How handwashing prevents microbial infection

Person washing hands with a MediWash portable unit that features handwashing instruction video

Soap and water – and a sound technique – are vital

The importance of basic hand hygiene has gained even more importance over the last couple of years as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Hands contaminated with pathogens are frequently the “first routes for entry” into a person’s system for many of them. Non-compliance with effective hygiene practices “makes healthcare workers vulnerable to the dissemination of nosocomial infections”, which puts not only themselves, but also their patients at risk, according to a recent report on the News Medical website.

In the article Sreetama Dutt M.Sc. writes that public health organisations strongly emphasise the need for handwashing, a message which which in turn has been reinforced by researchers in the USA who have been comparing soaps of many kinds, time spent handwashing, appropriate techniques, ways of drying hands and so on. The results were reportedly published in a recent PeerJ journal issue, Soap, water, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2): an ancient handwashing strategy for preventing dissemination of a novel virus.

How handwashing works

During effective hand hygiene actions, achieved by washing properly for between 20 and 30 seconds, “water dissolves polar (hydrophilic) portions of the dirt or soil load while the soap micelles dissolve the non-polar (hydrophobic) portions of the soil load and lipid-enveloped viruses” wrote Ms Dutt.

“Scientific evidence proves the benefits of washing hands with soap and water, preventing the dissemination of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections.”

Explaining how it works, she added

“Soap and water induce inactivation of the microbial cell wall and eventual death of most pathogens, including enveloped viruses like the SARS-CoV-2.”

The importance of handwashing in the COVID-19 era: Back to basics »

The Teal CliniWash mobile handwash unit for medical facilities

Soap and water hand washing – wherever it can be most effective!

Teal produces a comprehensive range of mobile sinks and portable basins for every type of hand washing situation for use by anyone who needs to wash their hands effectively, whether they’re in an office environment, temporary accommodation or out in the field on a daily basis.

Shown above: The Teal MediWash, which features a handwashing technique instruction video display (top of the page) and the new CliniWash. Both mobile handwash units have a timed hand hygiene program, ensuring that hands are washed for the appropriate period.

The range of mobile handwash units for medical facilities »

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