The Correct Way to Wash Your Hands

February 7, 2023 – According to the CDC, you need to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water to prevent spreading germs. However, washing your hands the right way might be a bit more complicated than this. Below are the steps and tips to ensure you are washing your hands the correct way.

Know When to Wash Your Hands

The CDC recommends washing your hands frequently throughout the day, especially after you have been in contact with someone or something that could be contaminated. This includes using the bathroom, blowing your nose, and when preparing food. Additionally, it is important to regularly wash items such as frequently-used machinery and door handles.

Use Warm Water

While cold water is sufficient to remove dirt and germs, warm water can open up pores in the skin and make it easier to remove bacteria. It also helps the soap lather better so when you are scrubbing your hands, it will be more effective.

Scrub with Soap

When you’re scrubbing your hands, make sure to get in between your fingers and under your nails. This is where a lot of germs can hide. It is also important to use enough soap so that it lathers well and you get a good scrub.

Dry Your Hands

After you have washed your hands, it is important to dry them thoroughly. This helps remove any remaining bacteria and prevent the spread of germs. The best way to do this is to use a paper towel or air dryer. Cloth towels can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Disinfecting wipes are also a great way to dry your hands and can be used in public places. It’s crucial to find disinfecting wipes that contain at least 70% alcohol, which is the CDC-recommended concentration for maximum effectiveness. Wipes are multipurpose, so they can also be used on items that may have been infected with bacteria.

Use Hand Sanitizer

If soap and water are not available, then hand sanitizer is a great temporary solution. However, it is not a substitute for washing with soap and water as it doesn’t remove dirt and germs as effectively. As with the soap, make sure to rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. If you chose to use disinfecting wipes, it’s crucial to not reuse wipes for multiple people. 

These tips are essential for preventing the spread of germs, so make sure to educate yourself and your family on proper hand-washing techniques. Following these guidelines will help keep you and those around you healthy.