It’s seared in our brains by now: Wash your hands for 20 seconds. But all that scrubbing takes a toll on your mitts. Not to mention using alcohol-based sanitizer.
CapRadio invited listeners and readers to ask us questions, and one woman wanted to know what she could do to help heal those hurting hands. She also asked how long you should spend cleaning different surfaces to ensure they’re disinfected.
Here’s what we found.
Handwashing and using sanitizer can be rough on your hands. How can you heal them?
This is a problem almost all of us are facing — including some of the folks leading NPR’s coronavirus coverage.
“My hands are, like, raw from washing them,” said Ayesha Rascoe, White House reporter, on an episode of NPR’s Politics Podcast last week.
“My hands are always dry to begin with, so this has been disastrous,” responded political correspondent Scott Detrow.
So what can you do? Generally speaking: moisturize.
But there are many ways to do that. Jenneane Rocha, an aesthetician and owner of Jenneane's Skin Care in Sacramento, says her go-to remedy is a product called jojoba oil. It’s derived from a shrub seed native to the American southwest and Mexico.
Jonathan Van Ness recently told NPR’s Michel Martin he slathers his hands in moisturizer and puts them inside of socks before going to bed.
My brother, a wildfire fighter, uses a balm with beeswax and shea butter.
The choice is yours.
We have to wash our hands for 20 seconds. But what about other surfaces?
We couldn’t find anything that gave a recommended, universal amount of time for washing surfaces. It will likely depend on the item and the cleaning product.
Soap and water works by trapping virus molecules as you scrub, and since your hands have so many nooks and crannies, you really want to spend lots of time hitting all those spots before washing the suds away.
Some surfaces don’t require soap and water; disinfecting products do the trick. That’s especially true for electronics and other items that have areas where water can be trapped and potentially cause damage. You’d want to use a disinfectant wipe or spray with an alcohol content of at least 70% to do the job.
Disinfecting wipes can even be used on some porous surfaces — like leather, for example — but you’d want to condition it right after using the cleaner
It’s always best to follow a cleaning product’s recommendations. Clorox, for example, recommends using enough wipes to leave a surface wet for 4 minutes, it also recommends you let the surface air dry.
Finally, what about phones?
Just, whatever you do, don’t use products containing bleach.
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