COVID-level handwashing with one hand?
March 15, 2020 5:21 PM   Subscribe

I made the excellent decision to fall and separate my shoulder today, and will be in a sling for at least 2+ weeks. How do I wash my other hand?

I've been googling advice, and the methods I've seen either require the use of the opposite limb, or strike me as possibly insufficient for de-virusing to reduce spread (I'm in the greater Boston area).

If you use one hand, how do you wash it to the 20-second-song/I-just-handled-chili-peppers level?

The solution categories I've seen for my situation mostly involve setting up a sponge or simply using the side of the sink. Is this effective? Should I plan on stepping up isolation measures (already wfh and social distancing) to account for reduced ability to disinfect?

(Hand sanitizer is not available in my region, I'm looking for soap-based solutions.)
posted by heyforfour to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Can you hold something in your bad hand? I'd try a : Back Brush - 20 inch - Long Handle. If you can use your bad hand to hold it firm against the sink then you could soap it up and rub your good hand all around.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:01 PM on March 15

No, I can't use my left hand at all without taking off my sling, which I'm supposed to avoid.
posted by heyforfour at 6:09 PM on March 15

The object of handwashing being:

1) to cover your hand with soap and squish it around over all surfaces to break down lipids and loosen particles (including virii)

2) wash off the loosened things

I would think a wash rag would be better than a sponge, because it has lots of little nubby things and you can squish it between your fingers and under your nails, and then rub the back of your hand over it. Then run your hand under the water.

But yeah, I think something like this is what you're going to end up with -- assuming you don't have anyone living with you who would be willing to help you wash your hand. I would totally hit up my room mates for this, but then, we're pretty close. (Only one of them would actually say yes. But one is all it takes.)
posted by invincible summer at 6:25 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]

Googling for assistive devices for arm amputees lead me to "suction brushes" - brushes held in place with suction cups. A brush seems better than a sponge because it's easier to clean (you could just pour water over it) and probably more abrasive.
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:09 PM on March 15 [7 favorites]

I would get a brush that can either suction to your sink or with a flat bottom (like a nail brush, vegetable brush or any scrub brush that is not too rough). Palm size is probably ideal. This should allow you to get all sides of your hand soapy, including under your fingernails.
posted by acidic at 7:49 PM on March 15

Maybe one of those round brushes they market for you to use on your scalp? I'm thinking something like this or this. You'd have to find a way to secure it by the sink.

These seem like they would dry quickly (so less likely to get gross the way a sponge would), easy to clean, and I think the design would allow you to get your hand better cleaned by getting in between your fingers and helping to replicate the scrubbing motion the way you would if you were washing two hands.
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:45 AM on March 16

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