Tips for Handwashing When Running Water is Not Accessible

Most of us are very familiar with washing our hands. It is something we learn in childhood and something that has been increasingly important in recent years due to the global pandemic. We know that it requires soap and running water to get the job done.


But what happens when there is no running water available? Can you still clean your hands effectively? The answer is yes – but only if you have the right supplies on hand!


Waterless Washing Made Possible


Did you know there are many products now on the market that make keeping skin clean easy – even without water? It’s true. These products come in numerous formats and are no longer just limited to alcohol-based sanitizers.


Thanks to products like no-rinse hand soap and sanitizer, people all over the world are living safer, healthier lives. From corporate settings to remote areas where water may not be readily available to the masses, people from all walks of life can benefit from the ability to clean their hands without rinsing.


Waterless Wash vs Sanitizer


What is the difference between rinse-free soaps and hand sanitizer?


It all comes down to the alcohol content. Sanitizers are well-known for being heavy on alcohol, which makes them an effective germ-killer. However, it also makes them hard on the skin.


This is why companies are increasingly moving toward offering alternatives to alcohol-based sanitizer. These may include hand rinse sprays or no-rinse hand soaps. These products are designed to help remove light dirt and foreign material, as well as wash away germs – all without drying out or damaging the skin.


This is important for several reasons. Some people have very sensitive skin. Alcohol can irritate this sensitivity. Choosing products without it can help them stay clean without worrying about chapped, dry hands.


Another important factor is that rinse-free soaps are better at actually removing dirt and foreign matter from the skin. While sanitizers may be highly effective germ killers, they are far less effective at removing material from the skin. In many settings, this can mean the difference between healthy hands and potential illness.


Effective Cleansing Without Water


How can you be sure that your hands are clean when there is no water available? Technique is very important – but it is also very easy to teach and learn.


Follow these steps when using any no-rinse product:


  • First, remove any excess foreign material from your hands with a dry cloth or towel.
  • Next, apply a liberal amount of product to your hands.
  • Rub both hands together. Be sure to apply product to all areas of the hands, including the backs of both hands, between the fingers, and up to the wrists.
  • Rub until the product dries to the touch. There is no need to rinse with water.


These steps are simple, making them easy to teach to a classroom full of children or an office full of professionals. Whether you’re camping, working, traveling, or just trying to stay safe, there are plenty of options to help you keep your hands clean – with or without running water!

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