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Article: Handwashing Tips

Handwashing Tips

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  1. Handwashing Tips

Handwashing Tips

By the GWAAR Legal Services Team, 2020

We are still in the middle of flu season, with the Wisconsin Department of Health & Human services reporting nearly 4,000 positively detected cases as of the beginning of February. In addition, Wisconsin experienced the first confirmed case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on February 5, 2020 (although DHS continues to report that the immediate health risk to the general public for contracting this virus is low).


The best thing you can do to prevent infections from viruses is to wash your hands – and thoroughly. In 1978, hygiene and health professionals created a map of the most missed areas when washing hands. A more recent study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health in 2008 confirmed that most often, people forget to wash their fingertips.




The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests using these five steps to wash

hands properly:


   1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

   2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

   3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from

beginning to end twice.

   4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

   5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.


Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and

water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60%

alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label. Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However, sanitizers

do not get rid of all types of germs. The CDC suggests this three-step approach to using hand sanitizer:

   1. Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).

   2. Rub your hands together.

   3. Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your  hands are dry. This should take

around 20 seconds.


Last Updated on 4/28/2020