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Food Safety

The 7 Steps of Hygienic Hand Washing


July 11, 2024

Read time : 06 mins

Table of contents

When it comes to keeping germs at bay, there is one simple practice we can all do: hand washing. But it is not just a quick rinse under the tap; there is a proper way to do it to make sure you are getting rid of those germs.

Why Hand Washing Is Important?

Hand washing is important because it helps keep us healthy and stops germs from spreading. Our hands touch many things throughout the day like door handles, money, and even our faces. And on all those things, some germs can make us sick.

When we wash our hands with soap and water, the soap breaks down the germs and dirt. When we rinse them off, they go down the drain. By washing our hands regularly, especially before we eat and after using the restroom. We can stop those germs from getting into our bodies. It is a simple but super effective way to stay healthy.

Unfortunately, many do not know how to wash their hands properly or neglect to do so. However, proper hand washing is important for food safety in places like restaurants.

Therefore, everyone must learn the correct way to wash their hands. It is straightforward—there are just seven steps that anyone can follow.

The modules of this basic life-support training are based on the Spectators Safety syllabus provided by the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ).

How to Wash Your Hands in 7 Steps?

The 7 steps of hand washing, recommended by the NHS, are simple and effective. Remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds for thorough cleaning. Here they are:

  • Wet Your Hands: Use warm water and enough soap to create a good lather.
  • Rub Your Palms Together: Rub your hands in circles, clockwise and anti-clockwise.
  • Wash the Back of Your Hands: Interlock your fingers and rub the back of one hand with the palm of the other, then switch hands.
  • Interlace Your Fingers: Link your fingers together, palm to palm, and rub your palms and fingers together.
  • Clean Your Fingertips: Put one hand over the other, interlock your fingers, and rub the backs of your fingers against your palms, then switch hands.
  • Scrub Your Thumbs: Wrap your fingers around your thumb and rub it in circles, then switch thumbs.
  • Rub Your Fingertips on Your Palm: Rub the tips of your fingers in circles on the palm of your other hand, then switch hands.

After following these steps, rinse your hands thoroughly with warm running water. Dry them with a clean, disposable paper towel. Paper towels are best for hygiene, but if hand dryers are available, you can use those too. 

Be careful not to touch anything with your clean hands after drying them. This is to avoid transferring germs back onto them.

 If possible, use a paper towel to turn off the taps. If your hands feel dry after washing, moisturising them is a good idea. Dry hands can be more prone to cracking, providing a breeding ground for germs. 

Following these simple steps, every time you wash your hands can help keep yourself and those around you safe from germs and illness. So, lather up, scrub away, and stay healthy!

The 7 Steps of Hand Washing Poster

We have created a free poster displaying the 7 steps of hand washing. You can download and display it in the hand-washing areas at your workplace or home. This poster will serve as a reminder for everyone to wash their hands properly, helping to prevent microbial contamination.

7 steps of hand washing poster