Coronavirus (COVID-19) has people more worried than ever about getting sick — so worried that hand sanitizer is actually selling out in stores across the country. Dr. Ian Smith is here to answer common questions about hand washing versus using hand sanitizer, demonstrate the proper way to wash your hands and show you how to make your own hand sanitizer at home.
Hand sanitizer isn’t a replacement for washing your hands with soap and water, Dr. Ian stresses. The best way to defend against illness is to wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your face.
“The good old fashioned soap and water [method] is the best way to [prevent illness],” the doc says. “The CDC says 20 seconds; it can be up to 30 seconds.”
Dr. Ian cites an experiment done by DailyMail.com — you can see blue light photos of bacteria on hands before washing, after washing for 15 seconds with soap and after washing for 30 seconds with soap in the video above.
The Right Way To Apply Hand Sanitizer
Just like there’s a right way to wash your hands, there’s a right way to apply hand sanitizer, according to Dr. Ian.
- Apply enough sanitizer to completely cover both hands.
- Rub your hands together, palm to palm.
- Rub the back of each hand with the palm of the other hand.
- Spread sanitizer over and under fingernails and between fingers.
- Keep rubbing hands together until they are dry. Do not dry with a towel.