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It may be surprising to discover
that even in this scientific age the single most important
thing we can do to protect ourselves, our families and to help
prevent the spread of H1N1 Flu virus epidemic Swine Flu is simply
good old fashion Hand Washing.
It has been conclusively shown that
efficient hand washing can:-
Minimise the spread of
Help avoid respiratory infections
Reduce infant deaths at home.
Before eating or touching
After using the
After blowing your nose or
After touching pets or other
Before and after visiting a sick
relative or friend
How does it Work?
Contrary to general belief
Hand Washing does not kill germs nor is it designed to. Rather it is
simply a method whereby infectious agents are physically
wiped/washed from the skin. Because it is only a method whereby
germs are brushed off one the following points of the
X Hand Washing Code should be particularly adhered to:-
- Spend time washing thoroughly. The
Clean X Procedure for Hand Washing should take around 1-2
minutes depending on how dirty your hands were to start with. For
very dirty situations the procedure may even need to be
- Dont just splash n dash. This is not
only is a waste of time but it can actually be counterproductive and
be an effective means of actually spreading germs.
- Use warm water as far as possible. This
is to ensure the creation of a rapid and effective lather as a
slippery foam base to scrape the germs away. Additionally, warm,
soapy water is more effective than cold, soapy water at removing the
natural oils on your hands which hold soils and bacteria.
- Use soap from a dispenser rather than
bar soap. It has been shown that bar soap especially when left in a
damp position can become a potent source of infection. Hand washing
with contaminated soap can colonise the hands with Gram-negative
bacteria, which results in an increase in bacterial counts on the
skin instead of a reduction.
- Most people dont dry their hands
efficiently either, but leaving hands damp actually helps germs to
breed in the moisture, and allows them to spread more easily onto
whatever you touch next.
- Use preferably a disposable towel to dry
your hands. Investigations have shown that disposable towels reduce
bacterial contamination by 24% whereas hot air dryers increase
levels by up to 117%. It has been shown that the use of a towel is a
necessary part of effective contaminant removal, since the washing
action separates the contaminants from the skin but does not
completely flush them from the skin - removing the excess water
(with the towel) also removes the suspended contaminants.
- Use a normal emulsifying soap rather
than an antibacterial one. Again it has been shown that the exposure
time to antibacterial soap is insufficient for it to be effective.
This partial effectiveness results in conditions suitable for the
establishment of bacterial resistant strains.
- If you use an alcohol-based hand
sanitiser to wash your hands, you do not need to rinse them with
water. These alcohol-based hand sanitizers actually kill germs,
bacteria, and viruses on contact instead of just physically washing
them down the drain. To use one, apply less than a teaspoon to your
hands and rub it all over your hands as per points 4 to 7 of the
Clean X Handwash. Do not wash off but leave it on your hand to
do its job of killing germs. Unfortunately, if your hands are
covered in something disagreeable, you will need first to use the
Clean X Cross Handwash
as sanitisers will not remove
What do I
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Clean X Handwash