Handwashing has been a central part of personal hygiene, as well as a religious and cultural custom for many years. The link between handwashing and health was made around 1856, by the ‘Father of Hand Hygiene’, Ignac Semmelweis, a Hungarian obstetrician. Even today, his idea of hand hygiene to prevent the spread of germs, plays a central role in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In recent years, handwashing with soap and other forms of hand hygiene are being recognised as a cost-effective and essential tool for good health.

Why Do We Wash Our Hands Before Eating?

"Did you wash your hands?" How many times did you hear that while you were growing up, and especially before mealtimes?

Just think about how many foods you eat with your hands. That crispy apple, those crunchy peanuts, and your healthy lunch-time salad roll. Now think about all the things you touched today: your cell phone, the toilet flusher, the supermarket trolley. Whatever you did today, your hands came into contact with germs. And that’s why it's so easy for germs on your hands to end up in your mouth.

 

Image of a child eating an apple

 

Make It A Golden Rule to Wash Your Hands:

  • before eating
  • before preparing or serving food
  • after using the bathroom
  • after blowing your nose or coughing
  • after touching pets or other animals
  • after playing outside
  • before and after visiting a sick relative or friend
  • whenever your hands are dirty

Why Is It Important to Wash Your Hands Before Eating?

When you eat a meal without washing your hands, the germs on your hands go into your mouth. Germs can cause infections like sore throats and stomach flu.

Handwashing is vital because our hands spread illnesses. Many studies have shown that by washing our hands properly and making use of a soap with tea tree oil, we can greatly reduce the number of germs on our hands and the risk of getting sick.

What Is Tea Tree Soap Good For?

The germ protection properties of soap with tea tree oil, like Lifebouy Tea tree and Aloe Vera Germ Protection Soap, make it effective in helping to fight the spread of germs.

Whether you decide to use bar soap or handwash soap in your home, is a matter of personal preference. One is not better than the other.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of handwashing, here are some steps to ensure that you get your hands perfectly clean:

  • Use warm or cold (not hot) water when you wash your hands.
  • Work up a good lather on both sides of your hands (front and back), your wrists, and between your fingers. Don't forget to wash around your nails. This is one place germs like to hide.
  • Wash and sing "Happy Birthday." (Sing it quickly two times or just once if you go nice and slow.)
  • Rinse and dry well with a clean towel.

It’s important to remember that washing your hands is considered a major preventative measure for helping prevent the spread of germs

Image of a person washing their hands with hand wash