Over the course of a day, your hands touch a lot of things that may have been contaminated by viruses or bacteria. When you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands, you risk contracting an infection such as a flu, cold or gastroenteritis.

Washing your hands is an excellent way to avoid contaminating yourself and others.

It is particularly important to wash your hands in the following instances:

  • When your hands are visibly dirty
  • Before and after handling food
  • Before eating
  • Before taking medication
  • Before wearing or removing your contact lenses
  • After coughing or sneezing
  • After blowing your nose, or that of a child
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing a child’s diaper
  • After handling garbage
  • After touching pets or their toys
  • After being in a public place

General Tips

  • Wash your hands often
  • Teach your children and people around you to wash their hands properly
  • Encourage them to do so often
  • Make sure there is soap or an antiseptic product in your surroundings: in toilets, in your workplace and at places where you eat

Hand Washing Techniques

You can wash your hands with soap and water or with an antiseptic product.

Washing Hands With Soap and Water

Use ordinary soap. It is not necessary to use antibacterial soap.

Wet your hands.

Apply soap.

Scrub your hands together for at least 20 seconds.

Wash all surfaces of your hands, including your nails, thumbs and between your fingers.

Rinse your hands with running tap water.

Carefully dry your hands.

If possible, close the tap with paper or a towel.

Washing With an Antiseptic Product

An antiseptic, such as Purell® or Bacti Control®, is a product that kills germs. Such products come in the form of gels, foams or liquids. 

Use an alcohol based antiseptic. To be effective, the concentration of alcohol in the product must be at least 60%.

Warning for Children

Keep antiseptic products out of reach of small children. Such products must only be used when washing hands and with adult supervision.

How to Use an Antiseptic Product

Put a bit of antiseptic product in the palm of your hand

Rub the tips of your fingers

Rub the inside of your hands and your thumbs

Rub between your fingers

Rub the back of your hands

Continue rubbing until your hands have dried, without wiping.