Just Wash Hands

There is a Simple Way

by Bob Root, Keys CTO

Yes, it is flu season, and traveling is getting to be a more significant concern because of virus outbreaks. It is the time of year to write about not only how to wash your hands, but why doing it the wrong way can hurt.

Many years ago, we researched the University of California Irvine on proper handwashing as a means to stay healthy during flu and virus outbreaks. The study formed our opinion, which I will share here.

The primary purpose of washing your hands is not to spread viruses to your face. The average person touches their face about 50 times a day. When I mentally checked in with how often I touch my face or nose with my hands, I quickly lost count—much more than 50 times a day.

So why wash your hands? The process of washing hands is to reduce the bacterial mass on your hands without harming the Microbiome. Our skin has friendly bacteria. Our Microbiome is occasionally invaded by bad gram-positive and gram-negative rods known as pathogens. These are the disease-carrying bacterial that infect us mostly through our noses and mouths. Was to remove them lowers the risk of infection.

Our Galleyon foaming soap helps to remove the bacterial mass because it is a Castile based soap that uses a high concentration of spearmint essential oil. Galleyon makes an excellent cleanser because Castile soaps are alkaline, and the spearmint aid in the cleaning process to reduce the overall bacterial count.

How to Wash with Galleyon

It is simple, and you might not be washing long enough.

  1. Wet your hands thoroughly with warm water. This will open the pores of the skin to let the soap get deep in.  
  2. Apply a few pumps of Galleyon Foam and wash all parts of your hands for at least 30 seconds. More if you like, but not less.
  3. Rinse with cool to warm water under flowing water. Rince longer than you think.
  4. Shake your hands over the sink rapidly to release the water.
  5. Use a paper towel to dry because a cloth towel used more than once is a home for the harmful bacteria to accumulate. Optionally air dry or use one of those clean air dry blowers like the Dyson Blade.
  6. You’re Done!

What Not to Do.

Antibacterial agents

Stop! The term antibacterial has two distinct meanings in the world of science. Reducing the biomass on your hands is the good antibacterial action, and killing the bacterial with bactericides like triclosan is terrible. Killing bactericides like triclosan indiscriminately kill good and bad bacteria at the same time. The grandmothers’ tale is accurate. If you kill all the bacterial, there is no defense for the bad guys to invade harder and faster. I read one article where someone said to use Lysol to sanitize. Nuts!

Hand Sanitizers

Okay, you can make your own hand sanitizer with Galleyon by mixing one part of the liquids soap with five parts water. Spraying it on parts or your hands will help, but not that much. Using most hand sanitizers can hurt because they are mostly ethanol alcohol—usually about 60%. Ethanol is a bacteriacide that also indiscriminately kill good and bad bacteria. I was just on a plane where I watched a guy, who looked like an engineer, put on rubber gloves, take what seemed like an alcohol wipe, and cleaned his entire seat area. Then he carefully captured the wipe by removing his glove in a way to make it into a baggy. This was good because he sanitized the area as opposed to his skin. A+ The message is to sanitize your surroundings and not your hands. Keep that good bacteria working for you.

Extreme Times Need Extreme Measures

Sanitizer Effectivity in Question

Alert: Many hand sanitizers are what I call “Soft.” What this means is that some sanitizers are for casual use. Make sure your hand sanitizer has ample germ-fighting protection. I recommend alcohol-based sanitizers that exceed 60% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. My DIY version uses 190 proof ethanol or 95% ethanol. See https://www.keyspure.com/diy-sanitizer/

Gloves?

Wearing gloves is a good thing, but it is hard to do and uncomfortable. Those Nitrile blue or black gloves work, but they can get hot, and your hands can get sweaty wearing them. Bacterial needs oxygen (air) and water to propagate. So, unless you change them out and wash between, they are not that good. Cloth or porous gloves do nothing!

Don’t Touch Your Face.

One of the best deterrents is not to touch public things and not touch your hands/fingers to your face. I recently had a meeting in Las Vegas and had to fly through Phoenix to get there. The areas I was in were very low humidity, and most people were not sick. Said Wendy warned me not to touch anything and never touch my face. That was hard, but I made a conscious effort. I did watch most people as they grabbed handrails, pushed open doors on trash containers, and washing in the bathroom to little and without soap. They were continually touching their faces, and I could quickly see Wendy’s point. Research it if you want, but touching public fixtures and then your face is a disaster.

Okay, that is it. Wash your hands a lot with a Castile soap like Galleyon, and you have a pretty good chance at warding off a bacterial or virus attacks.

Bob