How Long To Wash Hands (And Why)?

How Long To Wash Hands (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 20 Seconds

Washing hands are also termed hand hygiene. Washing hands is the practice of cleaning both hands with the help of water and soap. The action of washing hands kills several germs like viruses, bacteria, and many microorganisms which are invisible to the naked eyes. They are also used to wash off the dirt, grease, and many other unwanted substances which get rick to our hands, that are visible or invisible by the naked eyes.

Washing hands are an important process but it is incomplete with the drying process of the wet hands. The wet hands are more sticky and full of moisture content that gets dirty or contaminated again very easily. If the person is in any situation or area where soaps and waters are not available in that situation potable sanitizers can be used. The sanitizers which have an alcohol content of more than 60% are best to kill all the invisible germs from the hand. They can’t be effective in case of excessive dirt.

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How Long To Wash Hands?

Hand hygiene is the most important part of the sanitation process, which prevents the spread of infectious diseases in their home or community. To maintain hygiene level in one person he or she needs to wash their hands about five times in the day. The hands should be properly washed with the help of water, and soap to reduce the chance of fecal-oral transmission.

The hands should be properly cleaned after using the toilets for defecation, urination, and menstrual hygiene. Washing hands after changing the nappies of the children, before eating or preparing any sort of food items. The hands should be cleaned after touching any raw meat, fish, and poultry items, as harmful bacteria get stick to your hands. If both hand-washer or sanitizers are not available the hands can be just washed with clean water, but it may not clean the hand properly.

If hands are washed more frequently with soaps, and chemicals this can damage the skin of your hands making them dry. This dryness can cause itchiness in the hands. To avoid the dryness due to frequent washing can be cured by using a lotion or moisturizer. The damaged skin of the hands gets easily contaminated with the virus, bacteria, and other microorganisms present in the surrounding atmosphere. The risk of transmission increases highly due to damage to the skin.

Soap And Water20 Seconds
Sanitizers5 Seconds

Why Does It Takes That Long To Wash Hands?

The WHO (World Health Organisation) instructs to wash the hands with soap, and water for at least 20 seconds after or before doing certain activities like if he or she is taking care sick person. Sanitation is the first priority before or after cooking food, before eating anything with hands. The person should sanitize or wash their hands after coughing or sneezing. If you are in hospital or come back from the hospital he or she needs to wash your hands properly.

If the person washes their hands properly as they have many health benefits like stopping the spread of communicable diseases like influenza and several infectious diseases. If you get infected with dirty hands, people may suffer from a severe diarrhea-like situation. Sanitation is very important for everyone in life. It has several advantages to make the person and environment healthy for survival.


The sanitation standards are uplifted a lot in form past few years. The government had done several good works to improve the sanitation level of the people living in the rural areas mainly. The people living in urban areas are more conscious about their health, and sanitation, especially in their homes. They only clean their home or the place they live but forget about their surroundings like streets, public parks, and many crowded areas.

In rural areas, the government had built many toilets in thousands of houses. If you want to be happy and healthy be hygienic because health is wealth.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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