Why You Should Wash Your Hands

There are thousands of bacteria living on your hands. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of bacteria-related illnesses and other infectious diseases is to wash your hands with soap and warm water. After washing, you should dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel or air dryer. Good hand hygiene habits are essential to promoting better health.

Germs Are Everywhere

Germs, such as bacteria and viruses, are microscopic and not visible to the naked eye. They reside on many everyday objects, such as cell phones, shopping carts, hand rails, and your toothbrush. Some of the most common ways that germs get transferred to your hands are by handling raw meat, using the toilet, changing a diaper, coughing or sneezing, and after contact with pets. Some of the most common germs that are spread include MRSA, clostridium difficile, E. coli, and salmonella, which can all cause serious illness.

How Hand Washing Prevents the Spread of Germs

Proper hand washing is the most effective method of preventing the spread of disease. It removes dirt and germs from your hands that can be spread to others and helps keep the environment around you clean.

Handwashing helps prevent infections because:

  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. This allows germs to get into the body and make us sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.

You should always wash your hands after touching anything that may be soiled or contaminated with germs.

Handwashing helps battle the rise in antibiotic resistance

Preventing sickness reduces the amount of antibiotics people use and the likelihood that antibiotic resistance will develop. By washing your hands frequently, you help reduce the number of infections, thus helping prevent the overuse of antibiotics. Handwashing can also prevent people from getting sick from germs that are already resistant to antibiotics and difficult to treat.

Download our PDF to learn the proper handwashing technique.