graphic showing how to wash your hands

How to wash your hands properly

If you wash your hands properly, this is one of the best ways of preventing the spread of the coronavirus. However, do you really know how to wash your hands properly? Here’s a rundown of all the steps you should take when washing your hands, as advised by the NHS:

  1. Wet your hands with water
  2. Apply enough soap to cover your hands
  3. Rub your palms together
  4. Use one hand to wash the back of the other hand and clean thoroughly between the fingers. Do the same with the other hand.
  5. Rub your palms together whilst cleaning in between your fingers
  6. Rub the backs of your fingers against your palms
  7. Rub your thumb using your other hand. Do the same with your other thumb.
  8. Rub the tips of your fingers on the palm of your other hand. Do the same with the other hand.
  9. Rub your wrist with the other hand. Do the same with the other wrist.
  10. Rinse your hands thoroughly with water.
  11. Dry your hands completely with a disposable towel
  12. Use the disposable towel to turn off the tap.
  13. Dispose of the used disposable towel in the bin

The whole process should take around 20 seconds, or as long as it takes you to sing Happy Birthday twice.

Watch video showing someone washing their hands correctly following the steps above.

When to wash your hands

You should wash your hands:

  • Before leaving home
  • When you arrive at work or college/training centre
  • After break or sporting activities
  • After coughing or sneezing
  • Before cooking or eating
  • After using the toilet
  • After arriving home

Soap and water is always best but when these aren’t accessible, use antibacterial gel.