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Wash the Flu Away with Proper Handwashing

Alejandra Edwards-Garcia, Marketing Analyst

Learning how to wash our hands is as old as memorizing our ABCs. But believe it or not, you’re probably doing it wrong. Only 5 percent of adults wash their hands properly after using the restroom, according to Michigan State University.

Properly washing your hands is an important step to take in avoiding getting sick and spreading the flu. According to the CDC, having clean hands has significant health benefits. Simple handwashing education can:

  • Reduce the number of people who get sick by 23-40 percent.
  • Reduce respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21 percent.
  • Reduce absenteeism in schoolchildren by 29-57 percent.

If you’re among the 95 percent of people who aren’t washing their hands properly—it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 to do it right. Follow the correct handwashing steps for better hand hygiene and illness reduction benefits.

  1. 1. Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap.
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  5. 2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Don’t forget to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.


3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.


  1. 4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
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  5. 5. Dry your hands with a sanitary drying option, like a World Dryer high-speed hand dryer.
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Taking a little extra time over the next few months to follow these handwashing recommendations is an excellent way to not only reduce the possibility of illness for you but also protect the health of those around you. If you work in an office or school, encourage everyone in your vicinity to do the same.​