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Home > Health Library > Hand-Washing
Hand-washing is a simple and effective way to help prevent diseases, such as colds, flu, and food poisoning.
Wash your hands after:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following steps for hand-washing:
You may want to leave the water running while you dry your hands on a paper towel. Then use the paper towel as a barrier between the faucet and your clean hands when you turn off the water.
If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer or alcohol-based hand wipe that contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol or isopropanol. Carry one or both with you when you travel, and keep them in your car or purse. These products can help reduce the number of germs on your hands, but they do not get rid of all types of germs.
If you use sanitizer, rub your hands and fingers until they are dry. You don't need to use water. The alcohol quickly kills many types of germs on your hands.
Other Works Consulted
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010, updated 2011). Keeping hands clean. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/hand/handwashing.html.
Current as ofJuly 30, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineElizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
Current as of:
July 30, 2018
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
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