Virus Prevention | Wash Your Hands | Here’s How (plus tips)

This is the right way to wash your hands.

Avoid infection / virus infecting your body. One significant way to do this is wash your hands.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Viruses like the cold, flu, coronavirus, etc., have any easy transmission method into your body by way of infected hands. The hands touch the face, and next thing you know the virus found its way via eyes, nose, or mouth.

Bacteria and virus may remain on surfaces of things for awhile. Things that you are likely to touch at some point. Here are a few susceptible things…

Checkout counter keypad digits for your debit/credit card. A zillion people before you have punched those keys.

Rest room door knobs/handles.

Fresh produce at the grocery store that many people before you picked up and handled, then put back down.

Other people’s hands! (i.e. shaking hands with another).

Store carriage handlebar.

Grocery store checkout conveyor belts?

Get the idea? There are LOTS of things that many other people have touched prior to you touching or handling. All it takes is one contagious person with virus, and you might get infected yourself. (Bacteria too).

How To Wash Your Hands

This may sound silly. But most people don’t wash their hands well enough.

Lather up with soap.

Scrub them front and back.

Get between your fingers, and even under your nails to the extent you can.

Do this for at least 20 seconds (most people don’t!).

Then rinse with water. Warm or cold water doesn’t matter.

IMPORTANT: Use a fingernail brush, especially if your nails are not cut short!
(view choices on amzn)

Tips AFTER You Have Washed Your Hands

Avoid touching the faucet with your hands after having washed them. A paper towel is your friend. Especially in a public place!

Similarly don’t touch the paper towel dispenser in a public rest room with your hands (i.e. some have a push lever). Use an elbow (for example).

While exiting a rest room with a door knob or handle. Don’t touch it with your clean hands! Use paper towel. Or tuck the sleeve of your shirt into your hand for a barrier.

Opening a door at a public place. If it doesn’t require turning a knob, push on the door with the side of your arm, or use your butt, or knuckles. Push on a part of the door where most people won’t. Like higher up.

If You Do Not Have Access To Soap and Water

Do not touch your face with your hands. Easier said than done… We do it instinctively with an itch, or whatever – without even thinking about it.

Use alcohol based wipes, foam or gel with at least 60% alcohol solution.

Diseases Without Borders: Boosting Your Immunity (Kindle Edition)

You are not being paranoid by washing your hands. You’re being smart.

Okay you in the medical field… what say you regarding hand washing and such? More tips?

Flu Symptoms | Duration | Remedies

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52 Comments

  1. Excellent synopsis Ken. I have noticed a lot of places have replaced the paper towel dispenser with that air-blade dryer thing or such. Wonderfully stupid way to have half washed hands aerosol splatter all over the place. Avoid them if someone is using it as your waiting.

    I carry a couple of paper towels in my coat pocket. That way I can dry off on my own paper towel (not possibly touched by a half washed paw) and I use that paper towel to open the door. I generally see a trash can near the door so that works ok for me.

    1. Me2

      There have been studies showing the air dryers tend to spread fecal matter around the restroom area. No telling what the effect would be if an infected person used one!

      1. In the words of Sheldon Cooper
        Like having your hands sneeze dried by a disease infested gibbon!

  2. Washing my hands just isn’t going to cut it. I have a terrible habit of biting my nails and hangnails so I have sores all over my fingertips. If I get anything on my hands I’ll be infected long before I touch my eyes or mouth. I’m just gonna have to get used to wearing gloves and carry a few pairs with me when I go out.

  3. A good reminder and have been doing this for years.

    It still amazes me how many people never wash their hands after using the rest room. Every so often there is a Hep A out break because of this despite hand washing being taught at home and K through 12. It may take public shaming to get people to wash their hands after using the rest room (sarcasm). Not washing their hands may establish the habit among the survivors.

    I use an alcohol based hand sanitizer when I get in my car just in case I touched something contaminated in the store. I guess now I will have to get in the habit of disinfecting everything I purchase before putting it on my shelves!

  4. As I was reading what you said about not touching your face, I found that indeed i was scratching an itch on the side of my face. Went to the Beauty shop and now I wonder how many things in that shop have germs. I have been reading so many things about people going to a hospital with symptoms and being released before they know the diagnosis. There are too many incidents to be made up. I am more remote than most and yet 3 couples just left for a cruise to the Caribbean and another couple got back from a cruise that stopped in China in Oct/early Nov. I found out about the latter from a friend who had dinner with them. They said, don’t tell anybody!?!?! Time to disinfect, stay home and pull the welcome mat in,

  5. Ever Visit an Urban Cesspool and use the subway or El train?
    Ever hold onto the grab bar or pole while standing?
    It is a thick greasy slimy film of human fecal bacterium and human hand grease. How awful of a feeling that came over me when I mistakenly grabbed onto the pole in one of those petri tubes.

    Totally Gross!!!!!! 🤮 I could not was my hands enough times to get the slime off of me.
    Ended up stinking my hands in a microwave and nuking them.

    1. White Cracker
      One of the places I shop has push flat style carts. I used Lysol wipes the other day to clean the cart handle and wearing gloves. That handle was filthy!!! Gross is correct.

  6. So many places other people touch! Elevator buttons, the bag handles/grips of your packages that the grocery clerk just packed, the handle of the shared office fridge or microwave. Every last surface at the doctor or dentist office.

    I’m not a coffee drinker – but the handle and buttons on the office coffee maker, and don’t forget the office copier/printer that is loaded with buttons and places to add paper or get your printouts.

    I use paper towels a lot, and have hand sanitizer on my desk and in my purse… and wash my hands a lot… but it doesn’t seem like enough.

    1. So Cal Gal:
      I apologize can not find previous comment.
      Will redo tomorrow. Was very interesting

      Be safe my friend

      1. Thanks, NRP… sorry for the extra work… I couldn’t find it in the history, either. I will keep an eye out tomorrow. Have a good night :)

  7. It really discusses me we have to have placards in the public restrooms:

    Employees must wash their hands before returning to work.
    Really?

    Or how about standing at the urinal, you hear the toilet flush, the exit of the stall, the exit of the restroom, and you hear no faucet activity?
    Sick individuals

    Confine me….please
    In my own home

    1. Joe, can,t pass this up! Two men at the urinal, one gets through, zips up and starts to go out the door. The fella still at the urinal says to him “My Mom always taught me to wash my hands after going to the restroom”. The other fella replies “My Mom taught me not to pee on my hands”

  8. Great article on hand washing. In the medical field, we were told to wash hands or use hand sanitizer while singing the Happy Birthday song to ourselves twice. We have been told it is the rubbing of the hands together that kills germs, so keep on rubbing!!

    I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in the door pocket of my truck so that when I have been out in public I can open the door and immediately hand sanitize before I enter my vehicle. Of course, that does not help the fact that I have touched my keys, my wallet, etc. So now I am hauling sanitizing wipes around to wipe down everything I have carried…like sunglasses, cell phone, wallet, keys, credit card, steering wheel…etc., you all get the point.

    With this type of carefulness I have not gotten the flu for 10 years….but who knows what we are facing with a potentially bio-hacked virus. I am STILL concerned our government is not telling us anything about those who were infected 20 days ago….

  9. Don’t forget some other “dirty” items->money, your cell phone.
    During residency orientation- they had us do a black light hand washing test
    they had some special gel/lotion that we had to rub on our hands and then wash our hands with regular soap and water like usual- then they had us place our hands under the black light and anything that lit up was what we did not wash off with our handwashing technique!!!! Eye opener!!! (P.S-they also shined the light around the room-pretty much everything lights up because we touch everything)

    So wash your hands with soap and water-use friction palms/back or hands/between fingers and fingernails if possible (watch those rings) and sing either Happy Birthday or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to get in at least 20secs of scrub time

    FYI- this is not to endorse any product but this site has pictures of the black light handwash
    https://www.glogerm.com/

    for education purposes (obviously they sell the kit)

    1. Fireswamp,
      That is what I was taught in nursing school and hot water as hot as you can stand.

  10. I travel constantly for work. I go through a small tube of the sanitizer every week and multiple hand wipes. Wipe down the rental vehicle interior and every possible surface in the hotel room. Moved to the first bump vs shaking hands at meetings. Worst area is the rental bus shuttles. If the WU HU FLU hits here I may work from the house for 3 months.

    1. Good article and lots of good comments. Dont forget the gas pump handles. After fueling up I hit the hand sanitizer available at many stations and also in my truck. Ever watch people and see what they scratch and do with their hands and then touch stuff. Ever think of what you scratch and do with your hands?

      A&O

      1. +1 on the gas pumps. Gross! Worse, contaminated! My little trick is to pop a paper towel out of the nearby dispenser and use it to protect my fingertips as I punch in the numbers on the keyboard, then wrap it around the pump handle to actually pump the gas. When done just drop it into the trash as you step back into your car.

  11. Sanitation.? Why is it so important.?

    Ever heard of Cryptosporidium? Look it up. Nice, friendly little guy.
    Hepatitis A, E-Coli O157:H7, Staphylococcus Aureus, Streptococcus, all can be avoided, by washing your hands.

    Until recently, humans lived until about 30 yrs old too. Child mortality in 1860 was 20%, still is in some 3rd world countries.

    All clustered together in cities, People live in a putrid petri dish of germs.

    Sanitation is the only reason they can.

    1. I understand that the Red Chinese ( Yes they are REDS) are destroying vast amounts of paper money to kill off any WE FLU viruses that are on them.

      1. Curious eh,,,
        1. Create a crisis
        2. Cause a panic
        3. Confiscate all the money for everybodys safety
        4. Oops now you must use digital currency and we can monitor your movement because we caught your location permanently on camera….
        5, oh and dont mind that nano RFID that we injected into you along with the antidote to the virus we created

        Hmmmmm? Makes one wonder doesnt it

  12. I have several cans of Walmart branded Lysol purchased back in 2012. Do you think in eight years it’s lost its effectiveness in killing 99.9% of virus’s?

    1. Roger,
      The best I can tell, I’m finding that Lysol will lose some of its effectiveness after 2 years. Though it remains unclear to what extent. Yours is now 8 years. I supposes it becomes a risk tolerance personal decision?

      1. Roger

        Try the concentrate Lysol in the small brown bottle and a sprayer (about 32 oz) from the hardware or cleaning section. Wally world has them both and the sprayer for 2 or 3 dollars. Mix your own to the strength you want.

  13. In line with the topical type of germs: I always keep a bottle of the original BROWN Listerine handy during flew season. I gargle with it at the first sign of an itchy throat or cough and it works! Taste is terrible, but I think that is why it works; because it is strong! You may want to try this inexpensive, but useful tool.

  14. Good advice, however as we go forward I think we have to be concerned about every thing we touch being a potential carrier for corona virus. For instance if the virus can live on surfaces for 9 days (as I read) then I will have to be suspect of the mail as well as any thing I order off the internet. I am also trying to get my Dr. to change my prescriptions just a little so I can re-up another 3 months supply as there will be problems with supply chain if China is unable to maintain production. Keep on parying.

  15. While China’s reported numbers are highly suspect; the fact that they are a communist country provides them with a much better chance of containing a virus than the United States. Everyone in China is more likely to follow orders given by the government which is why you see millions that were obeying self quarantine orders and staying home. We are used to having our freedom, and push back when we are being forced to do something we don’t want to do. The China scenario duplicated over here would be disastrous!

    1. Good point.
      I personally cant imagine a place like Ca or Il Or Ny having any luck at all with any sort of quarantine involving people staying put.

      Personally,,
      Ill chain my gate and string coils of barbed wire on access points,

      Except where the feral hogs and deer can come in

  16. I think the best thing to do is just stay home and don’t touch anything anyone else has touched. If you have a non-essential job, you could just call in sick and not lose your job when the epidemic is over. Your boss won’t want you to come in to the office and expose him.

    I am reading a book called, “The Jakarta Pandemic.” It is fiction, but I think many people would behave exactly the way the characters in the book behaved. The main character is a prescription drug salesman. He had a bunch of anti-viral samples and gave some to his relatives out of state. Of course his brother and sister-in-law had not taken him seriously and misplaced (or discarded) their life-saving doses.

    When people realized food supplies might be cut off, people began stocking up, but one neighbor couldn’t make time to stand in line for hours just for a couple of shopping carts worth of food, even when our hero offered to babysit for his 4 kids while he stood in line. Now in the book that neighbor has been caught breaking into his neighbor’s basements trying to steal their food.

    But the dumbest thing some of them have been doing so far is that one neighbor decided to have a community meeting where she suggested they pool their resources. (Initially several people thought it would be a good idea to gather all the food in the neighborhood together until people realized they would have to add the food in their own pantry to the community stockpile.) But most of them agreed to the other suggestions: Make lists of people who could babysit for the kids of people who got sick, people who could drive sick people to the hospital, etc. At this point in the book, the neighbors are even rotating babysitting chores to “give the housebound parents a break.” (All the kids at one home one day, at another home the next, and so on.) Lots of them are getting the virus and they still don’t realize their folly.

    1. Daisy K
      I read the book when it first came out, like you it is a good book. Now that this same scenario is happening in real life, gives one pause.

      Do I have enough of food, famous TP, medications, livestock, critter food, sanitation supplies, and so.

      This book came out just a few of years before dh was in the ICU after a surgery. When patients from a small town, started hitting the ICU ward in every available hospital.
      I will call it ‘Wild Fire”, young and old were coming down ill, some within 24-48 hours after first symptoms were dying. Watched a man younger than dh placed into a rotating bed to keep fluids from filling his lungs, no I do not know if he survived.
      This was during Christmas vacation, the students from college brought this into that small hamlet of civilization. It almost wiped the town out! Hospitals from WA to San Fran were filled, from these students who had passed it onto others without realizing they were carriers. Medical personnel did not know what they were up against until the tests came back. They were informed it was H1N1, but I think it was a little bit more than that, so they did not frighten the family members.

  17. I have always noticed when in public just how Nasty humans are! Can’t stand watching the person in front of me rubbing their noses and scratching armpits. I now carry my own stylus for signing the electronic card readers, also I wrap my finger with a tissue to touch the buttons. I never touch anything on a gas pump! I carry my own paper towels and gloves in the car for pumping gas.

    Talked to someone from Italy the other day. At their produce markets they are required to wear gloves before picking up their fruits and veggies. If you don’t, the little old ladies running the market will yell at you.

    One thing to do is to wash all your fruits and veggies before putting them in your refrigerator or in the fruit bowl. I have seen produce “managers” pick veggies up off the floor and put them back in the pile. Nasty humans!

    I am a compulsive hand washer and hand sanitizer user. I spray my keys with PGA at least once a day and wipe down my steering wheel, etc.

    Stay safe ya’ll, Beach’n

    1. Beachin,, and all yall
      For produce, and surface decon, this product called OxiDate is excellent to use as a wash. Is basicly Hydrogen Peroxide and Peroxyacetic Acid, is OMRI listed. Need to read the label to see if it will work as a virus control.
      ZeroTol is basicly the same product but is not labled OMRI, same exact product just different lable. These are used to clean and sanitize food processing facilities. Can also be mixed and used on crops for bacterial and fungal control.

      1. Kula,
        Are they using something like this for the rat lung problem there?
        Or does good ol bleach take care of it?

        1. The OxiDate is used as a wash for produce, i doubt many farms are using it for that as under the new food safety law you need to have a special permit to be allowed to wash any produce. 🙄
          But yes, this product would be effective against that.
          Bleach is not an acceptable wash for fresh produce. For sanitation of processing surfaces yes, actual produce no.
          The biggest thing with relation to rat lung worm is vector control. Eliminate rats, eliminate slugs and snails and it should not be a problem.
          Yes it can be done.
          Since basicly the slugs or snails need to come in contact with the rats feces to contract the disease.
          We have cane toads, very effective against the slugs and snails and other stuff too.

          1. Kula,
            Do you use anything in particular for the slugs and snails to help control them?

          2. Bill Jenkins horse
            Havent had to in a while, the toads eat them all.
            When i do though, i use a product called Metarex, is a small blue pellet, snails and slugs cant resist them, is toxic to poultry and gamebirds and dogs and cats, but havent had trouble with that,
            For an organic approved method, sluggo works pretty good, needs frequent applications though

    2. Beach’n
      Here I thought I was the only one who did weird stuff like that.

      More lately I am wearing latex gloves when entering a store or pumping gas, just anything that my hands touch just because people have gross habits. Yesterday even though I had my gloves on forgot to remove them and touched the steering wheel. It was cleansed before the vehicle moved. Yes,, a germ a phoebe

  18. Let’s us invent a new type of protective glove, which is made to look exactly like a normal hand not wearing a glove at all.

    Along with different sizes, one could “age” relate the product, making gloves for children, teens, adults and those over 60, complete with age spots. Naturally, they could be offered in various skin tones and exhibit the same skin textures, blemishes, and hair.

    One could even create gloves offering protection from the tips of one’s fingers to just below the elbow…like an opera glove.

    Bold, new product possibilities abound!

  19. I just thought of another service, which many might take advantage of…

    Certified, pathogen-free, sterilized, food delivery service to the home. Like normal internet food delivery services, except all foodstuffs are specifically disinfected for the pathogen of customer concern. The items are sealed within a sterilized transport box, which is taken to you door. The delivery person merely opens the box never touching the sealed packages inside, allowing the customer to be the only one to reach inside to recover the items.

    Naturally, one would pay more for their food. However, one would not need to exit their home sanctuary to obtain food, nor worry about decon and equipment.

    What are some other ideas?

  20. Okay, now I have the heebee-geebees from all this talk about our germy world. I, too, use LOTS of hand sanitizer, and wash my hands with the method Ken describes. Several years ago I bought a small ultraviolet sanitizing wand (don’t remember why — maybe to make it easier to clean the grandkids’ toys?). Might have to dig that out again.

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