First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Fitness & Health > 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 of: June 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineElizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
Current as of:
June 9, 2019
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
509 N. Bright Leaf Blvd.
Smithfield, NC 27577
Phone (919) 934-8171
Employee Intranet Login
Copyright 2020 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.