How It Works: Washing Hands with Soap and Water
Components to washing with soap and water, the proper technique, and how washing with soap and water works.
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How It Works: Washing Hands with Soap and Water (PDF: 52KB/ 1 page)
- Three components:
- Warm water
- Six steps:
- Wet hands with warm, running water.
- Add soap.
- Rub hands vigorously for 20 seconds.
Wash all surfaces including:
- Backs of hands
- Between fingers
- Tips of fingers
- Thumbs under fingernails—nailbrush is best
- Keep fingers pointing down
- Dry vigorously with paper or clean cloth towel.
- Turn off faucet with towel and open door with towel.
- The soap suspends the dirt and soils.
- The friction motion helps pull dirt and greasy or oily soils free from the skin.
- Warm running water washes away suspended dirt and soils that trap germs.
- Final friction of wiping hands removes more germs.