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Handwashing: Show Your Hands Some Love

Handwashing: Show Your Hands Some Love

Global Handwashing Day is October 15th, highlighting the importance of effective handwashing to prevent illness and disease and save lives. However, every day is a great day to show love to your hands through the simple and vital act of handwashing. Let’s talk about it.

Why is handwashing important?

Likely, one of the first childhood lessons learned was washing your hands. Yet, pre-pandemic, just two-thirds of people said they wash their hands after coughing, sneezing, or using public restrooms. In a 2020 survey conducted by YouGov, only 58% of adults said they always wash their hands with soap after going to the toilet at home. Another review found that people touch their faces around 50 times an hour, increasing the risk of self-inoculation (transmitting germs from contaminated hands).

Before saying “Eww!”, think about how easily this happens. You’re probably unaware when you touch your face, eyes, mouth, and nose. Frequently we’re distracted and aren’t mindful of germs on surfaces we touch daily, such as cellphones, computer keyboards, pens, door handles, elevator buttons, gas pumps, car steering wheels, and through handshakes. Combine this daily with personal interactions, and the importance of handwashing for maintaining wellness becomes evident.

How to reduce risk?

Wash your hands! Always wash hands anytime they become soiled, and remember that hands that might look clean to the eye can still harbor harmful germs. Take a look at these additional reminders of when to wash your hands.

Wash hands:

Before, During, and AfterBefore and AfterAfter
Preparing foodEating food
Caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
Treating a cut or wound
Using the toilet
Changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
Blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
Touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
Handling pet food or pet treats
Touching garbage

How to Wash Hands Effectively?

  • Use warm or cold, clean running water.
  • Lather with soap
  • Use friction for a minimum of 20 seconds. Try singing or humming the “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “Happy Birthday” song twice as a timer.
  • Scrub hands together palm to palm and run palms across the backs of your hands, paying particular attention to areas between the fingers and under fingernails.
  • Rinse hands under running water.
  • Thoroughly dry hands using a clean towel or paper towel.
  • Turn the water off with a paper towel.

Handwashing Benefits?

Timely and proper handwashing shows love for your hands and your health. Handwashing also protects your loved ones from illness and helps boost community wellness. Spread the word to help others maintain solid and healthy handwashing habits.

See Also

#totalwellbeing #MyJam

Make handwashing fun. Download printable handwashing stickers and posters here (CDC).


  • Global Handwashing Day. (n.d.). Retrieved February 5th, 2023, from
  • Matkovic, J., Clemens, K. S., Faasse, K., & Geers, A. L. (2021). Handwashing Message Type Predicts Behavioral Intentions in the United States at the Beginning of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic. Frontiers in Public Health, 9, 583491.
  • Daily Question | 20/01/2020 | YouGov. (n.d.). Retrieved February 5th, 2023, from
  • Rahman, J., Mumin, J., & Fakhruddin, B. (2020). How Frequently Do We Touch Facial T-Zone: A Systematic Review. Annals of Global Health, 86(1), 75.
  • CDC. (2022, June 15th). Keeping Hands Clean. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Health Promotion Materials | Handwashing | CDC. (2021, November 24th).
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