Following the correct technique is

Following the correct technique is important, Gerberding said. If you’re in a public restroom with a towel dispenser, first pull down the paper so you have a clean sheet waiting with which to dry off. Then run the hot water and vigorously scrub for at least 15 seconds, making sure to ‘get all the nooks and crannies’ — that is the folds of your hands as well as cuticles and fingernails that can trap dirt and germs. If the wash basin has a foot pedal, be sure to use it, she added. A simple trick, she said, is to say the alphabet to yourself while washing — by the time you reach the letter ‘Z,’ your 15 seconds will have elapsed. Health-care professionals should wash for 30 seconds. If the washroom has an electric hand-dryer rather than a paper dispenser, use your elbow to turn it on, Gerberding added. Good old-fashioned soap will remove all the debris, she said, expressing concern that the newer antibacterial products on the market can give people a false sense of security — an extra cost for little gain. ‘The goal is to physically remove germs, not kill them,’ she said, ‘so unless hot water is not available, chemical products are not necessary.’
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