Handwashing – the Most Effective Way to Clean Our Hands
Hand sanitizer stations popped up everywhere in 2020, in efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But health experts say that nothing beats simply washing our hands with soap and water when it comes to addressing infection control and staying healthy.
When COVID-19 first emerged, long before we had vaccines or treatments available for the virus, health experts had one simple message for everyone: wash your hands.
Why? Because it really works.
Doctors have known for many years that good hand hygiene is the most effective tool in addressing infection control. Soap and water together have the power to drastically reduce the number of cases of many viral diseases and infections, including COVID.
As well as removing obvious dirt from our hands, soap is highly effective at inactivating and removing virus particles. The molecules of soap interfere with the fatty coating that surrounds a virus and holds it together. Without this membrane, the virus falls apart and can no longer invade healthy cells. When we then scrub and rinse, we dislodge all those broken-down particles, and they are washed away.
Sanitizers are an extremely effective alternative to soap and water, with the biggest advantage being their convenience. Within healthcare settings, bottles can be placed at numerous locations meaning busy healthcare professionals can sanitize their hands whenever sinks aren’t available. Sanitisers with a high enough ethanol content can also disrupt a virus membrane in the same way as soap – but as no rinsing takes place, particles can remain on the hands.
The Handwashing Gold Standard for infection control
Soap and water clearly remain the gold standard when it comes to infection control. But there is a reason we are all still using hand sanitizers when we are out and about rather than washing our hands – and that’s down to availability of convenient handwashing stations.
If you think back to the last time you visited a food court or buffet, you probably grabbed some handy sanitizer before you ate, because it was much easier than visiting a potentially unhygienic, busy, or far away washroom to wash your hands.
Smixin - a revolutionary automatic handwashing station
VERTECO, the region’s leading specialists in water conservation solutions, smart washroom technologies and smart water management, have introduced an innovative solution set to revolutionize the way we wash our hands in public places.
Called the Smixin handwashing system, the mobile, fully automatic station makes handwashing accessible to everyone, wherever and whenever it is needed. From the counters in food courts to school playgrounds and busy airport terminals, the free-standing system can be conveniently located in crowded places, allowing anyone to wash their hands with soap and water, and promoting a healthy environment.
The hand wash system uses a unique touchless handwash solution, further reducing the risk of infection. You simply place your hands in the system and a mix of water and soap are dispensed, followed by a paper towel, with the entire process taking under 15 seconds.
An environmental advantage
The system is also environmentally friendly. The developers were aware that while handwashing is something we all need to do multiple times a day, its isn’t necessarily a sustainable use of our precious water reserves.
So, they set about ensuring the Smixin system offers the most ecological usage of water, soap, and paper. With pre-set parameters, consumption of water is reduced by 90% compared to the average hand wash, and soap and paper towel use reduced by 60%, compared to conventional dispensers.
Improved hygiene, environmental and cost efficiencies
Mobile handwashing systems are not only changing the way we clean our hands in public spaces, ensuring the basic necessity is available to all, they are helping businesses achieve environmental and cost efficiencies at the same time.
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