How You Should Wash Your Hands

How You Should Wash Your Hands

You know you should wash your hands, but for how long and with what kind of soap? While we tend to overcomplicate our personal hygiene nowadays, the answer is pretty simple.

Dr Carly Stewart, medical expert at Money Crashers, explains it’s mostly about time and technique:

The official recommendation is to scrub your hands with soap and water for a full 20 seconds, taking care to include the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and around your finger nails.

But what about the kind of soap you use? We’re commonly told that antibacterial soap works better, but Dr Stewart argues any soap:

This is actually not true. Regular soap is just as effective as antibacterial soap when it comes to the spread of germs. Furthermore, bacteria can become resistant to the antibacterial agents in these products, which can make it more difficult to kills these bugs down the line.

When washing your hands, don’t worry too much about the soap at your disposal. Just take the suggested 20 seconds and make sure you scrub all parts of your hands thoroughly. Just sitting there and waiting won’t do the trick — you need both time and technique.


  • A surgeon once told me the best way to know that you have proper clean hands is to sing Mary had a little lamb…. using any soap and the instructions above makes for a nice way to get those hands clean!

  • The WHO recently noted this too.

    20sec, any soap. Interrupts respiratory or gastro infections. Best intervention we have.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!