CDC Hand Washing Guidelines

After being sick off and on for almost this whole month, I found this information very timely. Hopefully by implementing the recommendations, I can avoid getting sick for the rest of the year.

According to the CDC, keeping hands clean is one of the most effective ways to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands, but keep in mind that hand sanitizers are not effective when hands are visibly dirty.

Situations in Which You Should Wash Your Hands:

  • Before, during, and after food preparation
  • Prior to eating
  • After using the restroom or helping a child use the restroom
  • Following diaper changes
  • Before and after tending to someone who is ill
  • After you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze
  • After contact with an animal or animal waste
  • After handling garbage
  • Prior to and following the treatment of a abrasion, cut, or scrape

The Right Way to Wash Your Hands:

  • Use clean, running water to wet your hands (the water can be warm or cold) and apply soap.
  • Rub your hands together so soap will lather. Make sure to cleanse the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • It is recommended that you lather and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. (A trick to help you reach a full 20 seconds is to hum the full ABC song which is right around 20 seconds).
  • Rinse your hands well.
  • Lastly, air dry your hands or use a clean towel to dry them.

Correct Use of Hand Sanitizers:

  • Apply sanitizer to the palm of your hand.
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Continue to rub the sanitizer over your hands and fingers until it is dry.


Centers for Disease Control