How to Properly Wash Your Hands

Organization: Live Health Topics:

For Soap & Water:

  • Use warm running water
  • Wet your hands before applying soap
  • Rub hands together for at least 15 seconds
  • Wash the back of the hands, between fingers and under fingernails
  • Rinse with warm water
  • Pat hands dry
  • Turn off faucet using a paper towel

For Alcohol-Based Handrub:

  • Apply product to palm of one hand
  • Rub hands together covering all surfaces
  • Keep rubbing until dry

Alcohol-Based Handrubs

  • Alcohol-based handrubs are the BEST method for killing bacteria on our hands when hands are not visibly soiled.
  • Alcohol-based handrubs are significantly less drying and damaging to skin than soap and water.

When Should I Perform Hand Hygiene?

  • Before eating or handling food.
  • After using the restroom.
  • When visibly soiled.

About Hand Washing

  • Some viruses and bacteria can live from 2 hours to several days on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs and desks.
  • To save time when hands aren’t visibly soiled, use alcohol-based handrubs. 
  • Keep your fingernails clean, organisms love to flourish under and around them.
  • Chipped nail polish may harbor bacteria.
  • Natural fingernails should be kept to one-fourth inch or less in length.