Get Ready for National Handwashing Awareness Week

This Sunday is the first day of National Handwashing Awarenesses Week. This might not be a big celebration for you most years, but 2020 is different. Let’s learn more about the 5 steps of handwashing.

5 steps of handwashing

These are the five steps for handwashing:

    • Wet your hands. Research has shown that soap’s much better than just water for cleaning hands. However, once the soap breaks down the grime, water rinses it away. If you don’t have access to clean running water, use hand sanitizer. If you can, though, choose running water.
    • Lather up with soap. Soap lather is made up of soap bubbles, which are pockets of air wrapped in a film of soap and water. Pushing those molecules apart makes it easier for the water to rinse away the dirt and germs. However, soap bubbles also look good and make people feel that their soap is effective, so manufacturers of soap often add chemicals that increase lather. You don’t need an enormous amount of lather to get the cleaning job done. Just be sure to use enough soap to create some lather.
    • Scrub every part of your hands. Scrubbing gets soap and water into all the parts of your hands, including the spaces in between your fingers. It takes 20 seconds to scrub away all those microbes, so sing a song while you scrub. Here are five songs that last 20 seconds, in case you are tired of the ones you’ve been using:
      • “Tomorrow” from Annie
      • “Jolene” by Dolly Parton
      • “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson
      • “Thriller” by Michael Jackson
      • “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen
      • Choose your own song and make a poster from the lyrics at The poster shows all the different kinds of scrubbing you should do and matches the actions to the lyrics of your chosen song. Check out the one we made from “Jolene”:


  • Rinse your hands. This lets water carry away the soap and the grime and the microbes. Rinsing is a big part of why running water is best.
  • Dry your hands. Research shows that rubbing your hands with a clean cloth can remove even more microbes. Air drying doesn’t have the same effect.
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