Wash Your Hands More Thoroughly, Not More Frequently

how to wash your hands

Washing your hands often is the best way to remove the bacteria and germs you get in touch with. But do you know how to wash your hands the right way? Most people say they do, yet the large majority of them spend no more than six seconds washing their hands.

How to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

For it to have any effect, you need to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. To help you time it, CDC recommends humming the “Happy Birthday to You” song twice in a row. But time is not all that matters. Here is how to wash your hands properly:

  • Turn on the tap and wet your hands with running water.
  • Rub the soap on your wet hands. Make sure to apply it to your palms, the area between the fingers, as well as under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands by rubbing the palms against each other. Do this for at least 20 seconds.
  • Turn on the tap once again and rinse the soap off.
  • Use a towel or a tissue to dry your hands afterward. This is important, as bacteria tend to multiply faster in wet conditions.

How to Wash Your Hands: The Myths and the Facts

Many people will tell you that you should only wash your hands with warm water. In reality, the temperature of the running water makes no difference. What’s more, research suggests that washing your hands with hot water may even cause skin irritation.

There’s also no proof that using an antibacterial soap will make any difference. Of course, this doesn’t apply to medical staff, who get in contact with many types of bacteria as part of their work. Still, you should always use soap. Alternatively, CDC suggests using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Final Word

To maintain proper personal hygiene, it’s important to know how to wash your hands the right way. Follow these tips to make sure you’ll stay protected from the germs that could otherwise cause serious health issues.