Handwashing in Time of Coronavirus

Handwashing Guidelines

Proper Handwashing Technique


  1. Moistening your hands with water
  2. Applying ample soap throughout your hands
  3. Stroking your palms together
  4. Stroking each surface of your hands
    —at the back, between the fingers, and below the nails
    — for at least 20 to 30 seconds
  5. Stroking your thumbs and the ends of your wrists
  6. Washing your hands thoroughly with running water
  7. Drying your hands with a clean cloth, paper towel, or one-use towel

When to Wash Your Hands

  • After sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose
  • After visiting a public place, whether it is crowded or not
  • After touching possibly contaminated surfaces
  • After touching money
  • Before and after preparing food and eating
  • Before, during, and after tending for an ill person, even if gloves are used

Other Helpful Reminders

  • Handwashing with either warm or cold water will do just fine, provided that you use soap bar.
  • Ensure that your hands are completely dry after handwashing because germs can still thrive on wet skin and surfaces.
  • If your soap bar is wet, rinse it first before using. Keep in mind to dry it out every use.
  • Do not retouch the faucet after handwashing to prevent recontamination. Use a clean cloth, paper towel, or a one-use towel to turn it off.
  • A plain soap bar is as equally effective as an antibacterial soap bar.

“Everything you need to know about washing your hands to protect against coronavirus (COVID-19.” UNICEF, 13 March 2020.
LINK.Accessed 13 April 2020.

“Handwashing and Coronavirus Fact Sheet.” The Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP), 23 March 2020.
LINK.Accessed 14 April 2020.

Davis, Seana. “Coronavirus: How to wash your hands properly and stop the spread of COVID-19.” Euronews, 18 March 2020.
LINK. Accessed 14 April 2020.

Goodman, Brenda. “The Power of Hand-Washing to Prevent Coronavirus.” WebMD, 6 March 2020.
LINK. Accessed 14 April 2020.

Written By

Peter Smith

World Health Organization (WHO)

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