Handwashing should follow the CDC guidelines of proper handwashing. The Center for Disease Control says that people can help themselves and others stay healthy by washing hands often, especially during these key times when people are likely to get and spread germs.
When to wash hands
- After being in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens, etc.
- Before touching eyes, nose, or mouth because that’s how germs enter our bodies.
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing the nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
How to best wash hands
Follow these five steps every time:
- Wet hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of hands, between fingers, and under nails. Manipulate jewelry to allow for cleaning under the jewelry.
- Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry hands using a clean towel or air dry them.