Among the list of simple recommendations published by the Ministry of Health and by the Higher Institute of Health to contain the further spread of the new Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus, there is also that of washing hands often with soap and water, with alcohol based solutions, and with sanitising gel. But how to do it correctly so that washing is effective in eliminating the new coronavirus ?

As the World Health Organisation also reports , this recommendation is essential to protect yourself and others from infections in general, and therefore also from the new coronavirus. In particular, according to the WHO website, it is recommended to wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 40 seconds when they are dirty, while when they are not, it is still advisable to wash them frequently with sanitising gel.

To wash your hands in the right way and thus eliminate the virus, just follow these simple steps: wet your hands with running water. Then turn off the tap and apply enough soap on your hands to cover the entire surface of your hands. Then rub your hands palm against palm. Rub it with the soap, being careful to sprinkle it also on the back, between the fingers and under the nails. Rub for at least 40 seconds, and then rinse them well under running water. Then dry your hands with a disposable cloth. Furthermore, according to WHO, the same disposable wipe must be used to close the sink, thus avoiding touching it again with clean hands.

Image: WHO

Although water and soap are the best way to eliminate the virus, if you are away from home for a long time and therefore there is no possibility to wash your hands in this way, then it is good to resort to sanitising gel based alcohol (just look at the label and the percentage of alcohol contained which must not be less than 60%). To be effective, the gels must be applied to the palms, spreading them over all the hands, until they are completely dry (an operation that should take about 20 seconds).

Remember, however, that gels may not be as effective as soap and water when your hands are particularly dirty . In fact, as reported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Cdc), previous studies have shown that hand sanitises work well in clinical settings such as hospitals, where the hands come into contact with bacteria and viruses , but are generally not dirty or greasy. Some data, in fact, show that disinfectants for the hands they can be effective against some types of germs on slightly dirty hands. But in case the hands are very greasy or dirty, such as after a meal, after doing sports and other activities in public places, the most recommended method remains washing with soap and water.