October 15, 2018

10 Innovative Interventions that Promote Clean Hands

Written by Shubham Issar, SoaPen

It’s Global Handwashing Day and WASH organizations all over the world are coming together to celebrate. This year’s theme is “Clean Hands- a recipe for health,” which examines the relationship between handwashing and food. For food to have a nutritious effect on the body, it needs to be consumed with clean hands. Today, celebrations are being organized both virtually and through in-person events around the world. 

In the same spirit and in honor of Global Handwashing Day’s 10th anniversary, we take a look at 10 innovative product interventions that promote hand hygiene all over the world:

1. SoaPen

Young girl holding Soapen

Photo credit: SoaPen Inc.

SoaPen promotes better handwashing practices among kids all over the world through play. SoaPen is a soap that kids can draw with. In removing this drawing underwater, kids rub their hands for 20 to 40 seconds to remove all germs. Compact sized, SoaPen is portable and provides an alternative to sanitizer when water is readily available.

Free of sulfates, phthalates, EDTA, parabens and any animal by product, SoaPen is formulated as a mild hand soap which is hypoallergenic, dermatologically tested soap safe for kids.

SoaPen has developed a Buy1Give where for every three pack sold in the US, one SoaPen is donated to a low income school. SoaPen will be available for purchase on Global Handwashing Day on www.soapen.com

2. SpaTap

Group of children using SpaTap

Photo credit: www.spatap.com

SpaTap is an eco-friendly, water saving outdoors tap that can be applied to many settings from camping in the woods to creating running water sources where none exist. It converts any bottle into a controllable flow of water that is minimal and appropriate for handwashing and showers.

A 1.25L bottle of water flows for over 13 minutes or provides up to 100 hand rinses. SpaTap won the Humanitarian Prize from the government of Australia for its innovative design and application in humanitarian aid, disaster relief and outdoor recreation.

3. SuperTowel™

Girl holding SuperTowel

Eritrean girl with the SuperTowel™ | Photo Credit: Torben Larsen, RealRelief

SuperTowel™ is a reusable, highly durable towel that is designed to provide clean hands using only a small amount of water. It includes a permanently bonded anti-microbial layer. Thus, when the towel is wet and rubbed against the hands, pathogens are transferred onto the towel and killed.

The SuperTowel™ was developed by RealRelief with funds from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. It is being tested with the support from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Danish Refugee Council.

4. Handzies

Packet of Handzies

Photo Credit: www.handzies.com

Hadzies are soap and water towlettes that provide a fresh “soap and water” clean anytime, anywhere. Made with pure Castile (olive oil-based) soap, water and essential oils like tea tree and tangerine, Handzies is a mild towelette that gives you the feeling of washing hands in a sink while on the go.

For Global Handwashing Day, part proceeds will be donated to an NGO in the WASH sector when you shop for some Handzies.

5. Happy Tap- LaBobo

Children using HappyTap

Photo Credit: WaterSHED Asia

HappyTap is a lightweight portable sink with a detachable 15 liter water tank, a water conserving rain spout, and a soap dish to store bar soap.

The only tap designed by moms to make handwashing fun for kids, HappyTap is bright, engaging and easy to use for kids. For homes with no source of running water, HappyTap is life saving and allows families to invest in their children’s health.

6. Toy Soaps

Toy soaps

Photo Credit: www.fieldready.org

Toy soaps were developed as an intervention in the Sharia Camp in Iraq. The soaps are transparent and feature a toy animal inside, incentivizing kids to wash their hands with soap more often to reach the toy in the middle.

A study was conducted to evaluate the use of these toy soaps to motivate handwashing behavior in a humanitarian study. Read the study here.

7. HyGreen Hand Hygiene Recording and Reminding System

Graphic showing HyGreen in use

Photo Credit: www.hygreen.com

The HyGreen system records all hand hygiene events in a hospital and reminds healthcare workers to wash their hands between patients. When a healthcare worker applies soap or gel to the hands, a HyGreen sensor detects handwashing activity and indicates this on their worker ID badge through a blinking green light. Through this system, both patients and adminstrative staff can hold healthcare workers accountable.

8. Povu Poa

PovuPoa design

Photo Credit: Noel Wilson

Povu Poa or “cool foam” in Swahili incorporates a water-frugal swing tap, allowing only a small amount of water to flow, and a foaming soap dispenser. The dispenser transforms 5 grams of powdered soap and 250 mililieters of water into 100 handwashes. The system comes in both a pipe model, which is more portable, and a bucket model, which has more capacity, but is not easily moved. Both systems can be locked into place to reduce theft. Learn more here.

9. Lifebuoy Soap

Person washing hands in sink

Photo Credit: Lifebuoy

Unilever’s Lifebuoy brand seeks to find creative ways to change handwashing behavior. From soap bar sensors that change color to kid-friendly Mickey Mouse themed soap dispensers, the brand has found innovative ways to nudge consumers into changing their handwashing behavior and practices throughout the years.

10. CloudClean

Employees must wash hands sign

Photo Credit: www.cloudclean.com

How it works:

CloudClean™ is a real-time handwash monitoring system revolutionizing the restaurant and food industries. It provides hand hygiene compliance technology for simple, yet powerful control over the risks of food-borne illness stemming from poor handwashing practices.

Each employee is given a unique CloudClean™ ID badge. Sensors track handwashing opportunities in the washroom, food preparation, and production areas. When a worker washes with soap, the system records the handwashing event. The badge provides a reminder to the worker if they forgot to wash. Data is then transmitted into a reporting system where operators can use this data to recognize, train, or discipline employees based on their handwashing behavior.

Editor’s note: These products were selected by the author and listed here for informational purposes only. The Global Handwashing Partnership does not endorse products.