Coronavirus: Black paint video shows you might still be washing your hands wrong

Washing your hands properly should take as long as singing "Happy Birthday" twice

Sarah Young
Monday 23 March 2020 09:13 GMT
Tom Fletcher demonstrates importance of washing hands to children using soap water and pepper trick

As coronavirus continues to spread around the world, health organisations have been urging people to carry out basic protective measures to curb the spread of the deadly disease.

One of the most important things a person can do to protect themselves, their family and the wider community is to wash their hands properly.

But, while it may seem like a simple task, a new video has emerged online which shows that there is a difference between washing your hands and washing them thoroughly.

The now-viral video, which has been shared on Twitter, shows a person wearing a pair of white disposable gloves and applying a small amount of black paint to the palm of their hands to represent liquid soap.

The person starts by rubbing their palms together, then between their fingers, twisting the fingers themselves together and scrubbing the knuckles, before focusing on the thumb, back to the palms and right up to the wrists.

At the end of the clip, every part of the person’s hands is covered in black paint, showing the importance of following the step-by-step techniques provided by the NHS and WHO (World Health Organisation) to prevent the spread of germs.

The Twitter post has since garnered more than 159,000 likes and received thousands of comments from people praising the video as a “brilliant demonstration”.

“I loved this video. Visual storytelling and good info. Thank you,” one person wrote.

Another added: “Thank you for doing this. Really helpful”, while a third person commented: “What a good illustration”.

According to the official guidance, you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or as long as it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.

Washing your hands properly takes about as long as singing "Happy Birthday" twice, using the images above (WHO)

People are encouraged to wet their hands with water before applying enough soap to cover their hands and rubbing them together.

The proper technique should involve using one hand to rub the back of the other and clean in between fingers before rubbing the back of your fingers against your palms.

You should then rub your thumb using your other hand and scrub the tips of your fingers on the palm of your other hand before rinsing with water, drying your hands completely and turning off the tap using a tissue or disposable towel.

The NHS and WHO advise washing your hands after using the toilet, before and after handling raw food, before eating or handling food and after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing.

You can find more information about how to wash your hands correctly here.

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