By not washing your hands, you not only risk getting sick, but you can spread germs to other people, surfaces and even food and drinks.
Washing hands can help reduce respiratory illnesses – like colds – in the general population by 16% to 21% percent, says the CDC.
So what’s the best technique when it comes to washing your hands? The first step is get your hands wet and lather them with soap. Be sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds. Finally, rinse your hands with warm water and dry them with a clean towel.
Another tip, pay extra attention to your nail beds.
“The bed of the nail is often where the germs can sit. So if you just do the surface of your hands like this, you’ll be clean but you’ll have bacteria and other germs around the back of your hands. It’s this right here, around the nails that you really have to make sure you get that scrubbing, good and soapy,” said Dr. Donald Ford, with Cleveland Clinic.
Don’t forget to keep some lotion nearby. It’s very easy to dry out your hands if you’re routinely washing them.