Step-by-step guide to proper handwashing

Handwashing is one of the most effective and simple ways to prevent the spread of infections and illnesses. Here’s a step-by-step guide to proper handwashing:

  1. Wet Your Hands: Turn on the tap and wet your hands with clean, running water—warm or cold.
  2. Apply Soap: Apply enough soap to cover all surfaces of your hands. Bar soap or liquid soap works equally well.
  3. Lather and Rub: Rub your hands together vigorously to create a lather. Ensure you cover all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Rub for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Scrub Under Nails: Use your fingernails or a nail brush to clean under your nails.
  5. Rinse Thoroughly: Hold your hands under clean, running water to wash away soap and dirt. Ensure all soap residue is rinsed off.
  6. Dry Your Hands: Use a clean towel or air dry your hands. Avoid using a cloth towel that has been used by multiple people if possible.
  7. Turn Off the Tap: Use a paper towel or your elbow to turn off the tap to avoid recontaminating your hands.
  8. When to Wash: Wash your hands frequently, especially:
    • Before and after preparing or eating food.
    • After using the restroom.
    • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
    • After touching animals or handling waste.
    • When visibly dirty or after being in a public place.

Remember, the key to effective handwashing is thoroughness and duration. Singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice or the “ABCs” while washing your hands can help ensure you wash for at least 20 seconds. Handwashing is a simple yet powerful practice in preventing the spread of infections.