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Did You Wash Your Hands?

Fastest, simplest way to defeat germs is to use soap and water

(HealthDayNews) -- Hand washing, correctly done, can easily prevent the spread of communicable disease. The better you wash, the more likely you are to remove even tiny particles that, if allowed to get into your mouth, could make you seriously ill.

Wisconsin's Department of Health and Human Services has published a four-point guide to hand washing. The steps are:

  • Wet your hands, ideally with very warm water.
  • Add soap, then rub your hands together to make a soapy lather. Vigorously scrub the front and back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails, for no less than 10 seconds before you ...
  • Rinse the lather off your hands, letting the water run into the sink, not down your arms. In public restrooms, use a paper towel to turn off the water so you don't touch a potentially-dirty handle, then ...
  • Dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel.

The soap's job is to suspend dirt and germs so they can be washed away. Using very warm water is important because its warmth opens your pores, allowing you to clear out more dirt and germs.

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