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Wash Hands Properly and Often

how to wash hands

Since it's difficult to avoid touching your face -- wash your hands. Washing with soap and water (any water temperature will do) removes dangerous germs that you may have picked up from contaminated surfaces.

But to wash hands properly requires more than a quick rinse.

Coronavirus is coated in a shell of sticky lipid that locks to skin while repelling water. Soap is able to dissolve that lipid so that the virus can be broken apart and swept away with the washing water. But the soap needs a short but important amount of time to do its work. And that magic amount of time appears to be 20-30 seconds... about the time it takes to sing the 'Happy Birthday to You..." song twice.

For those times when hand washing isn't possible, a thorough rubbing with alcohol of sanitizer gel is a stop-gap until you're able to wash with soap and water.

Do disposable gloves help?

While disposable latex and nitrile gloves work well as a temporary barrier between your skin and germs, they'll merely transfer the virus and bacteria to your skin if you touch your face while wearing them. So, if you wear latex gloves when shopping, filling your car with gas, etc., be sure to remove them properly and discard immediately after use. Otherwise, you might transfer the virus to other surfaces in your vehicle, home or face.

Can disposable gloves be washed and reused?

Reusing disposable gloves is not recommended. They are designed for single use. Removing disposable gloves can be difficult, there is a danger of putting them back on inside out, hand lotion and washing can deteriorate them, and repeated use can cause tiny tears. All of these compromise your protection against the coronavirus.

hand lotion

Tip: Moisturize hands after each washing

Washing your hands often and properly can quickly cause them to become dry and cracked. And cracked hands are more susceptible to infection. So, rubbing in a generous amount of hand lotion after each washing is a good habit to develop.

previous Step 2: Avoid Touching Face

Step 4: Cover Coughs & Sneezes next

Details for Each of the
8 Coronavirus Prevention Tips

Coronavirus Infographic | Social Distancing | Don't Touch Face | Wash Hands
Cover Coughs & Sneezes | Sanitize Surfaces | Face Masks | Indoor Ventilation & Filtration | About COVID Vaccinations

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