Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), then apply soap. Rub the soap into your hands to make a lather. Massage the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails with the soap. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands well after washing them.
This process helps remove dirt, grease, and other contaminants from your hands. It also protects against bacteria, viruses, and some types of cancer. Washing your hands regularly is important in preventing the spread of illness symptoms such as coughs, sneezes, and diarrhea.
The American Heart Association recommends that adults wash their hands frequently with soapy water and dry them thoroughly after each use. This helps prevent the spread of germs and infections. Hand washing is especially important before eating food, using the bathroom, and giving children oral care.
Children should be taught how important it is to wash their hands with soap before they eat food, play with toys, go to the bathroom, and when they are sick. They should also be encouraged to wash their hands after blowing their nose, coughing, and sneezing. Starting early on, children should learn about hygiene and the dangers of spreading illness through dirty hands.
So, next time you wash your hands, think about all the things your hands touch every day.
When washing your hands, the CDC recommends that you perform the following:
Do you require a timer? Yes. It's important to keep washing for at least 20 seconds so skin is exposed to enough antibacterial soap to reduce the risk of infection.
If you don't have time for a full wash, it's okay to wash just your hands with soapy water. But if you do go beyond simply washing your hands and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after handling contaminated food, note that this won't eliminate all risks of infection. You should still wash your hands before eating or preparing more food.
Does it matter where on my hand I scrub? The skin on your palms is thicker than other areas of your hand, so you need more time and effort rubbing in product there. Start by rubbing in lotion or oil over the entire surface of your hand, including between your fingers and under your nails. Scrub harder here until the soap disappears into your skin.
Why does my hand feel cold when I wash it? If you use cold water, the temperature may be low enough to inhibit bacterial growth while still being warm enough to remove dirt and germs.
Hands, utensils, and surfaces are often used.
How to Clean Your Hands
Hand washing with both hands
Steps for Cleaning Your Hands