HEALTHMATTERSBack to HealthMatters main
Keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness.
5 steps to clean hands
Keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness. The best way to keep your hands germ-free? Wash them well with soap and water. Here's a look at the five steps involved in good handwashing.
STEP ONE: Wet your hands with clean, running water (it can be warm or cold). Apply soap.
STEP TWO: Rub your hands together to make a lather. Scrub hands well all over—make sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
STEP THREE: Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds—that's about as long as it takes to hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
STEP FOUR: Rinse your hands well under running water.
STEP FIVE: Dry off using a clean towel, or air-dry.
Don't have access to soap and water? Hand sanitizer can be a good alternative.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention