reviewed 8/8/2019

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 germfree? Wash them well with soap and water. Here's a look at the five steps involved in good handwashing.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (it can be warm or cold). Apply soap.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Rinse your hands well under running water.
  5. Dry off using a clean towel, or air-dry.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Related stories

This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.