You may or may not know this, but there is a 'right' way to wash your hair. Hand washing is also one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infection among people in hospital. If yours does, make sure you do not touch any part of the hand dryer with your clean hands, as you will risk transferring bacteria back onto them.

Sanitizers also don't work as well on grease, heavily soiled hands or pesticides. Consequently, several memes have emphasized that the most effective precautionary behavior is practicing good hand hygiene and staying away from other people if you're sick. Hand soap is more effective than hand sanitizer at protecting you from certain infectious diseases.

The FDA says there is no proof that using consumer-labeled antibacterial" soap is better at preventing illness than ordinary soap and water. Hand-washing is even important for astronauts in space. CDC guidelines suggest washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Soap is in contact with the skin for a brief period only, and, in any case, if the soap performs as it is supposed to, these substances would quickly be washed off the skin. Some studies have shown that paper towels are more hygienic than air dryers, but most agree that drying your hands right after washing them is important to stop the spread of germs no matter how you do it.

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis is credited for advocating hand washing in medical clinics to prevent the spread of germs. The germs picked up on the hands are then transported and possibly re-deposited to a patient that may be very susceptible to an infection due to their weakened condition.

To 'scrub' one's hands for a surgical operation , it is necessary to have a tap that can be turned on and off without touching it with the hands, some chlorhexidine or iodine wash, sterile towels for drying the hands after washing, and a sterile brush for scrubbing and another sterile instrument for cleaning under the fingernails.

CDC recommends cleaning hands in a specific way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Plus, sanitizer won't work as effectively on visibly filthy hands because it won't remove dirt as easily. Some studies show that when children are taught to carefully wash their hands school absenteeism is reduced, even more so when alcohol-based hand rubs are combined with hand washing.