All About Handwashing

All About Handwashing

Wash your hands with soap thoroughly for 20 seconds or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

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When To Wash Your Hands

  • After returning home from ANY activity where you were around other people!
  • Before, during, and after preparing food.
  • Before eating food.
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea.
  • After using the toilet.
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • After touching garbage if there is someone living in the household who has COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands after touching money. (Do not try to wash money in the microwave–this does not work)

How To Wash Your Hands

  • Wet your hands with water (warm or cold).
  • 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.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel.

Handwashing Tips

  • Soap and water is more effective than hand sanitizer at killing germs.
  • Wash hands with warm or cold water, warm water is better for hands that are greasy–lather up!
  • Use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
  • Baby wipes are not successful in killing germs, only those labeled disinfecting.
  • Do not expose your skin to straight bleach solutions or hydrogen peroxide! Both can burn you!
  • Do not use antibacterial soaps. They offer no advantage over regular soap.
  • Apply skin moisturizer so your skin does not crack and provide a place for the virus to lodge.

What About Wearing Gloves?

Washing your hands often is much better for everyday tasks than wearing gloves. Unless you’re a health-care worker or, say, a cook with a cut on your hands, it is not recommended that the general public wear gloves.

Wearing gloves might cause you to wash your hands less because you keep wearing the now-dirty gloves instead of washing your hands. You end up contaminating other objects, like your cell phones or your face, with the dirty gloves when not worn and used correctly.

Gloves are only useful when you use them and take them off properly as to not contaminate your hands with germs.