With COVID-19 spreading across the globe, the importance of proper hand washing has been emphasized more than ever. Your hands come into contact with many different surfaces over the course of the day, and easily pick up—and transfer—bacteria, germs, dirt and more. (We hope you were already washing your hands frequently—but even if you were, there’s always room for improvement!)

Some people have a rinse-and-go technique that doesn’t eliminate bacteria, germs and viruses the way that’s needed if they wish to protect their health. If you aren’t familiar with the proper hand-washing steps, according to medical professionals, read on to find out the best technique—and why it’s so important.

Wash your hands properly with these steps

There are seven steps in properly washing your hands:

  1. Wet your hands and apply soap: For best results, use liquid hand soap and lukewarm water.
  2. Rub your hands together: Vigorously scrub your hands together, forming a lather.
  3. Rub the backs of your hands: Next, thoroughly clean the backs of your hands with the opposite hand.
  4. Interlock your fingers: Wash between your fingers by lacing your fingers together and scrubbing.
  5. Cup your hands and fingers: Next, cup your hands and wash the fronts and backs of your hands that way.
  6. Wash your thumbs: Don’t neglect your thumbs—scrub them with the fingers of the opposite hand.
  7. Rub your palms: Finally, rub your palms with your fingers as you rinse your hands off.

After you’re done washing, be sure to thoroughly dry your hands.

How hand washing protects against COVID-19

You might be concerned that COVID-19 is a virus, making anti-bacterial and other soaps ineffective, but that’s not the full story. Hand washing doesn’t just kill germs when you use anti-bacterial soap. It also makes your hands slippery enough to remove germs, and in the case of COVID-19, the virus is encased in a layer of lipids—like fat or grease. Soap breaks those lipids apart and destroys the structure of the virus, killing it and thus ensuring that it cannot make you sick.

Hand washing also helps if you’re one of those people who has recently become aware that they touch their face a lot more than they ever realized. The COVID-19 virus enters the body through the eyes, nose and mouth. If you’re touching your face with dirty hands, you may be delivering the virus straight to vulnerable areas of your body—but if you wash your hands frequently, using the proper steps, and then touch your face, you’re much less likely to get sick.

Stock up on hand soap

Soaps & Scents makes all of our products by hand, including our hand soaps. They’re made with natural ingredients, designed to be gentle on your skin, eliminate germs, bacteria and viruses and, of course, smell great. We also offer a selection of quality handmade candles, lotions, bath bombs and more. Shop online today, or pay a visit to our El Cajon, CA storefront next time we’re open!