If you have ever seen a petri dish that has been infected with germs such as E. coli, salmonella, or even the common cold, you know it is very disturbing to see. However, if you have not ever seen one, imagine a glass surface that has mold like spores all over it, and likely the spread of the spores came from your hand, just touching the surface for no more than just a few seconds. Did you imagine it? YUCK, right? Bacteria and viruses, also called microbes are by far some of the scariest creatures under a microscope, but no need to fear them! In this blog I will talk to you about how to practice hand cleanliness to stay safer from these unpleasant, sometimes deadly, organisms.
With the cold and flu season coming up, staying safe and healthy is even more fixed in our brains than when spring and summer are in full bloom. Washing your hands with soap and warm water for 20 or more seconds is one of the most effective ways to get rid of harmful germs and dirt. Just sing the “Happy Birthday” song two times and your hands should be nearly spotless. The CDC references that education about washing hands can1:
- Reduce the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40%
- Reduce diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%
- Reduce respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%
- Reduce absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57%
What should you do when soap and water is not readily available? Well there are several options that you can use when out and about where soap and water are scarce. One is sanitizing wipes with at least 60% alcohol. They are just as effective as washing your hands because they can kill up to 99.9% of germs on contact. But once you touch more surfaces, you will need to wipe again. Another option is hand sanitizer. Like our First Responder® 80% ethanol liquid and HydroProtect® 75% ethanol gel hand sanitizer and spray product lines, rubbing or spraying the sanitizer onto your hands and dirty surfaces is effective against, you guessed it, 99.9% of germs. There is also a non-alcohol option for people with sensitive skin, or who just want something greener and more natural than alcohol, and it is called EscenciaProtect®. Hydromer’s plant-based, moisturizing sanitizer line, EscenciaProtect®, is effective against germs and will continue to work for 30 minutes and even up to an hour without reapplying.
Winter is coming! Yeah, I just proudly quoted GOT! To be honest I’m more worried about the cold weather, brrrr! not the cold virus, because if you are washing your hands and sanitizing your surfaces, you are statistically less likely to get sick, as referenced with the CDC above. Remember, stay clean, stay healthy. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, maybe often washing of your hands and surfaces, can as well. From our team at Hydromer®, stay safe, stay healthy and have happy holidays ahead.
1 CDC- https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/why-handwashing.html