Renfrewshire Council

Essential hand washing information

When you should wash your hands, advice on hand washing, facts about hand hygiene, information for teachers.

Some germs can stay alive on our hands for up to three hours. During that time they can spread to the things we touch.

When you should wash your hands

Wash your hands regularly throughout the day and especially at these times:

  • Before: Preparing food and Eating
  • Between: Handling raw foods (meat, fish, poultry and eggs) and touching any other food or kitchen utensils
  • After: Handling raw foods, particularly meat, fish and poultry, going to the toilet, emptying the bin, changing nappies, coughing or sneezing, handling and stroking pets or farm animals.

Advice on hand washing

We all think we know how to wash our hands, but many of us don't do it properly. Here are some reminders to keep you right:

  • Always use warm water. It's better to wet hands before applying soap as this prevents irritation.
  • Rub hands together making sure both sides of the hands are washed thoroughly, around the thumbs, between the fingers and around and under the nails.
  • Rinse with clean water.
  • Germs spread more easily if hands are wet, so dry them thoroughly.

Facts about hand hygiene

Did you know:

  • Damp hands spread 1000 times more bacteria than dry hands.
  • Bacteria can live on your hands for up to three hours.
  • One bacterium can multiply to more than four million in eight hours.

Information for teachers

Watch the hand wash animation for children.

Free to hire 'Hands on Hygiene' kits incorporating a UV glowbox and glo germ lotion and supporting resources are available for schools, nurseries and community groups in Renfrewshire. To book, or for more information contact us.