We know you’ve been washing your hands on your own since you were 5 years old, but here’s the rub: Chances are, you may not be washing in a way that gets rid of disease-causing germs. Instead of running your hands under warm water for 10 seconds and patting them dry on your pants, try this effective process for keeping illness at bay:
- Wet. Run clean warm or cold water over your hands. Turn off the water and apply soap.
- Lather. Rub your hands together to create a lather; make sure the soap gets between your fingers, on the backs of your hands, and under your nails.
- Scrub. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Sing or hum “Happy Birthday” twice for the perfect low-tech timer.
- Rinse. Use clean running water to remove the soap.
- Dry. Use a clean towel or paper towel, or air-dry your hands.
"Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.