Soap and Water Keep Germs Away

Soap and Water Keep Germs Away

Frequent handwashing is a good idea because bacteria are transmitted primarily through direct contact, such as shaking hands with an infected person or touching a surface that the person recently touched. After you touch the infected person or surface, your hands become colonized with bacteria. If you then touch your nose or eyes, you introduce the bacteria into your system.

Handwashing removes the bacteria from your hands. It's not just the soap that accomplishes this, it's also the friction caused by rubbing your hands together and rinsing them with water."

15 seconds to one minute of brisk rubbing is effective.

When to wash your hands is largely a matter of common sense - before and after eating;

after using the bathroom; after changing a diaper or litter box; after sneezing or coughing; after playing with a pet; and after shaking hands with a lot of people. Antibacterial soaps can provide added protection. Doctors recommend using them if you are caring for someone with a contagious illness. Using antibacterial soap is also a good idea during the cold and flu season - from November through April. Some antibacterial soaps leave a residue on the hands that can provide additional protection from bacteria