How to wash and dry your hands
From childhood we are taught that it is important to wash our hands, that dirt can cause diseases, but we are growing up and cannot answer the question: why wash them? On the eve of World Handwashing Day on October 15, hygienists and Ecolab experts told us which dirtiest item was at home, whether it was worth being afraid of hand dryers and how to use antibacterial soap correctly.
The dirtiest thing in the house
If you start thinking about bacteria and hygiene, you involuntarily ask yourself: which of the objects around us is the dirtiest? There are many candidates, and the opinions of experts on this issue are divided.
Of course, the number of bacteria on a particular subject is directly related to the quality of care for it. However, experts can easily call potentially the dirtiest objects.
Open a list of things that are on duty remain wet for a long time. It is well known that a humid and warm environment is an excellent catalyst for the growth of bacteria. Shower curtains, dish sponges and cutting boards - the dirtiest household items.
But do not get rid of them in a panic. Evgeny Gennadyevich Kozlov, leading specialist in dermatovenerology, TsMSCH No. 119, the FMBA believes that careful attention to these items and their timely replacement can significantly reduce the number of pathogens that threaten our health. So chopping board It should be thoroughly washed with hot water, in addition, you must have a cutting board for each type of product (meat, vegetables, etc.).
Sponge for dishes It should be changed once a week, but it can last longer if it is well washed, dried and not stored in a humid environment. A shower curtain - in the absence of periodic processing and washing - should be changed once a month.
In second place are the items with which we often contact: house keys, money and mobile phones. In general, on all objects, the surface of which is in contact with human hands, more bacteria live. Conclusion: wash your hands after handling the money and wipe the phones with alcohol.
The most favorable items for breeding bacteria that we encounter every day are handrails in public transport and oddly enough leather bags. If a high level of pollution is easily explained with transport, then with a leather bag things are more complicated. Genuine leather itself is an excellent breeding ground for microorganisms. In addition, the bag is almost always in contact with our hands (and sometimes with the hands of passers-by), follows us into a warm office or apartment and often turns on the floor. All these factors make it one of the potentially dirtiest items.
The better to wash your hands?
Nowadays, you can clean your hands in different ways: using lumpy or liquid hand soap, soap suds or so-called alcohol-based sanitizers. We tried to figure out how best to maintain cleanliness on a daily basis.
According to WHO, the two most effective anti-microbial agents are antibacterial soap and sanitizers. Sanitizers have the greatest bactericidal action and are able to very seriously clean the hands of bacteria. Antibacterial soap, which includes bactericides, is slightly inferior in efficiency to alcohol-containing agents, but is also widely used where hand disinfection is critically important.
Yevgeny Kozlov emphasizes: "If it is not possible to wash hands, but it is necessary to disinfect them, the use of sanitizers is justified. But sometimes they include strong disinfectants, the constant use of which in everyday life is undesirable."
With regard to antibacterial soap, in September 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States prohibited companies from releasing products with antiseptic ingredients until they confirmed their effectiveness and safety.
The fact is that not only harmful bacteria and viruses live on our hands, but also useful ones that perform a protective function in our body. Single use of antibacterial soap is recommended in case of severe microbial contamination of hands and will not be able to harm. At the same time, its constant use can contribute to the development of the so-called clean skin syndrome, weakening the protective mechanisms of the body and allergies.
After using antibacterial soap, hands remain decontaminated for 60-120 minutes. If you wash your hands with ordinary soap, then literally in 30 minutes the natural microflora of the hands will be restored again.
How to wash your hands
How to dry your hands
The question of how to dry your hands has long been concerned with hygiene specialists. Currently, the most common methods of drying hands are textile towels, paper towels and electric hand dryers.
Textile towels are suitable only for home use and are completely unsuitable for catering, although they can be found in some restaurants. They require very careful care even at home, as they absorb moisture and become an ideal medium for the spread of bacteria.
Modern sensory hand dryer may seem the best option, but, unfortunately, not always. As in the case of the door handle, the surface of the dryer can potentially be contaminated, as it is located in the same room as the toilet. In this case, the hot stream of air will only serve as a vehicle for the "moving" of bacteria to our hands.
The best way to dry your hands is with a disposable paper towel. The presence of a protective casing around the roll, the absence of direct contact with other people and the sensory mechanism of the towels themselves significantly reduce the risk of harmful bacteria falling on it and, consequently, reduce the chance of infection.
How to wash vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs
In addition to hands, you should also carefully wash the food. Among the products most susceptible to contamination can be identified raw meat and poultry, as well as raw vegetables and fruits.
For some reason, plants are usually considered less dangerous than meat, but this is not so. Under natural conditions, vegetables and fruits are indeed a haven for microorganisms, but they are much less harmful among them than in meat. However, treatment with fertilizers just before harvesting and irrigating the fields with polluted water (wastewater) leads to a huge amount of pathogens on vegetables and fruits.
It is believed that chicken eggs do not need to be washed before cooking. However, there are particularly zealous fans of purity who wash the eggs immediately after they brought them from the store. Experts recommend washing eggs just before cooking, and here's why.
Eggs have their own protective layer, and its premature removal will allow pathogens to penetrate inside (this is why you should not wash eggs immediately after going shopping). However, the animal could be infected with one of many infections that should not be taken into food, so hygienic processing of eggs before cooking will reduce the risk of infection.