleaning your hands and combating the dryness after handwashing.

The Jergens extra moisturizing liquid hand wash makes a great product for sensitive skin. The classic cherry-almond scent is so pleasant that you will naturally improve your hand hygiene. It comes with an improved and creamy formula that guarantees to free your hands from spots, germs and any dirt.

Just after one application, you will notice a new softness and gentleness in your hands. This product is manufactured with Jergens lotion that offers a very smooth texture and feels to your hands that no other soap can provide you. It helps to treat dry and rough hands while leaving behind a soft look and pleasant smell because of its incredible pH balanced formula.

Jergens Extra Moisturizing Liquid Hand Wash is made using active ingredients like Glycerin, alcohol, lanolin oil, mineral oils and more natural ingredients. It creates a soft lather to cleanse and leave your skin smooth and clean gently.

The particular product is easily available in the market at affordable price.

Seventh Generation Hand Wash

Seventh generation hand wash

When it comes to purely organic hand wash, Seventh Generation is amongst the top names that come to minds. Seventh generation hand wash is made with plant-based ingredients while keeping the safety of your skin in mind. It is made without triclosan, dyes, phthalates and artificial fragrances.

Seventh generation hand wash comes in a wide variety of fragrances like black current and rose water, hibiscus, and cardamom, and other essential oils and botanical extracts that are renewable and USDA certified.

The product comes in a sophisticated bottle design that looks great placed on your bathroom or kitchen counter. The product packaging is very environment-friendly because it is made with 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. All seventh generation products are cruelty-free.

To use the handwash, just twist the nozzle to unlock and raise it. For effective cleaning, apply it on your wet hands, rub and lather well, rinse off and pat your hands dry.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap

Meyer's clean day hand wash

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap is free from Parabens and harsh chemicals. It is made with natural ingredients like olive fruit oil, aloe leaf juice, citric acid and more.

This hand wash comes in a variety of fragrances like lemon, apple, honeysuckle, rhubarb, bluebell, rosemary, basil, geranium, lavender and a few more.

Because of blending of natural ingredients, this makes a great non-drying, mild and softening cleanser for over-worked hands. The product comes in a round bottle and a pump dispenser that allows an easy dispensing.

The soap is readily available at outdoor and online stores at a great price.

The Body Shop Conditioning Hand Wash

Bodyshop hand wash

Formulated with a gentle formula, this hand wash is very softening and detergent-free product for daily care of your hands. This product contains pure almond oil, Community Fair Trade Brazil nut oil and moisturizing agent resulting in a great cleanser for sensitive skin. This hand wash has a light brown color and a satiny, creamy texture.

It smells like fresh almonds, and the scent lasts longer after washing your hands. The best thing about the Body Shop Conditioning Hand Wash is that it does not strip off moisturizer from your skin.

The product has the capability to treat already rough and dry hands due to its enriched moisturizing agent.

This hand wash soap comes in a transparent pump bottle for easy dispensing. The product is also free from harmful paraben and artificial fragrances. After the first wash, you may feel slippery if you don’t wash your hands little harder to feel clean.

If you are looking for an effective hand cleanser at an affordable price, go for the Body Shop Conditioning Hand Wash, New Almond.

Concluding remarks

Most of the germs leading to deadly diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia roots from hands. If you want a healthy life, washing your hands 6-7 times a day is crucial. Cleaning your hands frequently also avoid these germs from spreading around you.

Also, liquid hand wash soaps are more hygienic than bar soaps because of it packaging that doesn’t allow the user to touch the soap while using it.

Stay conscious and spread the message of the importance of hand washing among your loved ones.