How often to wash hands to keep them germ-free

This article explains how often do we have to wash hands to keep them free from germs and contamination. Do not just keep them visually dirt free. We have to wash them frequently to maintain good hand hygiene.


Germs are everywhere. How to keep hands free from germs is a major concern all of us have today. We can get them transferred on our hands when we touch the commonly used surfaces and also when we shake hands and care for the people who are sick. Throughout the day, we use our hands to carry out various chores. Since hands are exposed all the time, there is an increased risk of contamination. If our hands are dirty, contaminated with germs, we are increasing the risk of suffering from various illnesses. Thus, we need to frequently wash them to prevent the spreading of micro-organisms from hands to mouth, eyes, nose and other body areas. It is difficult to keep hands always clean and germ-free. However, frequently washing them will prevent illnesses and infections. If the aim is to remain healthy, we need to make sure that we focus on hand hygiene.

How often to clean hands to maintain hand hygiene?

Below-mentioned is certain situations which demand thorough cleaning of hands. There is no definite number of times for cleaning hands. However, cleaning before or after the below-mentioned tasks can keep them free from germs and prevent infections and illnesses.

  • We need to properly clean our hands before preparing meals. Germ-free hands mean that the food prepared is clean enough to be consumed. Dirt present on our hands may contaminate the food. Through contaminated food, lots of microorganisms enter inside the body.
  • We have to clean our hands in between the food preparation. For example, if we have accidentally touched washbasin, garbage bin, waste cloth, we need to clean our hands before further continuing with the cooking. Once we have washed vegetables, we need to wash our hands and continue with the further process.
  • Clean hands properly after cooking the meals. Most of us come out of the kitchen and touch various surfaces without knowing that we are spreading infection and contaminating everything. Before stepping out of the kitchen, clean it and wash the hands properly.
  • Wash hands every time after touching a garbage can. It may be a small piece of paper or litter of any kind. When anything is picked from the floor and thrown into the dustbin, immediately wash hands. Once or twice a day when we take out our garbage bins, we need to wear gloves before we dump the insides of it in garbage collecting vans. Throw the disposable gloves and clean the hands properly after the cleaning process.
  • The most important tip is to wash hands every time we eat something. Make sure hands are clean and dry before meals. Even when we pick up a small piece of chocolate, a piece of fruit or any eatable to satisfy our untimely hunger pangs, we have to make sure our hands are clean to stay away from sickness.
  • Clean hands properly after every use of the toilet. The reason is the toilet is the area which is home for many microorganisms. No matter how many times we flush it and clean the surfaces with surface disinfectants and cleaners, there will always be some germs present. Thus, make sure to clean hands after every toilet use.
  • Clean hands now and then if suffering from common cold and flu. There will be lots of sneezing and coughing. Cover nose with tissue paper and not with hands before coughing or sneezing. Also, even if not suffering from such infections but on day to day basis after cleaning nose or accidentally sneezing or coughing on hands, immediately wash them to get rid of germs from them.
  • Wash hands when coming in contact with a sick person. There may be someone sick in our home or someone we may visit in the hospital. Make sure to clean hands after stepping out of their room. Also, make sure to wash hands before we visit them. It will prevent the spread of more infection to an already ill person.
  • We need to make sure our hands are clean before touching a wound. A wounded area can easily transport germs in the bloodstream. Make sure the hands are free from dirt and contamination in preventing cut from getting infected. After the wound is taken care of properly wash hands as they may get contaminated.
  • Wash hands immediately after coming from outside. We may have touched various surfaces commonly touched by lots of others, and some of them might be sick. Thus, these surfaces such as doorknobs, chairs, tables, ATMs are favourite places for germs. To get rid of them from our hands, we need to clean our hands properly before touching any surface in our homes and contaminating them.
  • Clean hands after gardening. Soil and germs have a very close relationship. Spending some time in the garden, caring for favourite plants is a hobby most of us enjoy. Make sure the hands are free from dirt and contamination by properly cleaning them after working in the garden to prevent illnesses.
  • There may be pets in our home. We love playing with them, feeding them and caring for them. We have to pick up their litter and waste now and then. Whether it is our pet or a stray animal, make sure to clean hands after every touch.
  • Infants and toddlers have low immunity. Without cleaning hands, do not touch them. Germs from our hands may reach them and make them sick. Also, wash hands every time we clean them and before and after changing the diapers.
  • Wash hands when picking up something that is visually dirty and wet. It may be a waste cloth or a litter or anything with dirt on it. Dirt and germs have a close relation. Thus, make sure to wash hands after picking up an object that is wet and dirty to make sure hands are free from germs.


Most of us believe that we only have to clean hands before having our meals. Some only clean them when they look dirty. We have to understand that visually our hands may look clean and dirt free. However, we use them all the time to carry out various chores. Thus, they may come in contact with various germs that may harm health and leads to illnesses. When they come in contact with different people and different surfaces, they may get contaminated. Thus, wash them thoroughly to ensure that they remain free from germs. It will ensure that illnesses and diseases remain at bay, and we get to enjoy good health.

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Author: Venkiteswaran13 May 2021 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

One should wash hands and feet immediately on arriving from outdoors. It is more imperative when one has visited unhygienic, dirty or crowded places. One should wash hands whenever one feels he or she has touched some unhygienic or contaminated place or object. We are taught from childhood to wash our hand before taking food. That should continue as such.

In fact, 'Shaucham' or cleaning and cleanliness is given much importance in the Indian tradition on routine hygiene and life.

The COVID pandemic has now re-bought our attention to the many values and valuable traditional Indian teachings we ignored by following the modern way of life. The cleanliness and hygiene prescribed in traditional life and habits are now brought back on a compulsion to avoid the infection.

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