Hand Hygiene

Just Clean Your Hands

Hand hygiene refers to cleaning your hands to remove dirt, blood, bacteria etc. using soap and water or alcohol–based hand rub (ABHR).  It is the best way to reduce the spread of infections and germs. 

What’s the Difference?
Alcohol-Based Hand Rub (ABHR)
  • More effective than soap and water when hands are not visibly dirty
  • Takes less time than  using soap and water
  • Pump at least a dime-sized amount of ABHR into your hands, rub it everywhere on your hands and fingers and rub for at least 15 seconds
  • Thorough rubbing for at least 15 seconds is important to kill bacteria
Soap and Water
  • More effective than ABHR when hands are visibly dirty 
  • After wetting your hands, use soap and build up lather.  Rub everywhere on your hands and fingers for at least 15 seconds before rinsing and drying
  • Rubbing your hands while washing, rinsing and drying removes visible dirt and most bacteria
When Should We Clean Our Hands?
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before eating
  • After coughing, sneezing, blowing our nose
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After touching an animal, animal food, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage
  • When hands look dirty

For more information about hand hygiene call the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit at 519.355.1071 ext. 5902.