COVID-19 reminded us of the importance of hand hygiene. As we begin to move beyond the pandemic, don’t forget that washing your hands can also keep you from getting a cold, flu, or stomach bug. However, you want to make sure you’re doing it right. Did you know only 5% of bathroom users wash their hands long enough to kill germs? Proper technique can mean the difference between staying healthy or getting sick, so here’s everything you need to know about handwashing from steps to soap and sanitizer according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What’s the Best Way to Wash Your Hands?
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
What Kind of Soap to Use?
Any kind of bar or liquid soap works well for handwashing. However, many liquid soaps also include a moisturizing agent, so your hands will not dry out as quickly from frequent cleaning. Also know that antibacterial soaps have not been proven to be any more effective than plain soap for killing germs, so use whichever you prefer.
What About Hand Sanitizer?
Handwashing is the best way to remove all types of germs from your hands, but alcohol-based hand sanitizers work well when you can’t get to a sink. Read the label and use only those containing at least 60% alcohol. When applying, make sure to rub the front and back of your hands and wait for your skin to dry.