Washington State University

Personal Hygiene

hand sanitizer

Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to other.  Whether you are at home, at work, traveling, or out in the community handwashing with soap and water can protect you and your family.  Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:

  • Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Prepare or eat food and drinks with unwashed hands
  • Touch a contaminated surface or object
  • Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects

Key times to wash hands

  • After you have been in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, elevator buttons, electronics
  • Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Before eating
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick
  • Before , during, and after preparing food
  • After using the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

Although washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs it is not always readily available.  In those instances, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is a good substitute.  Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands.  However, sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs, may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty, or remove harmful chemicals.

Cougar clean

Currently, hand sanitizer is difficult to purchase, and what is available is reserved for healthcare and emergency responders.  EH&S recognized this problem and worked with the Federal Drug Administration to get approval to produce our own hand sanitizer using their recommended recipe.  EH&S is currently providing it to essential personnel on campus with priority to areas that do not have readily available water and soap.  Cougar Clean is a 80% alcohol antiseptic topical solution.

How to use hand sanitizer

Although it seems straight forward it is important to use hand sanitizer correctly.

  • Apply the hand sanitizer to the palm of one hand
  • Rub hands together
  • Rub all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.  This should take about 20 seconds.

How do I get Cougar Clean

EH&S is currently distributing hand sanitizer to department by request to Jason Sampson or by calling 509-335-9564.  Like many products associated with disinfection WSU is having difficultly obtaining empty plastic bottles with dispensors.  EH&S is asking anyone that has empty containers to drop them off at one of our collection locations listed below.  EH&S will disinfect bottles, refill with Cougar Clean and distribute upon request.  Since the demand has been high we are establishing collection and drop off points with each department.

Drop off locations

EH&S has placed Collection Bins at buildings around campus for departments to put their empty hand sanitizer and disinfectants.  In addition, EH&S has placed labeled drums for WSU community members to drop off empty hand sanitizer containers at the following locations:

  • Front door of Environment Health and Safety Building (corner of Grimes Way and Terre View Drive)
  • Chemical Stores loading dock by McCluskey Services