Chemicals as Disinfectants and Preservatives
The hands may gather germs from any substances or objects with which they come in contact; hence the hands should be washed with soap and water, and especially before eating. Physicians who perform operations wash not only their hands, but their instruments, sterilizing the latter by placing them in boiling water for several minutes.
Cuts and wounds allow easy access to the body; a small cut has been known to cause death because of the bacteria which found their way into the open wound and produced disease. In order to destroy any germs which may have entered into the cut from the instrument, it is well to wash out the wound with some mild disinfectant, such as very dilute carbolic acid or hydrogen peroxide, and then to bind the wound with a clean cloth, to prevent later entrance of germs.