Research shows foam soaps fall short on busting bugs

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[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Whilst foam-based soaps are becoming much more common in care homes, recent research has revealed that liquid soaps may provide more protection from bacteria.

According to the Daily Mail, scientists at the University of California in Los Angeles carried out a small test on ten participants.

Five of them were asked to wash their hands for six seconds with foam soap and then dry them for four seconds on a paper towel. Another group of five participants were asked to do the same but with liquid soap.

The test showed that the foam soap barely made a difference in killing bacteria during hand washing, with the average bacterial colony counts on each hand only dropping from 3.6 to 2.6. In contrast, hands washed with liquid soap showed their colony count drop from 3.8 to 1.2.

The University experts think that the foam soap version is less effective because it comes out as a lather rather than a liquid. In addition, each pump contains much less soap than its liquid equivalent.

Whist the study is not conclusive on its own, two more sets of experiments, now published in the American Journal of Infection Control, have revealed similar findings.

However, whatever further research reveals, one thing is indisputable: people are not washing their hands properly.

Effective hand washing for care home staff

Despite the fact that effective hand washing can provide a powerful first line of defence against the spread of infection, many care home staff have still not been fully trained in washing their hands properly.

In fact, in one study, 9.9% of nursing homes and 11.2% of residential homes revealed that only some of their staff had been trained.

Of course, using the most effective soap product will help to reduce bacteria on your hands and you can find a range of these in the online Cairn Care shop by clicking here.

However, it is also the method you use to wash your hands combined with the length of time you wash them for, that ensures good hand hygiene.

You can find the correct method for cleaning your hands by clicking here to follow our 10-step visual hand washing guide.

Just remember not to rush; in order to kill bacteria, you should make sure you wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.

What’s more, it’s a good idea to laminate our hand washing guide and put it near to sinks in resident toilets and guest facilities.

With research from Queen Mary, University of London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine finding faecal bacteria on 26% of UK hands, it’s worth ensuring that everyone using your care home understands the importance of good hand hygiene.
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