A good method of effective infection control is to wash the hands regularly. The spread of bacteria and germs such as Salmonella, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium difficile and other pathogens, as well as fungi and viruses can be greatly reduced through simple and effective hand washing techniques.
You can view an original PDF document of effective handwashing techniques here) showing you how to wash your hands effectively with soap and water or a liquid hand wash. You can also use an alcohol hand rub or antibacterial hand gel, sanitiser or antibacterial wipes if you find that you are in an area where there is no water, but ideally, hand washing with soap or a liquid hand wash is the best defence to stop the spread of bacteria.

You can view the original PDF above print it out and stick it on the wall in the bathroom or toilet, so that people know the correct method to use when washing their hands in order to prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

Stop! Help Fight Infection

Important points to note:

  • When you come in from outside, head straight for the bathroom/toilet and wash your hands, especially before eating anything. Your hands and fingers can pick up bacteria from a number of surfaces that you touch and come into contact with throughout the day.
  • Before making yourself or anybody else something to eat, wash your hands to avoid¬† and reduce the spread of bacteria, this will also help to prevent food poisoning and food borne illnesses caused by bacteria such Escherichia coli or E. coli as witnessed in some countries in recent months.


Poster by NHS: Please wash your hands with soap and water
(Click on picture to enlarge)
  • When you use the toilet, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or liquid hand wash before leaving, regardless of whether you did a number one, two or three!
  • If you have long fingernails, do not forget to spend some extra seconds using a nail brush to scrub under your fingernails as dirt can lodge under long nails. Don’t forget to wash your nail brush, as bacteria can grow on it also.
  • Simply rinsing your hands with water is not enough to disinfect your hands, use soap or preferably liquid hand soap or hand wash as this will effectively help to rid your hands of grease, grime,¬† dirt and bacteria.


Poster by NHS: Coughs and sneezes spread diseases – Stop Germs Spreading
(Click on picture to enlarge)


  • When working in a catering/food related environment, do not touch your face or hair and wear clean disposable powder-free gloves if they are available when preparing or handling food, otherwise thoroughly wash your hands and underneath your nails before you begin.
  • When preparing food take off your rings as these can harbour bacteria.
  • When preparing or handling food, do not handle money as it can harbour bacteria, which can contaminate the food and defeats your objectives of keeping bacteria at bay.
  • Pay particular attention to the pads of the fingers or fingertips when washing hands, as these come into contact with a number of contaminated surfaces several times in a day and can be easily missed when washing the hands quickly.
  • If you have cloth towels in your bathroom/toilet at home, wash them regularly to avoid the spread of bacterial infections, viruses and diseases through them.
Below you will find some videos from YouTube showing you good hand washing techniques. They highlight the correct hand washing techniques to use when washing your hands or using an antibacterial hand sanitiser or alcohol hand rub.

I like the first video because it discusses the various ways in which your hands can become infected and also discusses the correct way to use hand sanitiser or alcohol hand rub to disinfect your hands in great detail.


Good hand washing technique for hand washing with soap and water and hand sanitising using alcohol based sanitiser products


Swine Flu Prevention: How to wash your hands correctly

Slightly off topic

In one of the articles on my green issues blog, I mention my ideal home scenario in an article entitled Green Architecture and Renewable Energy Buildings, An Ideal Home Scenario and in both videos you will notice phenomenal waste of water. This is where an infra red tap would come in handy as it switches itself off and you do not have to touch it or come into direct contact with the tap or toilet flush, this takes away the need to use a tissue to close the tap and prevents you having to re-infect the hands you just meticulously washed.

A volunteer I met in the toilet demonstrating handwashing with an
infra-red tap at the ExceL Centre Docklands London

Update 1st June 2009

I was at Guy’s hospital a few days ago and when I went to the toilet (which is very nice by the way), in each cubicle there is an infra-red tap and infra-red toilet flush. So I took a picture of one of the taps. I can’t remember if the liquid hand soap was automatic though, but these taps do promote good hygiene, so does the automatic toilet flush because you do not have to touch them.

Infra-red tap at Guy’s Hospital NHS Trust
(Promoting good infection control)
Infrared toilet flush
(Pass your hand over or in front of it to flush the loo)
Another infrared tap at my old gym
(Promoting good hand hygiene)

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