Top of the page
Handwashing is more than just running water over your hands. Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infections. It helps prevent diseases, such as colds, influenza (flu), and foodborne illness. It's easy. It doesn't cost much. And it works.
Wash your hands:
Wash your hands after you:
Public health experts recommend the following steps for handwashing:
Scrub the backs of hands, between fingers, palms, and under nails.
If soap and water aren't available, use a hand sanitizer or alcohol-based hand wipe that contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol or isopropanol. Carry one or both with you when you travel, and keep them in your car or purse. These products can help reduce the number of germs on your hands.
When you use sanitizer, rub your hands and fingers until they are dry. You don't need to use water. The alcohol quickly kills many types of germs on your hands.
Adaptation Date: 2/28/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.