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Correct Hand washing Technique

It is widely accepted that there is a correct technique to good hand washing and separate studies from around the world show that good hand hygiene practices can reduce illness, sickness absence and the associated costs by up to 40%.

However, numerous studies continue to demonstrate that the correct procedure of hand washing is not adhered to.

Removing all dirt and contaminants from the skin is extremely important. Hands and other soiled parts of the body should be cleaned at least at the end of each work period, prior to breaks, or when visiting the toilet. 

The correct method of cleaning is also important. Developing a good hand washing technique is imperative to ensure hands are thoroughly clean. Particular attention should be paid to the backs of the hands and fingertips as these are frequently missed. 

It is usual to wet hands before dispensing a dose of soap into a cupped hand, however for heavily soiled hands it is advisable to apply the appropriate specialist hand cleanser directly to the skin before wetting. In all cases, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended instructions.


Hand washing step 1

1. Rub palm to palm

Hand washing step 2

2. Rub palm over back of hand, fingers interlaced

Hand washing step 3

3. Palm to palm,
fingers interlaced


Hand washing step 4

4. Fingers interlocked
into palms

Hand washing step 5

5. Rotational rubbing of thumb
clasped into palm

Hand washing step 6

6. Rotational rubbing of
clasped fingers into palm

The skin should always be properly dried to avoid risk of chapping particularly during cold weather. Clean towels should be available at all times – dirty towels mean exposing the skin to more dirt and the risk of infection. Ideally, ‘single issue’ disposable towels should be used, as the use of ‘communal’ towels can lead to contamination.


Healthcare Brochure (click on photo to view/download adobe pdf file)


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