How To Actually Wash Your Hands

Out of everything I’ve seen so far regarding how to stay safe from the Coronavirus, it seems like the single most important thing you can do to stay safe is to wash your hands.

I recently saw this image on Twitter and went down the rabbit hole of researching, “What’s the proper way to wash your hands?”

Here are 8 things I learned (source):

  1. It doesn’t matter if the water is hot or cold. Water temperature doesn’t really matter in terms of effectiveness
  2. Lather up the soap.. There may be a slight advantage to liquid soap vs foam soap but this was from a small study.
  3. If there isn’t soap, washing with water alone is better than nothing. A study found that washing with water alone reduced bacteria on hands to about one-quarter of their prewash state. Washing with soap and water brought bacterial counts down to about 8% of where they were before washing.
  4. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. This is the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday to You” twice.
  5. Dry your hands. Dry hands are less likely to spread contamination than wet hands.
  6. Wash your hands often. The CDC says wash in all of these scenarios: Before, during, and after food prep, Before eating, Before and after tending to someone who’s sick, Before and after treating a cut or other wound, After going to the bathroom, After changing diapers or helping a child in the bathroom, After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, After touching an animal, or touching pet food or pet waste, After handling pet food or pet treats, After touching garbage.
  7. If you can’t wash use hand sanitizer. Make sure to use enough so that it covers all the surfaces on your hannds. Rub that on until your hands feel dry, which should take about 20 seconds.
  8. And lastly, Avoid Touching Contaminated Surfaces. Use a clean paper towel to open bathroom doors. Disinfect dirty surfaces that you use every day, like the touchscreen on your phone and your computer keyboard.

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