Why is handwashing important — and is it possible to clean your hands when you’re on the go? The colder weather forces many people indoors. The closed environment coupled with a rise in seasonal respiratory illnesses can increase the number of germs in your home, at school, in the office, or just about anywhere. Take a look at what you need to know about handwashing, cleansing alternatives, and your health.

Do You Really Need to Wash Your Hands?

Simply stated, yes. While it is possible to go through life without ever washing your hands, this isn’t a hygiene practice you should routinely skip. Handwashing can help you to stay healthy and keep those around you safe. 

How can a simple splash with soap and water decrease the risks of illnesses — especially respiratory diseases such as the common cold, the flu, and Covid-19? This easy everyday action can:

  • Remove your germs from your hands. When you sneeze into your palms, innocently wipe your nose, eat with your fingers, or touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, you can quickly cover your hands with germs. These microorganisms travel onto anything you touch, potentially infecting those around you. 
  • Remove other people’s germs from your hands. You’re not the only person who can unintentionally cover surfaces with germs. When you touch doorknobs, countertops, elevator buttons, or other surfaces, you can pick up viruses and bacteria other people leave behind.
  • Stop you and those around you from getting sick. Why is it important to reduce the number of germs on your hands and other surfaces? This practice can also reduce the number of infections

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effective handwashing is one of the primary steps necessary to avoid the spread of illnesses. The CDC recommends lathering and scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds to destroy germs. 

What Happens If Soap and Water Aren’t Available?

Now that you know why you should wash your hands and how long to scrub for, you may wonder what you can do in a situation when soap and water aren’t readily available. While a sink, clean running tap water, and soap are ideal for proper handwashing, this combination isn’t always an option. 

Whether you’re on the go and don’t have time to find a sink or restroom or you are somewhere that doesn’t have water and soap, you can still keep your hands clean and reduce the number of germs with alternative solutions such as a hand sanitizer or waterless hand-washing product. If you do choose a waterless wash, look for an option that:

  • Properly cleans your hands. A product that doesn’t either kill viral and bacterial particles or physically remove them won’t help you to reduce the spread of illnesses. Review the product’s claims and the research behind them before you invest in a handwashing alternative.
  • Repels germs. Some products go a step beyond germ removal. A handwash that repels germs can help to keep your hands clean without the need to constantly re-wash them. 
  • Hydrates your skin. Hand sanitizers and similar alcohol-containing alternatives can dry the delicate skin on your hands. This can leave you with chapped, cracked, or bleeding skin. A hydrating product or a wash with added moisturizers can keep your hands clean and smooth.

Even though dry skin isn’t always a serious issue, it can lead to potential problems. Any break in the skin could potentially allow bacteria in. This can result in an infection that requires additional medical treatment, so to protect your health, find a product that prevents or treats dryness. 

Do you need a waterless handwash product to use at work, at school, at the park, or anywhere else? Contact ionSURE for more information. 

Skip to content