Home 8-12 years Wash your hands

Wash your hands

The importance of washing your hands

Just think: You've surely seen many films in which surgeons wash their hands, dry them and hold them up. Their hands could be contaminated by all kinds of germs or bacteria that slide down their arms!!!!

Washing your hands is a basic health rule.

How to wash your hands

Your hands are covered in more bactera and germs than you would imagine. It often happens that we are not aware of the materials that we may have on our hands that are "harmful" to our health.

That's why we must wash them thoroughly, to keep them clean.




  • With lukewarm water, because warm water disinfects better.
  • Wet your hands before using the soap
  • Rub your hands together for at least 10 seconds making sure you haven't missed a spot. Wash them up to the wrists.
  • Rinse your hands carefully, without wasting any water (remember that this commodity is in short supply) and remove all traces of soap.
  • Turn off the tap using a paper towel or trying to touch it as little as possible.
  • Dry your hands using a clean paper towel..


  • You should ALWAYS wash your hands after using the toilet (and sometimes even before).
  • And before preparing food or eating.


How often



Bacteria and germs are not visible to the naked eye; for this reason we never know whether our hands are perfectly clean or not.

It is important to wash your hands as often as possible; you MUST wash them whenever:

  • You are preparing food.
  • You are eating.
  • You have to use the toilet.
  • You touch animals or things belonging to animals.
  • You cure a wound.
  • Your hands are dirty.
  • You are sick.
  • You have wiped the nose of a child or sick person.

Why? Importance, reasons, etc.

We must wash our hands for the sake of our health.

To keep ourselves healthy and fit.

If we don't wash our hands, dirt will build up on them which might lead to our becoming ill, and also the people around us.

Everything we touch may be dirty and pass bacteria o germs on to us:

  • A doorknob
  • A stair banister
  • A bus rail
  • If we touch or blow our noses


The difference between washing and disinfecting


Washing (cleaning) and disinfecting are two completely different things.

Cleaning (washing) only refers to using soap and water to get rid of dirt and most known germs.

On the other hand desinfection, refers to using cleaning products that contain ingredients which kill bacteria and other germs. A great many skins or surfaces appear to be clean, but may be covered in germs.

It is necessary to take certain precautions when washing or disinfecting special objects.

Follow these rules:

  • Wear gloves made of rubber whenever you have to clean blood, vomit or faeces, or if you have cuts or wound on your hands. These wounds may become infected. Even if you wear gloves, wash your hands after cleaning or disinfecting any surface.
  • Read the instructions carefully before using a disinfectant.
  • First of all, wash the dirty surface with water.
  • Leave the disinfectant to act for a few seconds, following the product manufacturer's directions for use.
  • Wash your hands when you have finished, and make sure you haven't touched your eyes, nose or mouth with the gloves.


  Each house has two areas that must be cleaned and disinfected properly and often: the kitchen and the bathroom.

In kitchens, any bacteria that might be present in food may contaminate the work surfaces used to prepare food. If we consume contaminated food, we may become ill, and suffer health problems.

In the bathroom, we must take a series of basic measures with respect to hygiene, and always wash our hands before we leave it.


M. Pilar Gascón. Pharmacist.