One of the easiest and cheapest ways to protect yourself from coronavirus is to keep your hands clean. WHO recommends for the public regularly wash your palms with warm water and soap, and if this is not possible, use an alcohol sanitizer.
Which protects against coronavirus better — soap or sanitizer
No difference. Both soap and sanitizer solutions (with an alcohol concentration of at least 60%, this is important) equally effectively eliminate the virus.
Therefore, in general, washing hands with soap and treating with an alcohol-containing sanitizer are interchangeable procedures. Except for a few cases.
When to wash your hands with soap
Alcohol sanitizers are almost useless if the skin is very dirty.
In addition, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands in the usual way before meals and after using the toilet.
When can I use a sanitizer
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) compiled a list of situations in which you need to clean your hands as quickly as possible in a pandemic. And it doesn’t matter, with soap and water or an alcohol sanitizer.
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Even if you did it correctly — not in a fist, but in the bend of the elbow. And even more so, if you still fist.
- Immediately after leaving public places. It’s about shops, markets, transportation, offices and so on.
- Immediately after returning home.
- After touching any surface outside the home, including cash.
- After touching any surfaces that got into your house from the outside — boxes from under the parcels, bags with purchases and food, shoes, outerwear.
- Before and after meals.
- After processing the garbage.
- After touching animals, including pets.
- After changing diapers or helping children in the toilet. By the way, children also need to handle their hands. Including alcohol-containing sanitizers, if soap and water are not available.
How to sanitize your hands
The medical publication HealthLine recommends that you do this.
- Apply sanitizer to the palm of one hand. With such a calculation that it should be enough for both.
- Rub one hand carefully against the other. Make sure your sanitizer covers the entire surface of your hands, including your fingers and the spaces between them.
- Keep rubbing your hands until they dry. As a rule, this takes 30-60 seconds. The longer you treat your hands, the more reliable you get rid of viruses and germs.
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