National Handwashing Awareness Week is observed during the first week of December each year. It coincides with the start of the annual flu season. We are committed to helping raise awareness of handwashing to prevent the spread of the flu and other diseases. Now, with another Handwashing Awareness Week in the books, we will start looking forward to next year.
Throughout the annual observance, we make a point of educating consumers about the benefits of handwashing. We are not alone. The media generally takes up the cause as well, publishing story after story about why people should wash their hands more frequently.
We published such an article back in October 2019. It talked about how you can combat the flu through proper handwashing procedures. It also discussed why handwashing is better than using hand sanitizer. We will not go through all the details here, but feel free to read it at your leisure.
Our main objective during National Handwashing Awareness Week is to help people understand that regular handwashing really does work. There is a reason that hygiene laws in the United States require all sorts of workers to wash their hands after using the restroom. Studies have shown that regular handwashing reduces the spread of germs.
To realize the maximum benefit, proper handwashing techniques should be practiced. This means using a good hand soap and warm water. Time is also important. The longer you spend washing your hands, the cleaner they become. Time gives soap more opportunity to do what it does. It is as simple as that.
One of the forgotten aspects of handwashing is hand drying. Earlier in 2019, we published a discussion of a study revealing how forced-air hand dryers pass germs around the washroom. At that time, we recommended using either roll towels or paper towels instead. We stand by that recommendation today.
Air dryers unfortunately make very good incubators for germs. Not only that, they draw in air from the surrounding area. As germs and microbes float around the washroom, they are picked up by air dryers and blown onto the hands of unsuspecting users who just washed up with soap and water. Air dryers defeat the purpose of washing your hands.
Roll towels and paper towels solve that problem. Both kinds of towels are protected inside a cabinet until used, so they aren’t picking up all sorts of germs from the air. We offer both kinds of dispensers. Be sure to ask about them when you sign up for our washroom supply service.
In closing, we want to encourage you to remind your employees to wash their hands regularly. Restaurant workers must, by law, wash their hands after using the restroom. They must also wash their hands after handling certain kinds of food.
In hospital environments, employees are required to wash after using the restroom as well. Many states require doctors, nurses, and other clinicians to utilize hand sanitizer before treating patients. Please note that while hand sanitizer has its place, it is not as effective as handwashing for getting hygienically clean.
At Alsco, we are committed to educating the public about the importance of handwashing. We are also committed to providing outstanding uniform and linen services across the U.S. We would love the opportunity to discuss your company’s uniform and linen program, or restroom services and supplies. We invite you to give us the chance to earn your business.