Hand Hygiene: Clean Hands Count - District Health Department 10
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Hand Hygiene: Clean Hands Count

Hand Hygiene: Clean Hands Count

Practicing hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to prevent infections. Cleaning your hands is the single most important way to protect yourself and your family from getting sick and spreading illness to others. It can prevent the spread pf germs, including those that are resistant to antibiotics are are becoming difficult, if not impossible, to teat. 

Learn when and how you should wash your hands to stay healthy.

When should you was your hands?

  • Before during and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring from someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the restroom
  • After changing diapers or cleaning a child who has used the restroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

How should you wash your hands? 

With soap and water

1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.

3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. 

4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. 

Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.


With an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

1. Put profuct on hands and rub hands together.

2. Cover all surfaces until hands feel dry.

3. This should take around 20 seconds.


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Your hands can spread germs.


  • Make sure you and your visitors are cleaning your hands as well.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers kill most of the bad germs that make you sick.


  • Your hands have good germs on them that your body needs to stay healthy. Your hands can also have bad germs on them that make you sick. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers kill the good and bad germs, but the good germs quickly come back on your hands.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers does not create antibiotic-resistant superbugs.


  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers kill germs quickly and in a different way than antibiotics. Using alcohol-based hand sanitizers to clean your hands does not cause antibiotic resistance.