The regular use of hand sanitizers is a great way to help stop the spread of infections and germs. However, the World Health Organization has said that washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs and minimize the spread of viruses.
Still, studies have shown that how much time you spend washing your hands can make a measurable difference in the effectiveness of hand washing for preventing the spread of disease.
So how much time should you spend washing your hands?
At Least 20 Seconds
Once the pandemic started, the "20-second" rule became well-known. Except, we forget the 'at least' part, which is critical. So, 20 seconds is the minimum amount of time you should spend washing your hands.
The actual amount of time you should wash your hands depend on many factors. These include how dirty your hands are and the compounds that they are soiled with (like grease versus dust).
Why at Least 20 Seconds?
To help understand why you should wash for at least 20 seconds, it helps to have a basic understanding of how soap works. The ingredients in soap that do the heavy lifting of cleaning your hands are released and delivered by the soap's lather.
They work by trapping, dissolving and carrying away dirt and bacteria. But it takes a bit of time to do all of that. In addition, the surface area of your hands that needs to be cleaned; and the pores, folds and crevices; not to mention under fingernails and between fingers, all add to the amount of time soap needs to clean your hands.
The results of several studies confirm that it takes at least 20 seconds of washing your hands to cover the entire area and get rid of all the grime and germs.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our recent article 3 Big Benefits of Disinfecting Spray.