3 Surprising Things You Probably Didn't Know About Hand Washing

Everyone knows that hand washing is important but there were quite a few things about this daily staple that I didn't know...until now!

1) How the soap and water work together 

I knew that whenever I thought about washing my hands I thought "soap and water" but I never knew how this duo worked together.  I had always thought that it was just about the soap killing the germs, what I learned was that it's the combination of them that makes it work.  Hand washing is effective because it physically REMOVES the germs from your skin.  The soap acts to reduce the surface tension of the water allowing it to do it's job of washing things off the skin.  The soap also helps the water get a hold of grease to break it up and wash it away.  So it's not so much about the type of soap you're using as much it is about how hard you work to break those germs free from your skin and remove them. Even the drying off process is important! 

How Soap Works

2) SOMETIMES THE SOAP MAKES THINGs WORSE

Sorry germaphobes, not all soap is clean!  Stored incorrectly, the soap can actually put more germs on your hands than you already had.  So, if that bar of soap is sitting in a puddle of water next to the sink, think twice before picking it up. It can actually increase the amount of bacteria on your hands.  Dispensers of liquid soap can work but are better if they are sealed as opposed to the refillable type.  

Soap:How Much Cleaner Does It Actually Make Your Hands?

3) THe important areas aren't what you thought

I always thought that the most important, and dirtiest parts, of my hands where the palms.  Turns out the dirtiest parts of your hands are your fingertips and around your nails, especially on your dominant hand.  However it's been found that right-handed people tend to wash their left hand more throughly.  Lesson learned, when you wash give those fingers and tips some extra attention and make sure both hands get equal time! 

The Facts About Hand Washing and Hand Hygiene

 

Alcohol Sanitizers Linked to Alcohol Poisoning in Kids

One of the things I was most shocked by when researching hand cleaning options when I started Handzies was how harmful the alcohol based cleaners can be especially for kids.  It makes me wonder why any company would go as far as making them "kid-friendly" by adding scents and glitter.  Below are a list of articles I read that I thought were very interesting.  One quote I saw that stood out to me was from the webmd article below that states:

“You and I don’t have any problem sending our kids with hand sanitizer in their backpacks. But what if I told you that was twice as potent as vodka. That’s like a parent sending a bottle of whiskey or rum to school,”

ABC News- Kids Getting Drunk on Hand Sanitizers

NBC News- Hand Sanitizers Linked to Alcohol Poisoning in Kids

WebMD- Hand Sanitizers Poisoning More Kids

American Association of Poison Control Centers

TSA and Hand Cleaning

I was reading up on the TSA guidelines for what you can take, hand cleaning wise, through security.  The gel-based cleaners are considered a liquid so they are subject to the limits of 3.4 ounces per item and no more than can fit in quart-sized bag.  If you want to save some room but still have a way to get your hands clean, grab some Handzies.  Since they aren't considered a liquid they don't count towards your limit!  

 

"Alcohol Free" doesn't always mean it's safe

This is a great article I was reading about the concerns of the "alcohol free" replacement many hand sanitizers use.  Benzelkonium chloride has some concerns as well but isn't as widely known as alcohol.  I feel like many companies say "alcohol free" to make you feel like it's free from chemicals but the BZK isn't a great alternative.  It's why I like to stick with soap and water! 

 

http://www.annmariegianni.com/ingredient-watch-list-benzalkonium-chloride-the-potentially-harmful-disinfectant/