Human Nutrition, Diet and Health > HNDH Blog > Posts > Clean Hands for Valentine’s Day – Spread Love, Not Germs

Soon we will hear “Happy Valentine’s Day” wishes on this special day.  However, Valentine’s Day conjures up images of candy and cards.  But the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) would like to add a third “C” to the celebratory mix – CLEAN HANDS!

Hmm, think about it!  What kid or grown-up doesn’t love to exchange cards, grab a cupcake and guzzle some candy on this holiday?  But while all these treats are being exchanged, cold and flu germs are lying in wait to crash their party by hitching a free ride on dirty hands.  

To help spread the message about the importance of hand washing Valentine’s Day style, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) is emphasizing the correct way to wash your hands:

•    Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
•    Rub your hands together to make a  lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
•    Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. 

Need a timer?  Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

handwashing from cdc page.jpg
•    Rinse your hands well under running water.
•    Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.
•    Use the paper towel to open the door and then deposit towel in trash can. 

When should you wash your hands?
•    Before, during and after preparing food,
•    Before eating food.
•    Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
•    After using the toilet
•    After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.
•    After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
•    After touching an animal, animal fee, or animal waste.
•    After touching garbage.

When to wash your hands at the workplace:
•    Each time you use the restroom.
•    Before and after lunch.
•    After using your friends keyboard or tools.
•    When using shared office equipment like faxes, phones, etc.
•    Before & after a meet and greet activity.

Please keep these tips in mind not only on Valentine’s Day but throughout the year. 

+Source: American Cleaning Institute

Submitted by Carolyn Bivins, Regional Extension Agent - Human Nutrition, Diet & Health,, 251-867-7760


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