How to Wash Your Hands Properly


Hand washing is an effective way to prevent the spread of germs and avoid infection. Let’s go over the best practices when washing your hands.

Download our free “How to Wash Your Hands” PDF and post it near your sinks.

When Should You Wash Your Hands?

While there isn’t really a bad time to wash your hands, there are certainly times when you need to do so.

  • After using the washroom
  • Before and after eating a meal
  • After touching a contaminated surface (i.e doorknob, door, garbage can)
  • After petting and holding animals
  • When preparing medication
  • When taking care of someone with a compromised immune system

These are all examples of times when you must wash your hands. Most surfaces that we come into contact with throughout the day are contaminated. The best way to keep yourself safe from germs and bacteria is by washing your hands.

How Do You Properly Wash Your Hands?

To start off, you need to remove any jewelry you may be wearing. Then, you’re going to wet your hands with warm water, and apply enough soap to cover both hands.

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to wash all areas thoroughly including the palm and back of each hand, between your fingers, underneath your fingernails, and your thumbs. Wash until you’ve cleaned all surface areas.

Then, rinse your hands with water until all of the soap is gone. Grab a paper towel and dry every area of both of your hands. When turning off the sink, make sure to use the paper towel you used to dry your hands to turn off the tap. This way, you’re not touching a contaminated area immediately after washing your hands.

How Do You Wash Your Hands Without Clean Or Available Water?

When clean water and soap is not an option, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

The hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol to be an effective substitute for water. You should use enough sanitizer to wet both hands. Rub it in thoroughly and make sure you get under your nails, between your fingers, palms, and the backs of your hands.

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