- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap (to save water), 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. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Why do I need to use hand wash? Why not just water?
According to the CDC “using soap to wash hands is more effective than using water alone because the surfactants in soap lift soil and microbes from skin.” In addition, “people tend to scrub hands more thoroughly when using soap, which further removes germs.”
Do I need to use an “antibacterial” hand wash?
“To date, studies have shown that there is no added health benefit for consumers (this does not include professionals in the healthcare setting) using soaps containing antibacterial ingredients compared with using plain soap. In fact, as a result, the FDA issued a ruling in September 2016 that nineteen ingredients in common “antibacterial” soaps, including triclosan, were no more effective than non-antibacterial soap and water and thus these products are no longer able to be marketed to the general public.”