When it comes to protecting yourself and others and putting a stop to the spread of germs, don’t underestimate the power of handwashing.
Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and keep from spreading germs to others. It is particularly important to wash your hands at appropriate times when engaged in certain activities, such as before, during and after preparing food, after using the toilet and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. So, how should you wash your hands to make sure they are clean? Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you need a timer, hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
If clean, running water is not accessible, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol to clean your hands.
Visit the CDC’s website for more information on handwashing. Also, view the video below for instructions on how to effectively wash your hands.