Hand hygiene is the term used for cleaning your hands, whether by washing with soap and water or by using a waterless or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Hand hygiene is the single most important action you can take to stop the spread of germs.
There are certain situations when you would want to use soap and water instead of hand sanitizer. This includes before eating, after using the bathroom or if your hands are visibly dirty. For all other situations, you can use hand sanitizer or soap and water.
To wash your hands with soap and water, follow these steps:
Rev. 5/2022. MassGeneral for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treat any medical conditions.