We're big believers in using soap to wash your hands - and not just because we make soap! With a farm family of ten, there are lots of opportunities to pass germs back and forth. Regularly washing hands with soap is the easiest way to keep us all healthy and prevent the passing of germs. And with our busy schedule, we don't have time to get sick!
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), five common ways that germs are passed are:
The actual act of washing your hands is not complicated. The important things to remember and to teach your children are to:
Some people are concerned that using a bar soap is not as sanitary as using liquid soap. Several studies show that this isn't much of an issue. As reported in the New York Times, "A study published in 1988 in the journal Epidemiology and Infection concluded that washing even with contaminated bar soap is unlikely to transfer bacteria."
You are more likely to pick up germs from towels that harbor germs than you are to pick up germs from bar soap. Especially if you rinse under running water. I previously wrote in How Soap Works that the soap molecules will wash down the drain and take the germs and dirt with them. People are often concerned about soap not being effective if you are not using hot water. Hot water is not necessary because for the heat itself to kill bacteria, it would have to be hotter than your hands can stand. So use a water temperature that is comfortable to your skin. But however you do it, just make sure you're doing a good job washing your hands with good soap!
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