Nurse Shares Proper Technique for Washing Your Hands

We all know that it’s important to wash our hands to prevent the spread of germs. Especially during cold and flu season, we’re especially diligent about making sure we wash our hands before we eat, before touching our face and after coughing or blowing our nose.

Now that coronavirus has hit the scene and started spreading faster than we would like, everyone wants to know how to stop the virus from spreading. It turns out that coronavirus is spread much like the flu, so the typical rules apply. Stay home when you’re sick. Cover your cough. Wash your hands.

Telling our kids, “wash your hands” might sound like the right thing to do, but we need to make sure they (and we) know the proper way to wash our hands.

Did you know that there’s actually a correct way to wash your hands? The World Health Organization (WHO) released a picture that shows step-by-step exactly how we should all be washing our hands. Honestly, we weren’t doing all of these steps correctly. Ooops.

First, you need soap and water. We hope everyone already knows that. Rub the soap on your hands until there’s a lather. Then comes the part that was new to us. We’re supposed to interlock our fingers with one palm on top of the other hand and rub the two hands together, then switch and do it with the opposite hand. The steps even include using a towel to turn off the faucet when you’re done cleaning your hands. 

If you find these pictures confusing, this video should make the process a lot easier to understand.


While you may need to adjust your current hand washing technique, it’s an important (and easy) way to help prevent the spread of germs. This hand washing technique should take anywhere from 40-60 seconds. You can tell your kids to sing the song “Happy Birthday” twice while washing their hands since that takes about the same amount of time. 

If your hands aren’t visibly dirty or if you don’t have soap and water nearby, the WHO recommends using hand sanitizer.

Have you been washing your hands correctly? Are you going to start washing your hands the way the WHO recommends?