Hands are continuously in contact with objects, living things or other people. They are the point of contact between the outside world and other parts of our body. Therefore, constant and proper hand hygiene is crucial to prevent the spread of infections and the first barrier to protect us and others. We must get into the routine of washing our hands frequently and with the necessary care at different times throughout the day, like after arriving home or before and after eating, and we must pass on this good habit to our children from an early age.
But hygiene can also be a sustainable act for the planet. If we do not pay attention to environmentally-friendly practices, actions as frequent as hand washing could consume up to 12 litres of water each time we wash our hands.
We propose a hygiene solution that is more responsible for us and the environment. With the use of WaterForest washbasin taps, our eco-conscious concept, we can reduce water consumption by 89%, as well as streamline energy consumption.
How to wash your hands
Germs can spread in several ways, such as touching dirty hands, surfaces, contaminated water or food, from droplets released into the air from a cough or sneeze, or from bodily fluids from someone who is ill. Proper hand hygiene requires the use of soap and water, since rinsing your hands with water alone has no effect, as the surfactants in soap lift dirt and microbes from the skin. In addition, when we use soap, we tend to scrub our hands more thoroughly.
- First, wet your hands with clean running water (not stagnant water).
- Use enough soap to cover both hands.
- Start to rub your hands together vigorously, starting with the palms, until the soap begins to lather. Lathering up and scrubbing your hands together generates friction that helps lift dirt, grease and germs from the skin. Make sure to scrub every part of your hands.
- Rub the palm of one hand against the back of the other, and vice versa, not forgetting to cover the wrists.
- Make sure to thoroughly scrub the area between your fingers one by one, as well as each finger individually.
- Don't forget to clean your nails, where germs can hide. You can do this by rubbing your nails in the palm of the opposite hand, and vice versa.
- Hand washing should take between 45 and 60 seconds.
- Rinse your hands with clean water and dry them with a clean or single-use towel. Drying is essential as germs spread more easily over wet surfaces.
If soap cannot be used, a hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol may be used. These sanitisers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on the hands. However, they may not be able to eliminate some substances like pesticides or heavy metals, and they may not eliminate all germs. They also may not be as effective if the hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
Apply the sanitiser gel to the palm of the hand and rub over all the surfaces of the hands until they are dry.
WaterForest advice for more sustainable hand hygiene
Round Bathroom Tap
1. Turn off the tap while you are lathering up your hands
Proper hand washing could take up to 1 minute. During this time, we could use up to 12 litres of water with a conventional tap. If we keep the tap turned off during this time, water consumption can be reduced to 3 litres.
2. Use taps with ECO aerators and save up to 89% of water
ECO aerators limit the flow to a fixed maximum of litres per minute - regardless of the pressure - without affecting user comfort.
As we mentioned, a standard tap consumes 12 litres/min. We have aerators that limit flow to 5 litres/min, 2 litres/min and even 1.3 litres/min. Depending on which one you choose, you can save 58.33%, 83.33% and 89% of water, respectively.
We recommend using the technology of washbasin taps with aerators and turning off the tap while you are soaping your hands.
3. Choose cold-start taps
With cold-start taps, hot water is only activated when you need it. In this way,
you can control your energy costs, as well the level of carbon dioxide heaters and boilers emit when water is heated.
We recommend using our WaterForest calculator and discovering how much you can save.
When should you wash your hands?
- Before, during and after preparing food
- Before eating
- After going to the bathroom or changing nappies
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- After touching animals, animal feed or excrement
- After handling waste
- When you arrive home from outside
- Before and after caring for someone who is ill
- Before and after treating a wound
- After cleaning the house