Handwashing is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of illness.
Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.
CDC recommends cleaning hands in a specific way to avoid getting sick and spreading *germs and *microbes to others.
*Microbes are all tiny living organisms that may or may not cause disease.
*Germs, or pathogens, are types of microbes that can cause disease.
During the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, keeping hands clean is especially important to help prevent the virus from spreading.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a frequently touched surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes with unwashed hands. Although this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, we are still learning more about how it spreads. Cleaning visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for preventing COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses caused by viruses.
The guidance for effective handwashing and use of hand sanitizer was developed based on data from a number of studies.
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry, the germs spread more easily when hands are wet, so make sure to dry your hands completely
Is it better to use warm water or cold water?
Use your preferred water temperature – cold or warm – to wash your hands. Warm and cold water remove the same number of germs from your hands. The water helps create soap lather that removes germs from your skin when you wash your hands. Water itself does not usually kill germs; to kill germs, water would need to be hot enough to scald your hands.
What are the key times to wash hands?
These are CDC’s key times you should wash your hands:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating
- Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
- If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, you should immediately clean your hands by either washing them with soap and water or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
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Thank you for reading and have a happy and healthy day!
‘A clean place is a happy and healthy place’