Paper soap to celebrate hand-washing day


Stakeholders, business partners, and Water and Sanitation students scrutinized the washing of hands.

The Cobra factory in Factoria hosted a presentation in conjunction with Global Hand-washing Awareness Day to help launch the latest innovation in waterless hand cleansers – paper soap – which will be available on the market from next year.

On 14 November, Project Channel Representative of Cobra, Mindow Mokgolo, welcomed attendees from all parts of Gauteng.

With hand-washing techniques being the focal point, Cobra employees watched a demonstration of the six steps of hand-washing, as the employees use their hands throughout the day, handling objects that place their personal hygiene at risk. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) led the demonstration and handed out soaps for the hygienic hand-washing routine.

Environmental Development Ward Committee Member, Sarah Mashego, said many illnesses such as influenza are caused by not washing or not following the guidelines for washing hands properly.

The message expressed by DWS was clear as they emphasised the health risks that one is exposed to through washing hands without soap or any hygienic detergent, and by missing the basic steps of ensuring clean and healthy hands.

The six steps of proper hand-washing according to DWS:

• Firstly wet your hands with clean (warm) water, preferably running water.

• Lather your hands by rubbing them together, covering all surfaces: your palms, fingers, back of your hands, in between your fingers, under your nails, and your wrists.

• Continue rubbing hands together for 15 to 20 seconds.

• By washing all the surfaces, you can ensure clean hands, so get used to practicing proper hand-washing – make it a habit.

• Rinse your hands under clean, running water to remove residual germs.

• Whatever you use to dry your hands must be clean, preferably a hand blower or paper towels. Fabric towels are not always the cleanest option as they may have been used by someone who did not properly wash their hands. When you are on the go, you can always air dry or dry your hands by wiping them on your clothes.

An innovation that excited the crowd and had most attendees seeking a piece of it was the paper soap – a paper strip impregnated with soap that you could easily carry in your pocket, ensuring hygiene wherever you go.

One of the two Kleen Me consultants, Kershan Pillay, demonstrated how to use the paper soap.

“This business card-sized product is an innovative product that is convenient and cost-effective. The South African public can expect to see it on the market from 2018, at R4 per strip, which will give you between 10 and 20 washes,” said Kershan.

Many people in the audience liked the paper soap and its fragrance, and said it was easy to carry. However, some people had concerns that it would not be popular because South Africa is a water-scarce country, and the product doesn’t function without water.

Nonhlanhla Mhlongo, a Water and Sanitation student, thought the paper soap was different to the conventional soap, and could therefore do well on the markets.

“Perhaps South Africans will be able to use this product more than normal soap, and it is a novelty, so parents would want to buy it for their children to ensure cleanliness even when they are away from home,” said Nonhlanhla.

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