5 steps to clean hands

Reviewed 4/8/2020

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

STEP ONE: Wet your hands with clean, running water (it can be warm or cold). Apply soap.

STEP TWO: 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.

STEP THREE: 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.

STEP FOUR: Rinse your hands well under running water.

STEP FIVE: Dry off using a clean towel, or air-dry.

Don't have access to soap and water? Hand sanitizer can be a good alternative.


Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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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.