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Maintaining proper hand hygiene is essential for preventing the cross contamination of germs and reducing the risk of infections and illnesses. The simple act of washing your hands can have a significant impact on your health and the well-being of those around you. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of washing your hands the right way to ensure maximum cleanliness and protection.

1. Wet your Hands with Clean Water

To begin the handwashing process, turn on the tap and wet your hands thoroughly with clean, running water. The temperature of the water can vary, but it is generally recommended to use warm water, as it helps to remove dirt and oil more effectively.

2. Apply Enough Soap

Apply an adequate amount of soap to your wet hands. It is important to note that any type of soap, whether it’s liquid, bar, or foam, is effective in removing germs from your hands. Be sure to cover all surfaces of your hands, including the back, between your fingers, and under your nails.

3. Rub your Hands Together

Generate a strong lather by vigorously rubbing your hands together. This friction helps to dislodge and remove dirt, bacteria, and viruses from your skin. Remember to scrub all areas of your hands, including your palms, the back of your hands, fingers, and wrists. Continue rubbing for at least 20 seconds, which is the recommended duration for thorough handwashing.

4. Give Special Attention to your Fingertips and Nails

Don’t forget to pay special attention to your fingertips and nails. Use the fingers of one hand to clean the nails and fingertips of the opposite hand, and vice versa. This step is crucial, as dirt and germs can often accumulate in these areas.

5. Rinse Thoroughly

Once you have scrubbed your hands for the recommended duration, rinse them thoroughly under clean, running water. Ensure that all soap residue is removed, as it can cause dryness and irritation if left on the skin.

6. Dry your Hands Properly

Properly drying your hands is an essential step to complete the handwashing process. Use a clean towel or an air dryer to dry your hands thoroughly. Avoid using a shared towel, if possible, as it may harbour germs. Pat your hands dry rather than rubbing them, as rubbing can cause friction and irritation to the skin.

7. Use Hand Sanitiser when Necessary

Hand sanitizers can be a convenient alternative to handwashing when soap and water are not readily available. Choose a sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content. Ensure that you apply a sufficient amount of sanitiser to cover every part of your hands, and continue rubbing them together until they have completely dried. However, it’s important to note that hand sanitizers are not as effective as handwashing when your hands are visibly dirty or greasy.


Proper handwashing is a simple yet powerful way to protect yourself and others from infections and illnesses. By following these step-by-step guidelines, you can ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly and effectively. Remember to make handwashing a regular part of your daily routine, especially before eating, after using the restroom, and when you come into contact with potentially contaminated surfaces. By practising good hand hygiene, you can contribute to a healthier and safer environment for everyone.

Looking for something else? Read more detailed kitchen cleaning guides.