How to Wash Hands Correctly to Avoid Disease

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How to Wash Hands Correctly to Avoid Disease
How to Wash Hands Correctly to Avoid Disease

It is important to know how to wash your hands properly. This is because hands are often an intermediary for the spread of disease germs. Hands that have been washed and look clean may still contain a lot of germs if not washed properly

Various germs and viruses can stick to your hands when you go to the toilet, change a baby's diaper, process raw meat, shake hands with other people, or come into contact with a source of germs, such as garbage or feces.

How to Wash Hands Correctly to Avoid Disease - Alodokter

Germs can also stick to your hands when you cover your mouth and nose without using a tissue when sneezing and coughing. Not only that, the Corona virus that causes COVID-19 can also stick to your hands and cause infection, if dirty hands touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

How to Wash Hands Properly?

To avoid various infectious diseases, you must be diligent in washing your hands, especially before eating, taking medicine, or removing and putting on contact lenses. Hand washing should also be done after urinating and defecating, touching pets, taking out trash, and when treating wounds.

Washing hands also needs to be considered. So that your hands are completely clean of germs and dirt, follow these guidelines on how to wash your hands properly:

  1. Wet hands with clean running water, either warm or cold water.
  2. Pour soap into palms and rub until foamy.
  3. Make sure all parts of your hands are exposed to soap, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and nails. Do it for at least 20 seconds.
  4. After all hands are cleaned, rinse under running water until the soap suds are gone.
  5. Dry both hands using a tissue or clean towel.

If it's hard to find clean water and soap, you can clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. However, if your hands are very dirty, you should wash them with clean water and soap.

What are the common mistakes when washing hands?

Although it looks simple, in fact there are still many people who wash their hands the wrong way. The following are some of the common mistakes made when washing hands:

1. Do not use soap

Washing your hands with water is not enough because water can't eradicate germs and viruses that stick to your hands. Therefore, you should always wash your hands with clean water and soap.

To be more practical and safe, you are also advised to use liquid soap instead of bar soap because bar soap is more easily contaminated with germs.

2. Immediately rinse the soap with water

Do not immediately rinse hands that have been given soap. At the very least, give yourself about 20-30 seconds to scrub the backs of your hands, palms, between your fingers, and under your nails until they're completely clean.

3. Drying hands using a tumble dryer

To keep hands clean, you should avoid drying hands that have been washed in a hand dryer. Some research shows that hands are cleaner if they dry with a dry tissue than using a hand dryer.

However, this still needs to be investigated further. If you wish to use a hand dryer, place your washed hands under the machine for 30–45 seconds until they are completely dry.

4. Touching things again after washing hands

This is something that is often overlooked. After washing their hands, most people may immediately turn off the faucet using clean hands without using protective equipment, such as tissue. In fact, this method can make your hands contaminated again by germs.

Diseases Caused by Hands Full of Germs

Practicing the right way of washing hands can clean hands from germs while preventing the transmission of infection and disease. The following are some diseases that can be prevented by washing your hands frequently:


Influenza or flu virus infection can irritate the respiratory tract. Viruses can enter the body when you eat using unwashed hands while doing various activities.


Eating with hands that have been contaminated with Salmonella typhi bacteria puts you at risk for typhoid. The same is true if you drink water that has been contaminated with bacteria or eat food served by people who don't wash their hands, especially after coming into contact with feces.

Some of the symptoms of typhoid to watch out for are high fever that lasts for days or weeks, headache, stomach pain, weakness, constipation, or diarrhea.

Hepatitis A

This disease can cause inflammation and affect the function of the liver. Washing your hands regularly, especially before eating, is one way to protect yourself from hepatitis A.

For food service providers, washing hands before preparing and serving food can also reduce the risk of hepatitis A transmission.

In addition to the three diseases above, frequent hand washing can also reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. This step is even included in one of the he alth protocols that everyone must follow to prevent the transmission of the Corona virus.

Diligent hand washing in the right way is one of the behaviors of a clean and he althy life. It's not just adults who need to know how to wash their hands properly. Children are also taught as much as possible and accustomed to washing their hands, to avoid infection.

If you experience symptoms of infection due to infrequent hand washing, such as fever, diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting, or even shortness of breath, immediately consult a doctor for proper treatment.

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