Doing It Correctly: Healthy Handwashing

In cold and flu (and other nasty things) season, it’s especially smart to know how to wash your hands properly, and to practice what you know. We’re including links to several videos on how to properly wash your hands. There are different techniques, and some groups encourage different methodologies and dedication of time. Currently our United States CDC suggests washing your hands for at least 20 seconds (and they suggest singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice in order to do it right).

Here’s a handy video from the World Health Organization suggesting you do each of its steps for 10 seconds.

Here’s a quick informative page from the United States CDC on handwashing technique, and one with a featured video.


  1. wet your hands,
  2. lather with soap,
  3. get under your nails,
  4. scrub palm to palm,
  5. scrub palm to back of hand,
  6. and do the same to the other hand,
  7. scrub thumb in opposing closed hand,
  8. and do the same with other thumb,
  9. scrub palm with opposing hand’s finger- (and thumb-) tips,
  10. and do the same to the other hand,
  11. scrub along length of each finger,
  12. rinse,
  13. grab a paper towel to thoroughly dry hands (more scrubbing!) and to turn off the water–and use that paper towel to open the bathroom door. Then throw that nasty thing away.

But what if I don’t have soap and hot water? You can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol or better) and friction is an important aspect of all of this, so scrub, scrub, scrub! And remember not to touch your face. Take care of yourself and take care of each other–teach your children proper handwashing, too. Good habits deserve to be passed along!