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Global Handwashing Day

washing hands under faucet

Celebrate Global Handwashing Day to promote handwashing with soap in your community and around the world.

Established by the Global Handwashing Partnership in 2008, Global Handwashing Day is celebrated each year on October 15 as a way to increase awareness and understanding of the benefits of handwashing with soap. Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to get involved in creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.

Handwashing is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many germs that can make people sick are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. Handwashing is especially important during key times, such as after using the bathroom or before preparing food.

Learn how handwashing can help get rid of germs and chemicals that get on our hands every day.


Handwashing in Communities

Handwashing with soap is not only simple and inexpensive, but also can dramatically reduce the number of young children who get sick. Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education in the community can:

  • Reduce the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by about 23-40%
  • Reduce diarrheal illness in people with HIV by about 58%
  • Reduce respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by about 16-21%

Celebrate Global Handwashing Day

People and communities around the world will celebrate Global Handwashing Day in many ways. CDC has developed materials to help you celebrate by:

  • Learning how to wash hands the right way with these video demonstrations.
  • Watching a Facebook Live talk on October 15 at 11 AM EDT to learn why hygiene education is so important.
  • Joining the #HandwashingHeroes social media campaign and sharing a picture of you showing your clean hands.
  • Sharing handwashing lessons, events, and materials for thousands of students across the state of Georgia, where CDC is based.
  • Helping promote Global Handwashing Day in your community with CDC resources and materials.

Plan an Event

family washing their hands together

Handwashing is especially important during key times, such as after using the bathroom or before preparing food. Learn more about when and how to wash your hands.