How long should you wash your hands


In a world where personal hygiene is becoming increasingly important for safety reasons, it’s essential to nail down the basics. Even though millions of us are taught to wash our hands at a young age, a splash of water and a dash of soap isn’t quite as effective as you might think. We’re not here to take you back to school, but if you’re looking to improve your hygiene, decrease the risk of getting any germs, take a look at what’s in store.

Duration of washing your hands

20 seconds is the minimum recommended length of time to be washing your hands. Of course, any longer is a bonus, but 20 seconds is enough to cover both hands and get a good scrub while doing so. If you’re ever unsure, just sing the song Happy Birthday twice over. That will ensure you’ve washed your hands long enough to remove bacteria, as long as you’re using hot water and soap.

The correct way to wash your hands

Believe it or not, not only is there a duration that you should wash your hands for, but there is a technique for it also. We’ve created a step but step guide so you can make sure your hands are as clean as possible. When the water you’re using is warm, follow these steps.


  1. 1. Rub the soap with both of your palms facing together
  2. 2. Interlace your fingers and continue rubbing
  3. 3. Rub the backs of your hands with the opposite palm, interlace your fingers also
  4. 4. Interlock your fingers in a fist and rub the mid-joints of your fingers
  5. 5. Rub your thumb in a rotating manner
  6. 6. Rub the fingertips of one hand by twisting them into the palm of another
  7. 7. In a rotating manner, rub the wrist to mid-arm
  8. 8. One last motion rubbing the two palms together
  9. 9. Thoroughly dry your hands

One step that people often underestimate is drying the hands. A little shake or a quick wipe on the jeans is far too common but little do most know, it undoes a lot of the cleansing that happens when washing hands.

When you don’t dry your hands you reduce the ability to control the spread of microorganisms and maintain healthy skin integrity. Research has shown that damp hands spread bacteria 1,000 times more than dry hands. Meaning when you leave the bathroom, after having been so thorough with your washing, simply shaking your hands isn’t good enough.

What should you wash your hands with?

With all the surfaces you can contract unwanted bacteria from, there aren’t enough taps and soap stations for you to be able to keep your hands clean at all times. This is why hand sanitiser has become more and more popular in recent years. It means that no matter where you are, you can always ensure your hands are clean. But what type of cleaner should you prefer? The truth is they both have their benefits.

Hot water and soap are beneficial for a number of reasons. It helps protect the skin by keeping natural oils intact and nourishing them with moisture. Plus research shows that hot soapy water is more effective when it comes to removing bacteria. On the other hand, is a hand sanitiser. Nearly just as powerful as removing bacteria but can be harmful to the skin. Using too much without a suitable moisturiser can leave your skin dry.

The trick is a good combination of both. It’s the one way to ensure that your hands remain clean and free from unwanted bacteria no matter where you go in your day. Just remember 20 seconds and the steps for how to rub the cleaning agent into your hands and you’re good to go.



You can buy the Purdy and Figg hand wash refills from our online store.