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did-you-wash-your-hands.jpgWhen was the last time you washed your hands?

The most important thing that you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands.

It is estimated that one out of three people do not wash their hands after using the restroom.  By frequently washing your hands, you wash away germs that you may have picked up from other people or contaminated surfaces.  Many diseases, such as the common cold, flu, hepatitis A and infectious diarrhea can be prevented if people wash their hands.  Frequent handwashing also prevents others around you from becoming sick with germs that you could unknowingly spread. 

Handwashing saves lives!
When should you wash your hands?
  • Before, during, and after preparing food​​
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet 
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal or animal waste
  • After touching garbage
How do you correctly wash your hands?
  • First wet your hands, then apply soap (liquid or clean soap bar)
  • Rub your hands together to make a lather
  • Scrub all surfaces for at least 20 seconds (it is the soap along with the scrubbing action that helps to get rid of germs)
  • Be sure to wash those areas that carry germs most often
    • Back of hands
    • Wrists
    • Between fingers
    • Under fingernails
  • Rinse well
  • Dry hands with paper towel or a clean towel
In public bathrooms:
  • Turn off water faucet using a paper towel 
  • Use same towel to open the door handle when leaving the bathroom and discard after use

To learn more about handwashing, watch the video below or click here.


Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: