Enviro Master Blog

3 Types of Handwashing: Social, Antiseptic & Surgical

Growing up, we are all taught to wash our hands regularly. Wash your hands before eating dinner. Wash your hands after using the bathroom. Particularly in the commercial setting, it is important to keep these healthy habits in mind. There are three separate types of handwashing. They are social handwashing, antiseptic handwashing, and surgical handwashing. Why are each of these types of handwashing important and how are they different from each other? There are several important points that everyone should keep in mind.

1. Social Handwashing

Social handwashing is meant to clean the hands of all physical dirt and debris. It also removes transient microorganisms from the surface of the skin. This is an important infection control procedure that is designed to reduce the spread of harmful pathogens throughout society. This type of handwashing should be performed prior to eating, after using the bathroom, and whenever someone is going to come into physical contact with someone else. Social handwashing is performed using hot water and soap. People should scrub their hands for thirty seconds to clean the hands thoroughly using this procedure.

2. Antiseptic Handwashing

Antiseptic handwashing is a more stringent handwashing procedure when compared to social handwashing. This procedure is used to destroy microorganisms on the surface of the skin. It also reduces resident bacteria or viruses that typically live on the surface. This type of handwashing procedure is usually performed before coming into contact with someone in a medical setting. It is also commonly used in the foodservice industry. In addition to hot water, antiseptic agents are used to clean the surface of the skin. Examples include chlorhexidine and iodine.

3. Surgical Handwashing

Surgical handwashing is the most stringent type of handwashing procedure. As the name suggests, this is a cleaning procedure that is used prior to sterile operations, including those that take place in the surgical suite. This handwashing procedure removes resident microorganisms that live on the surface of the skin in addition to transient microorganisms. Immediately after finishing this handwashing procedure, surgical gloves are usually donned to prevent microorganisms from returning to the surface of the skin. During surgical handwashing, the hands and forearms are scrubbed up to the elbow. Water is operated using sensors instead of physical contact. Antiseptic detergent is used to wash the skin for one full minute before rinsing thoroughly. Only sterile towels are used to clean the skin.

Ensure Proper Hygiene with the Help of Enviro-Master Services Commercial Cleaning Services

If you want to keep your workplace as clean and sanitary as possible, it is critical to enlist the help of professional commercial cleaning services. That is where the sanitizing and disinfecting services of Enviro-Master Services can be helpful. In addition to providing a professional restroom cleaning service, we provide a complete hand hygiene service as well. Our professionals work hard to stay up to date on the latest information in our field to best meet your commercial cleaning needs. Contact us today to learn more about our professional services!

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