The Health Department is closed Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day.
Close this search box.
Close this search box.
  • Handwashing

    Everyone can prevent the spread of germs.

    Proper handwashing is an easy, effective way to prevent the spread of germs and diseases.

    Do you know the 6 important steps of proper handwashing?

      Proper Handwashing

      Six steps to clean hands

      How to wash your hands.

      Rinsing your hands is not enough to remove germs. Follow these steps for proper handwashing:

      1. Wet your hands with warm water.
      2. Apply plenty of soap.
      3. Scrub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Wash the front and back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. Scrubbing your hands together loosens germs and dirt and washes them away.
      4. Rinse your hands with warm water.
      5. Dry your hands with a paper towel.
      6. Turn off the water with a paper towel.

      When to wash your hands.

      It is important to wash your hands:

      • Before, during, and after you prepare food. Especially when you touch raw meat, poultry, seafood products, eggs and fresh produce.
      • Before you eat.
      • Before and after you change a baby’s diaper.
      • After you use the bathroom.
      • After you handle animals or animal waste.
      • After you sneeze, cough, or blow your nose.
      • After you touch any part of your body, hair, or face.
      • After you handle garbage.
      • Whenever your hands are dirty.

      Resources to teach kids the importance of proper handwashing.

      Kindergarten and elementary school

      Classroom-based activity materials are available for check out. In 45 minutes, students learn what germs are, where germs hide and when and how to wash their hands.


      • Discussion about the importance of handwashing.
      • Animated video.
      • Black light activity to test handwashing effectiveness.
      • Super Scrub and Bubbles activity books (quantities limited due to availability):

      Middle and high school students

      This flexible lesson plan can last 1 day to a few weeks, depending on how much time you have. It teaches experiment design and how to write a lab report.

      Download free materials:

      Call (253) 649-1417 for free stickers.