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Stop the spread of disease
and germs by adopting new hand-washing practices. Use this interactive to figure out if you are among the five percent of the population washing hands on a daily basis.
1 in 25 wash their hands correctly in the U.S.

Are you apart of the population that washes their hands correctly? Find out by taking this short quiz, click the start button to begin.
Click the numbers below to see all 10 statistics

Stat #1:
While using soap and water is the best way to reduce germs on your hands, the CDC says using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol is an acceptable alternative when soap and water are not handy.
Stat #2:
The American Society of Microbiology also found that while 50 percent of middle and high school students say they wash their hands, only 33 percent of girls and 8 percent of boys used soap while washing their hands.
Stat #3:
Researchers found that only five percent of people properly washed their hands long enough to kill infection-causing germs and bacteria. Thirty-three percent of people didn't use soap, while ten percent skipped hand-washing entirely. The average hand-washing time was 6 seconds, far below the CDC's recommended duration of 20 seconds.
Stat #4:
According to a 2012 survey of 1,000 people conducted on behalf of the global hygiene company SCA, 58 percent have witnessed others leave a public restroom without hand washing, 35 percent have witnessed a co-worker leave the restroom without hand washing, and 20 percent have witnessed a restaurant worker leave the restroom without hand-washing.
Stat #5:
In 2009, the British Medical Journal published a study that amalgamated 50 other independent studies. It concluded that washing hands at least 10 times daily is necessary to prevent disease.
Stat #6:
A 2002 study pegged the economic cost of lost productivity in the U.S. due to the common cold at nearly $25 billion annually.
Stat #7:
It is estimated that washing hands with soap and water could reduce diarrheal disease-associated deaths by up to 50 percent worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
Stat #8:
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimated that if everyone routinely practiced effective hand-washing, a million deaths a year could be prevented.
Stat #9:
Hand-washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16 percent, according to a 2006 study by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Stat #10:
The use of an alcohol gel hand sanitizer in the classroom provided an overall reduction in absenteeism due to infection by 19.8 percent among 16 elementary schools and 6,000 students in Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee and California, according to a study in 2000.
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What is the right way to wash your hands?

Follow the steps below:
• Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.

• Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.

• Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.

• Rinse your hands well under running water.

When should you wash your hands?

The CDC provides these guidelines:
• Before, during and after preparing food

• Before eating food

• Before and after caring for someone who is sick

• Before and after treating a cut or wound

• After using the toilet

• After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet

• After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing

• After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste

• After touching garbage

Use hand sanitizer if you are on the go

While using soap and water is the best way to reduce germs on your hands, the CDC says using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol is an acceptable alternative when soap and water are not handy.

But remember, while these hand sanitizers can quickly kill many of the germs on your hands in many situations, they do not eliminate all types of germs.
The 4 principles of hand awareness

1. Wash your hands when they are dirty and BEFORE eating

2. DO NOT cough into your hands

3. DO NOT sneeze into your hands

4. Above all, DO NOT put your fingers into your eyes, nose or mouth

Click on the circles below to learn the right way to wash your hands to kill germs effectively.

  • Read the right way
    to wash your hands

  • Know when to wash
    your hands

  • Use hand sanitizer
    as an alternative

  • The 4 principles
    of hand awareness


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