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Are you washing your hands properly? This is how the CDC says it should be done

Posted at 9:18 AM, Mar 02, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one of the best ways to prevent the spread of illness, including the novel coronavirus, is to wash your hands. But are you doing it the right way?

Yes, according to the CDC, there is a right way to wash your hands. This is how it should be done, according to their hand-washing website:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

If soap and water aren't readily accessible, the CDC says to use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

It's important to note that even though sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands, the CDC says they do not get rid of all types of germs, may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy and might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.

The CDC says you should be washing your hands during these key times:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • 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 blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

For more from the CDC on when and how to wash your hands, click here.

This story was originally published by staff at WFTS.