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Proper hand washing

Proper hand washing

Overview

Steps for proper hand washing include:

  1. Take off any jewelry.
  2. Hold your hands pointing down under warm water for 15 to 30 seconds.
  3. Clean under your nails. Rinse well.
  4. Dry with a clean towel.

Proper hand washing is the best way to avoid spreading germs to help prevent infection.

Review Date 10/26/2017

Updated by: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.