Health Advice



Hand-washing: Do's and don'ts

From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Hand-washing is an easy way to prevent infection. Understand when to wash your hands, how to properly use hand sanitizer and how to get your children into the habit.

Frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. Find out when and how to wash your hands properly.

When to wash your hands

As you touch people, surfaces and objects throughout the day, you accumulate germs on your hands. You can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth, or spread them to others. Although it's impossible to keep your hands germ-free, washing your hands frequently can help limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes.

Always wash your hands before:

Preparing food or eating


Treating wounds or caring for a sick person

Inserting or removing contact lenses

Always wash your hands after:

Preparing food


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