Shocking photo shows why you need to wash your hands for 30 seconds

Sarah Carty
Features & Style Editor

Actress Kristen Bell shared an eye-opening photo to her Instagram account, showing the difference washing your hands for 30 seconds can do in eliminating germs during the coronavirus outbreak. 

In the first photo, it shows a woman’s hand before she washes it with soap and water, with the following series of photos showing how little just water alone does when you’re trying to clean your hands. 

Kristen Bell shared this eye-opening image to her Instagram account, showing the importance of washing your hands for 30 seconds with soap and water. Photo: Instagram/Kristen Bell

The last photos shows nearly all the germs gone from the woman’s hand, after she washed it for 30 seconds with both soap and water. 

“My mom sent me the hand washing black light comparison. 30 SECONDS WITH SOAP YALL!!!,” Kristen wrote as the caption. 

The post has since received hundreds of comments from people who have their own ways of making sure they’re washing their hands for the whole 30 seconds.

“We have been told today to wash our hands for the same amount of time that it take to sing ‘Happy Birthday,’” one person said, 

Washing your hands for 30 seconds with soap and water. Photo: Getty Images

Others warned people to make sure they’re also disinfecting their phones and not biting their nails. 

A health care worker commented asking people to also make sure they wash their wrists, as if they wear jewellery germs can lurk under there. 

Commenters also stated that it’s “sad we live in a world where we have to show people proof that washing your hands is important”, while another said: “it’s sad we need a frickin epidemic for people to know how to wash their hands.”

Many others said that people should have hand sanitiser at their disposal, however, a commonly overlooked detail is that those hand sanitisers should be alcohol-based.

Make sure your hand sanitiser is alcohol based. Photo: Getty Images

“If it doesn’t have alcohol, that’s going to impact (the effectiveness) a lot,” Professor William Rawlingson a virologist, or virus expert, with the University of Sydney tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

He suggests that to minimise confusion, it is best to follow the Organisation’s recommendations, available here, as close to the letter as possible.

Some anti-bacterial hand sanitizers are made without alcohol and therefore useless when dealing with a virus such as coronavirus.

The ‘alcohol-free’ advertisement on certain bottles may have formerly been a selling point for sensitive skin, but it’s now a sign that the product isn’t ideal for fighting viral infections, so carefully checking ingredients to ensure it contains ethanol is a must.

Hand washing may seem simple, but a detailed how-to could be your very best protection.

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