Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more
UPDATE
Given new evidence on the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, CDC has updated the guidance for fully vaccinated people. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. Children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.
UPDATE
The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines. More information is available here.
UPDATE
Travel requirements to enter the United States are changing, starting November 8, 2021. More information is available here.

Handwashing and Making a Solution for Handwashing in Global, Low-Resource Settings

Handwashing and Making a Solution for Handwashing in Global, Low-Resource Settings
Updated Jan. 26, 2022

Handwashing

Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use the cleanest water possible, for example from an improved source. *If soap and water are not available use an alcohol-based hand rub that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Illustration of hands underneath water faucet

1. Wet hands with water.

Illustration of hands using bar and liquid soap

2. Apply enough soap to cover the front and back of your hands and in between your fingers.

Illustration of hands moving in a circular motion with bubbles

3. Rub hands together and scrub the front and back of your hands and in between your fingers.

Illustration of hands with bubbles

4. Wash the front and back of your hands, in between your fingers, and under your nails.

Illustration of hands underneath water faucet

5. Rinse your hands with clean water.

Illustration of hands drying with cloth

6. Dry hands completely using a clean towel or single-use towel or air dry.

*When using alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer, apply the product to the palm of one hand and rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry. Read the label of the hand sanitizer to learn the correct amount of product to rub.

WHEN TO WASH HANDS TO PREVENT COVID-19:

Remember to wash your hands before, during or after each of these activities to stay healthy:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before touching your face**
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After being in a public place
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After using the toilet or latrine
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

 **Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Handwashing Solution

Read Text Equivalent (for Section 508 access).

Infographic: Making handwashing solution

Make a Handwashing Solution

Remember, only use chlorine-based hand washing solutions when soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub are not available.

Making handwashing solution from 5% liquid bleach

Use the MILD chlorine water to wash hands. Make new mild chlorine water every day.

  1. Mix 14 tablespoons (1 Cup plus ¾ Cup) of 5% bleach into 20 liters (5 gallons plus 4½ Cups) of clear water. Stir well.
    Label plastic bucket for handwashing only / MILD 05%. Do not drink or use for cooking.
  2. Make sure the bucket is covered. Use the MILD chlorine water to wash hands.

Making handwashing solution from HTH chlorine powder
Use the MILD chlorine water to wash hands. Make new mild chlorine water every day.

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of HTH chlorine powder into 20 liters (5 gallons plus 4½ Cups) of water every day. Stir well. Label plastic bucket for handwashing only /MILD 05%. Do not drink or use for cooking.
  2. Stir well and wait 30 minutes.
  3. Use the MILD chlorine water to wash hands.

Do NOT drink chlorine water.
United States Food and Drug Administration -FDA warns this may cause people to be unwell, sick or die.

Do NOT put chlorine water in mouth or eyes.
This may cause burning, red eyes, itching, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light.