Steps Of Hand Washing: Are You Doing It Right

Hand washing is one of the most basic and effective ways to prevent the spread of illness. You’re probably already doing it, but are you doing it right? Read on for our step-by-step guide to hand washing, including tips on how long to scrub and how often you should be doing it.

Wet your hands

Let’s get started. First, wet your hands under running water. You can use either the sink or a paper towel to turn on the faucet and then use that same paper towel to open the door when you leave. While it may feel tempting to skip this step and just wipe your hands dry with another piece of paper, do not do this!

The goal is to get them fully wet enough so that any germs on them will be washed away by the next step—soaking up excess moisture with a towel could cause bacteria from other parts of your body (your face) to transfer onto your hands and then into whatever food item you’re about to touch.

Also, try not to use soap unless absolutely necessary (for example if you’re preparing meat) since this can have negative effects on both food safety and personal hygiene; instead, follow up with some warm water alone once more before letting go of any remaining soap bubbles in order for maximum cleanliness without worrying about having too much leftover residue left behind inside cracks between fingers.


The next step is to lather up. You can do this with a bar of soap or liquid soap in your hands, or even some foaming hand wash if you like. The important thing is that you cover all areas of your hands and fingers with a lather. This means the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under them too!

When you have done this for 20 seconds (a good time frame to ensure all areas are properly cleaned), rinse off the soap thoroughly by rubbing it over the same areas again until they’re squeaky clean — then turn on the tap to rinse out any remaining residue from underneath tap water.

Scrub for 20 seconds

This is the step you really want to get right. Scrubbing is crucial, because it’s the only way to kill harmful bacteria and other germs that can make you sick. And don’t be afraid to scrub—you’re working with an antibacterial soap that washes away easily and won’t leave your hands feeling rough or dry.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends washing hands in warm water for 20 seconds, which may sound like a lot, but it’s necessary! If you wash too fast you’ll miss spots; if you use cold water it could cause burns (not good), and if you use paper towels instead of drying your hands properly afterward they can spread germs on the rest of the surface where they are placed (also not good).


You do need to rinse well. Even with soap and water, you still have to rinse the soap off your hands. You can’t just walk away from this step!

You’ll want to repeat the process of scrubbing and rinsing throughout the entire duration of hand washing. This is important because leaving soapy residue on your hands can actually spread bacteria instead of removing it!

One thing that’s crucial when it comes to drying your hands—it’s okay if there isn’t any paper towel nearby (and we’re not expecting anyone at a public restroom sink), but make sure you dry them thoroughly before touching anything else. This will help prevent the spread of germs from one surface to another in your home or office environment.

Dry your hands

You should dry your hands if you are in an environment where cleanliness is important, such as a hospital or food service facility. Dry hands minimize the spread of germs. The best way to dry your hands is to use a air hand dryer. If you don’t have access to either one of these options, try using the air from a fan on high speed for 30 seconds or more until they are completely dry.

If you don’t want others touching things like keyboards and doorknobs after shaking your hand with them, make sure that yours are 100% dry before doing so yourself!

If you do want to follow the steps we’ve outlined above, then we’d like to wish you all the best in doing so. Remember, hand-washing may take a little longer than other methods of cleaning, but it will help you avoid the risk of contamination. And that’s worth the time spent.

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