Five Minutes or Less for Health Weekly Tip: Wash Hands

  • wash your handsHandwashing is like a “do-it-yourself” vaccine—it involves five simple and effective steps (think Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry). Take these steps to help protect yourself and others against the spread of germs.
  • If soap and clean running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean your hands.
  • Wash hands:
    • Before, during, and after preparing food
    • Before eating food
    • After using the bathroom
    • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has gone to the bathroom
    • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After handling an animal or animal waste
    • After touching garbage
    • Before and after treating a cut or wound
    • More frequently when you or others around you are sick

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Page last reviewed: December 15, 2014