When and How to Wash Your Hands

When and How to Wash Your Hands

When and How to Wash Your Hands

Hand washing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Aspiring CNAs know all too well the importance of regularly washing your hands, but it always helps to have a refresher.


When You Should Wash Your Hands

While it is important to always be washing your hands, the most essential times to wash them are as follows:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the bathroom
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up after a child
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After handling pets, pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage


Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. 

Follow these five steps every time.

  • Step 1: Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.
  • Step 2: Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Step 3: Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Step 4: Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Step 5: Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.