Hand Washing: How to Wash Your Hands | Hand Hygeine | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Proper Hand-Washing for Clean Hands

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Learn great hand washing techniques for proper hand washing and hair hygeine.

Hand Hygiene and How to Wash Your Hands

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Hand-washing is an essential part of staying healthy, so learn how to wash your hands correctly! Having good hand hygiene through a proper hand-washing technique can be a great skill that keeps you from getting sick.

You’ve probably heard this more than once: “Wash your hands—and use lots of soap and hot water!”

As it turns out, washing your hands properly is one very simple way to keep yourself healthy. Here are tips to do it right, as recommended by Dr. Lamont Sweet, Deputy Chief Health Officer for the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island.

Hand Washing Procedure: 

  • To wash your hands, you need lots of regular soap and lots of water.
  • The temperature of the water is not important, despite common belief. It has no effect on a good scrub’s germ-fighting abilities.
  • How long should you wash your hands for? Allow for two minutes (or, at the very least, 20 seconds of rigorous scrub time after lathering, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
  • Put effort into scrubbing not only palms and fingers, but also the backs of hands and the skin between the fingers where germs can continue to reside.

When You Should Wash Your Hands:

  • Before and after your hands are near your face.
  • Before eating and cooking.
  • After using the bathroom, blowing your nose, and sneezing into a hand.
  • After changing diapers.
  • After handling any kind of meat or garbage.
  • After touching animals or cleaning up after them.

And here’s an economic solution: Use boiled potatoes to cleanse hands. They work as well as common soap and keep the skin soft and healthy. You can also try making your own homemade soap to avoid the chemicals in some store-bought brands.

Want more great tips to stay germ-free? Try these instructions on bathroom cleaning and kitchen cleaning, and make sure all that hard work you put in is really keeping your home healthy.

If you have other tips or ideas, please share! Just submit your comments in the box below.

About The Author

Heidi Stonehill

Heidi Stonehill is a senior editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, where she focuses much of her time on managing content development for the Almanac’s line of calendars. Read More from Heidi Stonehill

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