Hand washing for hygiene

Germs are everywhere. We collect them, inhale them and share them, all day and every day.

The flu, E. coli, and measles are just some of the numerous debilitating diseases that are caused by germs that are spread through contact with surfaces and people—and it's our hands that can help spread these germs to ourselves and others. Poor hand hygiene contributes to the spread of germs, which can cause many health issues including gastrointestinal and respiratory infections.

A regular 20 second hand washing routine using soap and water could help make us all healthier.

Download a poster on the 6 steps to successful everyday hand washing to print and display.

Watch a short video which shows you the correct way to was your hands.

Duration 02:06

Germs are everywhere. We collect them, inhale them and share them. All day and every day.

The flu, E. coli, measles and numerous debilitating diseases spread quickly through contact with surfaces and people - and it's our hands doing the dirty work.

But a 20 second routine could help make us all healthier.

Hands need to be wet thoroughly - Add a decent amount of soap.

Now for the critical part - rub really well - between your fingers, the backs of your hands and all over your hands for twenty seconds. That's the time it takes to hum Happy Birthday twice, while you get the lather going to clean thoroughly.

Rinse and dry well with an air-dryer or a clean towel.

Soap and water aren't always available, but it's no excuse not to practise good hand hygiene.

Firstly use a moist wipe to get rid of any visible dirt. This will increase the effectiveness of using hand sanitiser.

Be sure to always supervise children when they are using hand sanitiser.

Rub the gel in well, all over your hands, as if it was soap and water, until they are dry.

Regular hand washing is the best way to get rid of harmful bacteria and protect yourself from disease.

Here's a reminder of when to wash.

  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before you eat
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick or treating a cut or wound
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing nappies or helping a child go to the toilet
  • After touching an animal, their feed or any trace of animal waste
  • After handling the garbage.

A clean bill of health starts with clean hands.