person thoroughly washing their hands

Hand care tips: how to keep your hands clean

Keeping your hands clean has never been so important, and you might’ve been doing it wrong your whole life. But the good news is this: it’s pretty simple to clean them properly.

At Wet Ones, we live by this 9-step hand-washing ritual:

Step 1

Wet your hands with clean running water (it doesn’t have to be warm)

Step 2

Soap up your hands until you get a good lather

Step 3

Scrub the back of one hand with your other hand, making sure to clean between your fingers. Then swap hands and repeat

Step 4

Rub your hands together with the palms facing each other, cleaning between your fingers again

Step 5

Rub the backs of your fingers against the palm of your other hand, with each set of fingers curled around the other

Step 6

Turn your attention to your thumbs, giving each a good scrub with the other hand

Step 7

Clean the tips of your fingers using the opposite hand, paying attention to underneath your nails.

Step 8

That’s enough soap: rinse your hands well with water

Step 9

Dry your hands thoroughly.

This should all take around 20 seconds, the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Now every day will feel more festive!

Use hand sanitiser when there’s no soap and water

Soap and water is always the best way to get your hands clean. But you can’t always take the kitchen sink with you.

So it’s a good idea to keep some alcohol-based hand sanitiser (containing at least 70% alcohol) around, as most of us probably do nowadays. Follow the same rules as you do for soap and water: make sure every part of your hands gets a good scrub, for 20 seconds. Many people make the mistake of just dropping a little onto their hands and thinking that’s good enough.

Antibacterial hand wipes are another convenient alternative to soap and water. All our wipes kill 99.9% of bacteria and are biodegradable too, so being kind to your hands doesn’t mean you can’t be kind to the environment. They’re also effective against coronaviruses, including SARS-Cov-2*.

When do you need to wash your hands?

As we’re all now very aware, washing your hands is vital to avoid spreading germs and infections. It’s one of the simplest measures imaginable, but also one of the most effective.

The importance of avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands has been well publicised. We’ve also been warned to wash our hands after touching surfaces in public places, including door handles, chairs, cash machines, tables and shopping trolleys. And once we get home from visiting these public places, it’s time to sing “Happy Birthday” again and ensure your hands stay safe and clean.

Here are some other times when you need to wash your hands:

  1. Before, during and after preparing food
  2. Before and after eating
  3. After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
  4. After using the toilet
  5. Before and after changing nappies or helping children use a toilet
  6. After taking the rubbish out
  7. Before and after treating a cut
  8. After touching animals, pet food or animal waste
  9. Before and after caring for someone with vomiting or diarrhea

If in doubt, it’s always better to give your hands a good scrub. Just think about how many different things they touch each day before you eat or scratch your nose with them.

And when you’re out and about, make sure you have some Wet Ones hand wipes and sanitiser with you, because you never know what germs are around the corner.

* tested against SARS-CoV-2 and Human coronavirus 0C43 using EN 14476.