Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick.

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhoea
  • 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 handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

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. You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitiser contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

Sanitisers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However,

  • Sanitisers do not get rid of all types of germs.
  • Hand sanitisers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy. Hand sanitisers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.

Caution! Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitisers can cause alcohol poisoning if more than a couple of mouthfuls are swallowed. Keep it out of reach of young children and supervise their use.

How to use hand sanitiser

  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.


Follow these five steps every time.

Hand wash illustration 1

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

Hand wash illustration 2

Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your
fingers, and under your nails.

Hand wash illustration 3

Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

Hand wash illustration 4

Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

Hand wash illustration 5

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