Show me the Science – When to and How to Wash Your Hands

When should I wash my hands?

* Before leaving home and after arriving
* After using the bathroom
* Before, during and after preparing food
* Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick
* After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
* After coughing, blowing your nose or sneezing
* After touching an animal, animal waste or animal feed
* After handling pet treats or pet food
* After touching garbage


* 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. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

* Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

* Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

* Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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