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  • Hand Washing: Instruction, Drying and Benefits

Hand Washing: Instruction, Drying and Benefits





As a consumer, I visit restrooms  in public buildings, restaurants, service stations, etc. I find that I am more and more aware of “touch points” and where my hands touch where other people’s hands touch. Hand washing is a two-fold process: washing AND drying.

Washing hands properly using soap and water, followed by a thorough drying with a paper towel, the presence of germs on hands can be reduced.

Simple hand washing steps recommended by the CDC:

• Wet hand with clean, running water and apply soap
• Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub them well, making sure to scrub the backs of hands, between fingers and under nails.
• Continue rubbing hands for at least 20 seconds
• Rinse hands well under running water
• Dry hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

The amount of time spent washing hands is important to reduce the transmission of pathogens to other places. During this process, hand drying properly can be just as important as using soap and water. The fundamental principal of hand washing is removal, not killing.

Wet hands have been known to transfer pathogens (germs) more readily than dry hands or hands not washed at all.
The drying times required to reduce the transfer of these pathogens varies with drying methods.

Recommended hand drying methods and drying times are outlined below:

Drying method


Total drying time


Single-use paper towels

Rub hands on two paper towels drying hands for 10 seconds on each

20 seconds

The first towel removes the bulk of the water; the seconds achieves complete drying

Air dryer

Rub hands together for while rotating them under warm air

30 – 45 seconds

 A prolonged drying period is required to achieve complete drying

Leftover water on hands after hand washing can essentially increase the spread of infections because it contains bacteria and microorganisms that can be transferred among people.

It’s important to rub your hands together or on paper towels, this drying friction produced can remove any additional dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells as well as absorbing remaining water from your hands.

Take the time to wash and dry your hands correctly.  It will prevent cross-contamination and help to maintain a clean work environment or the environment where you are visiting.

For premier janitorial services in the Tampa Bay Area, contact Sayyah’s Cleaning at 813 961 1445.


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