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Water & Sanitation

How to Wash Your Hands — Not the Way You’ve Been Doing It!

Everything you know about life is about to change — or at least everything you thought you knew about keeping your hands squeaky clean. Scientists have found that some of the most common handwashing techniques, the ones your elementary school teacher probably taught you, aren’t quite getting the job done.

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An abridged version of the World Health Organization’s recommended handwashing technique was found to significantly reduce bacteria count, and it only takes about seven seconds longer than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s method. It’s a little more complicated than the old method — even some health-care professionals who partook in the study had some trouble — but we’re taking it step by and step, so you’ll have it down in no time.

Handwashing is a basic, but crucial, health intervention. It’s the first and easiest step in controlling and preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Plus, it’s just good hygienic practice!

Here’s the cool, new way to wash your hands:

Step one: Pick your poison: soap or hand sanitizer — those germs don’t stand a chance.

Step two: Rub your palms together like you’re devising a devious plan to destroy every (harmful) bacterium that dares to cross your palm.

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Step three: Now that you’ve come up with your devious plan, it’s time to put on the gloves and get to work. Make sure that you’ve put those (imaginary) gloves on properly by interlacing your fingers and wiggling them.

Step four: You’re well on your way to being germ free. Prepare to sing a victorious song. Clasp your hands together like a proud opera singer and twist.

Step five: The dirty work is over. You can take those gloves off. Holding one thumb, twist to remove the glove, then the other.

Step six: Shine and buff those nails against your hand. Don’t forget to do the other hand.

And that’s it!

Pro Tip: You can reduce the amount of waste you produce when drying your hands by shaking excess water off over the sink and using just one paper towel folded in half.


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