Not all handwashing methods and soaps are the same, according to an article on the Occupational Health & Safety website. Many viruses, such as the flu, can live for several hours on surfaces such as cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks, so proper hand hygiene is crucial.

For an antibacterial hand wash, use an antibacterial soap to remove or destroy most microorganisms. Wash in warm water for 15 to 20 seconds.

An antiseptic hand wash is more thorough than an antibacterial hand wash; it requires an alcohol-based sanitizer. Wash in warm water for two or more minutes, the article said.

Many public health experts suggest that hands should be dried using paper towels, not electric hand dryers. In fact, according to a report in the Halifax Courier, drying hands with paper towels has been shown to be more effective at removing bacteria and stopping the spread of contamination in several studies, the article said.

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