Hand Washing Basics

Effective hand washing
  • Remove rings and other jewelry
  • Use warm water and wet hands thoroughly
  • Use soap (1-3 mL) and lather very well
  • Scrub hands, between fingers, wrists and forearms with soap for 20 seconds
  • Scrub under nails
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Dry hands with a single use towel or air dryer
  • Turn off the taps/faucets with a paper towel
  • Protect hands from touching dirty surfaces while exiting the bathroom
Different situations where germs are spread
  • When hands are visibly soiled
  • After using the washroom (includes changing diapers)
  • After blowing the nose or sneezing
  • Before and after eating, handling food, drinking or smoking
  • After touching raw meat, poultry or fish
  • After handling garbage
  • After visiting or caring for sick people
  • Handling pets, animals or animal waste

Courtesy of the Illinois Department of Public Health