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Are you applying hand sanitizer correctly?

It's helpful to use when soap and water aren't available, but are you using it effectively?
Credit: WFMY

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — During the coronavirus pandemic, the proper way to wash your hands with soap and water has been brought to the forefront of our consciousness. 

But what about when you clean your hands with hand sanitizer? 

We know that soap and water is the preferred method to properly and most effectively clean our hands, but sometimes that's not an option.

The World Health Organization says it should take you between 20-30 seconds to properly do the "handrub" method of cleansing your hands with sanitizer. 

Also, you should always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty

Here's a step-by-step process:

  1. Apply a palmful of hand sanitizer in a cupped hand, using enough to cover all surfaces.
  2. Rub hands palm to palm.
  3. Use the palm of each hand to rub the back of the other hand, interlacing fingers.
  4. Rub hands palm-to-palm with fingers interlaced.
  5. Rub the backs of fingers in opposing palms with fingers interlocked.
  6. Rub each thumb in the palm of the other finger in a rotational direction.
  7. Using rotational rubbing, go backwards and forwards with clasped fingers of each hand in other palm.
  8. Once the hand sanitizer is dry, you’re done!

It's important to note that both WHO and the FDA say you should be using enough product to fully cover your hands and fingers. The amount of product should also be completely dry after the 20-30 seconds, but not before.

Also, these directions aren't new. Here's a video from WHO showing you the proper method when using hand sanitizer from 2015.

And yes, there are about 75 brands of hand sanitizer that the FDA is warning could be dangerous. See if your sanitizer is on the list here.

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