Top of the page
Handwashing is a simple and effective way to help prevent diseases, such as colds, flu, and foodborne illness.
Wash your hands after:
Experts recommend the following steps for handwashing:
You may want to leave the water running while you dry your hands on a paper towel. Then use the paper towel as a barrier between the faucet and your clean hands when you turn off the water.
Good hand hygiene is still possible even when soap and water are not 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, but they do not get rid of all types of germs.
If 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.
Other Works ConsultedCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (2010, updated 2011). Keeping hands clean. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/hand/handwashing.html.
Current as ofJuly 30, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineW. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious DiseaseElizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
Current as of: July 30, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease & Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.