National Handwashing Awareness Week

Person Washing Hands

Best Hand Washing Techniques 

Hand-washing is a great way to prevent the spread of disease, especially amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. Understand the when and how to properly wash your hands, and how to teach your kids the importance as well. 

In our modern world, germs have become commonplace and unavoidable. As you touch, surfaces, objects, and other people throughout the day, you accumulate germs on your hands. You can get infected by these germs when touching your eyes, nose or mouth, or spread them to others. Washing your hands frequently can help limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

If you wear contacts, this analogy might be helpful in thinking of how to wash your hands. Think of washing your hands like you would if you needed to put your contacts in and you just cut jalapenos. 

3-Step for Proper Hand Washing

We all know how to wash our hands, but a quick step-by-step process can be a great way to teach children and remind ourselves of the importance of taking time to get as many germs washed away as possible. 

It is best practice to wash your hands with soap and water. Antibacterial soaps are no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap.

Follow this 3-Step Process:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water — warm or cold is fine.
  2. Apply soap and lather vigorously for 20 seconds. Scrub between your fingers, under your fingernails, and the backs of your hands.
  3. Rinse well and dry your hands with a clean towel. 

Help children Stay Healthy, Too

By encouraging children to wash their hands frequently, they develop life-long healthy habits. To show them how it’s done, try washing your hands alongside them, using the steps listed above. To make it fun, try singing the ABC’s while you wash to ensure 20 seconds pass. 

When to Use Hand Sanitizer 

While washing with soap and water is the best method to clean your hands, hand sanitizer is a great alternative when running water or soap is not readily available. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which don’t require water, are a great alternative. When using hand sanitizer, make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol. 

Follow these steps:

Squirt a dime-sized amount of gel into the palm of your hand. *For foaming sanitizers, use 1 pump, about the size of a quarter.

Rub your hands together, getting the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. Allow hands to air dry; do not use a towel or air dryer to dry hands.

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