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Handwashing Best Practices

Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is one of easiest and most effective ways to reduce the spread of germs.

Graphic with faucet, hands, fingernail, and clock. Text reads "wet hands with clean water, scrub every surface, clean in between nails, and wash for at least 20 seconds" Graphic with faucet, hands, fingernail, and clock. Text reads "wet hands with clean water, scrub every surface, clean in between nails, and wash for at least 20 seconds"

Instructions:

1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. 

3. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

4. This should take at least 20 seconds.

5. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

6. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

How Hand Sanitizer Works

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be a great option when you don’t have access to soap and water.

Graphic of hand sanitizer and hands; text reads "Cover all surfaces of your hands, At least 60% alcohol, and Clean for at least 20 seconds." Graphic of hand sanitizer and hands; text reads "Cover all surfaces of your hands, At least 60% alcohol, and Clean for at least 20 seconds."

Instructions:

1. If you don’t have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or at least 70% isopropanol. This concentration is the minimum required to kill microbes on your hands.

2. Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).

3. Rub your hands together.

4. Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take at least 20 seconds.