How to Properly Wash Your Hands

The Mayo Clinic advises proper hand-washing techniques; they say that good hand-washing techniques include washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Antimicrobial wipes aren't as good as alcohol-based sanitizers.

Antibacterial soaps have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, these soaps are no more effective at killing germs than are regular soap and water. Using these soaps may lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the products' antimicrobial agents making it even harder to kill these germs in the future. In general, regular soap is fine. The combination of scrubbing your hands with soap, antibacterial or not, and rinsing them with water loosens and removes bacteria from your hands.

Follow these instructions for washing with soap and water:

Wet your hands with warm, running water and apply liquid or clean bar soap. Lather well.
Rub your hands vigorously together for at least 15 seconds.
Scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
Rinse well.
Dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel.
Use a towel to turn off the faucet.

To use hand sanitizers:

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which don't require water are an excellent alternative to hand washing, particularly when soap and water aren't available. They're actually more effective than soap and water in killing bacteria and viruses that cause disease. Commercially prepared hand sanitizers contain ingredients that help prevent skin dryness. Using these products can result in less skin dryness and irritation than hand washing. Not all hand sanitizers are created equal, though. Some "waterless" hand sanitizers don't contain alcohol. Use only the alcohol-based products.

Apply about 1/2 tsp of the product to the palm of your hand.
Rub your hands together, covering all surfaces of your hands, until they're dry.
If your hands are visibly dirty, however, wash with soap and water rather than a sanitizer.