Soap and water hand washing is the preferred method – but why 20 seconds?

CliniWash portable handwash unit in a waiting room

Mathematical model reveals that it needs to be “vigorous”

Using soap and water is the “best way to wash your hands”, according to NHS video guidance showing how best to complete the task.

Similarly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) is quoted as stating

“Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next.”

This quote is part of an interesting recent report on the Digital Journal website, which looks at the perceived wisdom of washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, indicated widely as the amount of time that it takes to sing “happy birthday” twice.

The article’s author Dr. Tim Sandle reveals that “While there is a biological basis and 20 seconds appears to be effective…”, the true scientifically detailed dynamics have perhaps been under researched. Until now…

The mechanics of hand washing

Dr Sandle quotes the findings of Hammond Consulting Limited scientists who “described a model that captures the key mechanics of hand-washing.”

Hand washing simulations were tested in a series of experiments which revealed that a minimum of 20 seconds is indeed sufficient – but only if hands are scrubbed vigorously.

A less robust cleaning action is not as effective because “there is insufficient physical activity with which to disassociate particles from skin”, says the article.

Physics explains the 20 second handwashing rule »

Teal portable hand wash units – place them wherever they’re needed!

There are vehicle mounted, wall mounted, mains powered and free standing hand wash stations as well as mobile sinks for use with pre-heated hot water.

The Teal CliniWash mobile handwash unit for medical facilities

The image above shows the new CliniWash. Its automatic sensor starts a wash and rinse cycle which results in a highly efficient use of water.

The Teal range of mobile sinks includes the MediWashHygienius and Hygienius ProWashBigSynkSuper StalletteTEALwashHandeman XtraCompact ClassicHandSpa, CliniWash – and now the new WashStand Xtra.