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Tips for Handwashing: Don't Forget Under Your Fingernails!

I'm sure we're all washing our hands a ton by now, but are you making sure to wash under your fingernails as well? As covered by the CDC, the average fingernail grows past the finger tip, which allows germs and dirt to gather, this is especially true for longer nails. In order to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, and other viruses, it can be recommended to keep your nails trimmed shorter for the time being. Most importantly, be sure to wash under your fingernails each time you wash your hands. An easy way to do this is lightly scratch at your palm once your hands are lathered with soap.

Also, be sure to lather the backs of your hand, ESPECIALLY your thumb, where we typically wipe our noses and mouths without notice!

Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.

Follow these five steps every time.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands (especially your thumb, where we typically wipe our noses and mouths), 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.

  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

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