Did you know that an average of every four minutes is spent touching our face with our fingers? This makes us prone to infectious disease that are transmitted by our hands. Helpling, the online marketplace for household services, reveals five tips to keep your hands clean. 

1. Hand washing: it should take more time than you usually spend

The longer you take to wash your hands, the better. If you are unsure of how long to spend washing your hands, count to 30 seconds. On top of the 30 seconds rule, make sure that each and every part of your hands are thoroughly cleaned. Start off with your palms and fingertips, then move to the back of the hands and lastly, the spaces in between your fingers – your hand is larger than you think.

2. Dry your hands: it’s as equally important as washing them

Think your hands are clean after soaping and rinsing? Drying your hand after washing is more important than you think. This is because bacteria is 500 times more likely to manifest in wet surfaces. To ensure this doesn’t happen, use a dry towel or better still, paper towels to dry off. Be careful when using tea towels , as they get wet very often and are in constant contact with food debris, which attracts bacteria as well. Wash and replace them on a regular basis and always make sure to keep extra towels close to the kitchen sink.

3. Pay attention to where your hands touch: clean your keyboards and light switches!

Your keyboard can accommodate up to 400 times as many germs as a toilet seat. In fact, many items that we use every day, can lead to a nasty infection. For example, remote control and light switches are used all the time, but often overlooked when cleaning! The consequences of not cleaning them can lead to cold viruses lasting between one and 24 hours with longer lasting viruses staying up to several weeks on these surfaces. Disinfect these spots with sanitisers regularly and don’t forget to wash your hands too.

Common germ traps include:

  • smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices
  • remote controls
  • door handles and light switches
  • your handbags

4. Wash your gloves – they are another hot-spot for germs!

The reason for wearing gloves is to protect our hands from bacteria. But instead of keeping them germ-free, they can do the opposite when not kept clean and dry. Change your gloves at least once a month and wash them by placing them in a bucket of hot water with two teaspoons of vinegar and some dish detergent for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse well and allow to dry in a cool place.

An easier method will be to clean rubber gloves at 40 degrees in the washing machine. Turn them inside out before throwing them into the washing machine, then neatly hang them to dry. Make sure you read the label on the package before using this method.

5. A clean but smelly hand: use natural ingredients to get rid of it!

A common problem that most people face after cooking are foul-smelling hands that smell so nasty, it spoils your appetite. In this case, the 30-seconds hand washing regime often doesn’t help. Do not worry, you do not have to stay away from smelly ingredients such as fish, onions and garlic. Try rubbing your hands with mint toothpaste before washing them thoroughly, the paste not only tastes good, it also combats the intense food smell on your fingers. Too sticky? Try using a salt scrub! The salt removes the bad odors instantly. Your hands will soon feel clean and smooth.