According to the Centers for Disease (CDC), handwashing is the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick. Follow five simple and effective steps: Wet, Soap, Scrub, Rinse, Dry to reduce the spread of illness and help stay healthy. Here are some common handwashing question and answers:
WHY SHOULD I USE SOAP AND WATER TO WASH MY HANDS? Germs get onto your hands and items you touch throughout the day. When your hands may be dirty, it’s best to wash with soap and water to remove whatever germs, grime, and chemicals may be on them.
WARM OR COLD WATER? Warm and cold water remove the same number of germs from your hands.
DOES THE SOAP HAVE TO BE ANTIBACTERIAL TO WORK? No. Plain soap and water work just as well.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE SOAP, BUT I HAVE ACCESS TO WATER? Using soap to wash hands is more effective than using water alone, but if water is all you have, rub your hands together under it and wipe off with a clean towel or air dry.
HOW LONG DO I NEED TO SCRUB WHEN WASHING MY HANDS? Scientific studies show that you need to scrub for 20 seconds to remove harmful germs and chemicals from your hands. If you wash for a shorter time, you will not remove as many germs. Make sure to scrub all areas of your hands, including your palms, backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE SOAP OR WATER TO WASH MY HANDS? If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
DO WIPES REMOVE GERMS? Hand sanitizing wipes with at least 60% alcohol kill germs on your hands.