24/7 Emergency Services (855) 591-0128 Find A Location
Person washing their hands

It’s Important to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

Everyone thinks their hand washing technique is adequate, but most of us have been washing our hands the wrong way for years. If you fail to wash your hands at the right times or in the right way, you won’t remove germs efficiently. Learn the important hand washing facts outlined here and teach them to your children. If you run a business, especially one that involves food preparation, consider printing this hand washing guide to hang in the employee restroom.

The Importance of Hand Washing

Clean hands are essential for reducing the spread of germs, especially in hospitals, restaurants, and daycares. It doesn’t take much time or effort to wash hands, but it can significantly reduce the spread of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases. Adopt the hand washing tips outlined here to help protect your health.

When to Wash Hands

It’s important to wash your hands frequently throughout the day, especially if they look or smell dirty. Here are some critical times to remember.

Always wash your hands before:

  • Preparing or eating food
  • Caring for someone who is sick or injured
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Washing your face
  • Taking your contact lenses in and out

Always wash your hands after:

  • Preparing food, especially if you handled raw meat
  • Eating food, especially if you ate with your hands
  • Caring for someone who is sick or injured
  • Using the toilet
  • Changing a diaper or cleaning up a child who just used the toilet
  • Blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing into your hands
  • Touching an animal, handling animal food or toys, or cleaning up animal waste
  • Taking out the garbage
  • Handling household or garden chemicals

How to Wash Hands the Right Way

You won’t enjoy the full benefits of hand washing unless you do it the right way. Fortunately, there are only five steps to remember:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water.
  • Apply soap and lather by rubbing your hands together. Make sure the soap reaches your palms, the backs of your hands, your wrists, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.
  • Rub the soap all over your hands for at least 20 seconds. To get the right hand washing time, sing “Happy Birthday” from beginning to end twice in a row.
  • Rinse your hands under clean running water, being sure to remove all soap residue.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel, paper towel, or hand dryer. Your jeans are not a clean place to dry your freshly washed hands!

Antibacterial vs. Regular Soap

Antibacterial soap isn’t safer or more effective at removing germs from your hands than regular soap. In fact, because of the concern surrounding antibiotic-resistant “super bacteria,” the Federal Drug Administration issued a rule in 2016 prohibiting the manufacturer of antibacterial soap for consumer use. This means you can stop looking for an “antibacterial” label and simply wash hands the right way to rinse germs from your skin.

If There’s No Soap and Water, Use Hand Sanitizer

While hand washing with soap and water is the best way to remove germs, you don’t always have this option. The next best alternative is to use hand sanitizer. Look for a product that contains at least 60% alcohol, for maximum effectiveness.

To use hand sanitizer, follow these steps:

  • Squeeze a blob of gel into your palm. Read the label to determine the correct amount.
  • Rub your hands together and spread the gel to all surfaces of your hands.
  • Don’t touch anything until the gel dries completely.

Now that you’re a hand washing pro, you’ll find it easier to keep germs and illnesses away. For more useful bathroom tips, please contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing, a Neighbourly company.


Request Job Estimate

To request a service call, please fill out the form below and we will contact you as soon as possible
to confirm an appointment time. You will receive an email confirming your service request.

  • Please enter your first name.
    Sorry no special characters allowed.
  • Please enter your last name.
    Sorry no special characters allowed.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • Please enter your address.
  • Please enter your address.
    Sorry no special characters allowed.
  • Please select your state.
  • Please enter your postal code.
    Sorry no special characters allowed.
  • Please enter a if you are a new or existing customer.
  • Sorry no special characters allowed.
  • Please enter a message.

Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

Time limit for claims applies. Full details here.