How Using Soap And Water Is Essential For Hand Hygiene

Hand-washing is virtually second nature to many people. There’s even an annual Global Hand Washing Day (the 15th of October) dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of why it’s essential to regularly wash your hands with soap and water.

A person’s hands are the main pathways for germ transmission. Because of that fact, the World Health Organisation recommends that everyone washes their hands for 20 to 30 seconds.

What happens if you don’t wash your hands?

As you do things throughout the day, you’ll notice that your hands begin to get visibly soiled from the surfaces you touch. Everyone touches all kinds of surfaces hundreds of times each day, and so the chances of germ and bacteria transferral to your hands are high.

Most people get told how they should wash their hands with soap and water several times a day from a young age. But, what happens if you don’t wash your hands frequently or even at all? Is poor hand hygiene really that bad for you?

It’ll come as no surprise that your hands will become contaminated with microscopic germs and bacteria that can cause harm to human health. For example, faeces contain salmonella, E. coli, and norovirus. A single gram of human faeces can contain one trillion germs.

Here are some interesting facts about how washing your hands with soap and water can reduce your chances of getting ill, including how it can reduce gastro illnesses:

  • 47% less likely to contract diarrhoeal diseases;
  • 31% less likely to get a gastrointestinal disease;
  • 21% lower risk of having a respiratory infection.

How does soap and water help keep you healthy?

By now, you’ll have determined that washing your hands with soap and water significantly cuts down your risk of contracting certain diseases and infections. But, how exactly does washing your hands with soap and water help keep you healthy?

When you lather your hands with soap, the process mechanically removes germs from your skin. It’s not just enough to use water alone, because soap helps remove things like grease and oil from your hands that could harbour germs.

Some people might assume that using antibacterial soap kills germs. But, in reality, washing your hands with any non-antibacterial soap is just as effective at cleaning your hands.

What if there are no hand washing facilities?

People will often find themselves in situations where they have no access to hand washing facilities, such as when they’re travelling somewhere. In those cases, it makes sense to use a portable solution to clean your hands.

One option is to use an alcohol gel or wipes. However, the problem with that idea is alcohol isn’t as effective as soap and water - especially when you’ve got heavily soiled hands. To solve that problem, you can use a portable hand washing solution like Baby Bum Shower.

The great thing about Baby Bum Shower is that it’s a small handheld device that provides soap and water on the go. It holds enough soap and water solution for ten uses - an ideal solution to reduce hand bacteria when there are no hand washing facilities.