Washing hands with soap and water is one of the best things to prevent any number of infections and diseases, including COVID-19. While washing or disinfecting hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer are the gold standard for disease prevention, it’s not always easy to access the necessary resources, especially for people who use drugs and people without reliable housing. Here are a few suggested alternatives when soap, water or hand sanitizer are unavailable.
• Check for emergency housing.
• Check with service providers for handwashing supplies.
• Body wash and shampoo can substitute for soap. So can dish soap, but it may be irritating.
• Rubbing alcohol kills COVID-19. Drinkable alcohol does not. Alcohol wipes work —use one per finger, back of hand, and palm. Rub for at least 20 seconds.
• Look for places with water faucets you can use, such as parks and gas stations. Ask permission before using water hoses.
• Bottled water can be used for rinsing. Hands can air dry.