Hand Washing and COVID-19

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team

1a

Washing your hands regularly and adequately is the most effective step you can take to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We know that you are aware of this fact, but do you really wash your hands following the proper steps? Though using soap and water looks like a simple task, there are specific steps you need to follow. Alcohol-based sanitizers are the next best alternative for soap and water.

gif1

 
 

When Do I Need to Wash My Hands?

Washing your hands and keeping them clean can always help prevent infections. But during such outbreaks, it becomes a must. Make sure you make a schedule and wash your hands regularly.
1

Washing your hands is essential:

  • When you go out and return home from public and crowded areas like schools, work, grocery stores, physical activities, hospitals, etc.
  • Before and after you leave the restroom, irrespective of whether you use the public restroom or the one in your house.
  • Even after shaking hands with strangers or anyone during such an outbreak.
  • Before, after, and even during cooking specifically, if you are cooking meat.
  • If you are the person taking care of someone who is sick at home.
  • In case you are treating open wounds and cuts.
  • Before and after changing a kid’s diaper.
  • After you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze.

  • If you are taking care of animals, coming in contact with animal waste or animal feed.
  • After handling pet treats or pet food.
  • After you take out the garbage.
  • If you touch your footwear while wearing it.
  • After you come in contact with surfaces or objects that come in contact with multiple people, such as office computers, tables, currency, and other people’s mobile phones.

handwashing steps

 
 

How Long Should I Wash My Hands?

It is shown that rubbing your hands with soap for 20 seconds and washing them afterward is the most effective way of killing germs.

gif1

When Should I Use a Hand Sanitizer?

It is better to use alcohol-based sanitizers that have at least 60 % alcohol content. They are also useful in preventing the spread of viruses and germs, but washing your hands with soap and water is the most effective way. Using hand sanitizers is the second-best option and more convenient. They come handy in case you are using public transportation, as they come in easy-to-use travel size bottles. They are best when you are at crowded restaurants where using soap is not an option. You can also use it in a crowded place where you cannot have a check on who you will be meeting and shaking hands with.

5


Do you have a question to ask a doctor online?

Ask a Doctor Online Now »






Recommended Links
Q: Is there any risk from short-term exposure to ethanol?
An occasional brief exposure of not more than two minutes, as you mentioned, can be done without a mask. However, it is always recommended to use protection when dealing with poisonous gases, especially when you are work... Read more »
Q: Why am I getting repeated itchy rash on the penis?
I have gone through your query and I have understood it. It can be a candidal infection. Classical candidal infection presents with the following signs and symptoms like itching, redness, edema, white deposition and line... Read more »
Q: A dog's teeth touched my fingers. Do I need to take rabies vaccine?
Is the dog alright? You have to keep watching the dog whether the dog die or not. Since, there is no blood and you said it happened last week; you do not need any vaccine now. Revert back with the asked details to a gen... Read more »
Ask a Doctor Online? Ask Now!