Handwashing is like a "do-it-yourself" vaccine—it involves five simple and effective steps (Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry) you can take to reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness so you can stay healthy. Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. It's quick, it's simple, and it can keep us all from getting sick. Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs.
Learn more about when and how to wash your hands, the importance of using soap and water, and what you can do if soap and clean, running water are not available. Whether you are at home, at work, traveling, or already sick, find out how good hand hygiene can protect you, your family, and others. More…
Keeping our hands clean is one of the best things we can do to keep from getting sick and avoid spreading germs to others. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden explains how handwashing in schools helps students, families, and communities stay healthier.
Create a Handwashing Campaign
Help prevent school absenteeism by creating a handwashing campaign for your school community.
Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings
Resources for healthcare workers and patients.
Water, Sanitation, and Environmental Hygiene
Behaviors can improve cleanliness and lead to good health.
Hand Hygiene to Help Prevent Flu
Hygiene habits can help prevent seasonal flu.
Hand Hygiene During an Emergency
Resources to promote hand hygiene in an emergency.
Hand Hygiene Aboard Ships
Keep your hands clean and stay healthy on a cruise.
Handwashing & Other Prevention Activities
Actions apart from vaccination and medicine can help slow the spread of illness.
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- Page last reviewed: January 27, 2016
- Page last updated: January 27, 2016
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