Department of Health

Cleaning hands with alcohol-based hand rub

  • Duration: 01:35

Many infectious diseases, including COVID-19, can be spread by unclean hands.

Cleaning your hands is one of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread of germs and infectious diseases.

Using an alcohol-based hand rub is one way you can disinfect your hands. Using hand rub is a quick and easy way to clean hands.

However, if your hands are visibly dirty, you will need to wash them with soap and water.

When choosing a hand rub, remember to make sure it has 60 to 80% alcohol in it, so that it will kill the germs.

You should clean your hands:

  • before and after putting on and taking off a mask
  • after using the toilet
  • after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • after handling waste
  • and after contact with people or pets

This is how to perform a hand rub.

  1. Apply enough hand rub to cover all surfaces of your hands.
  2. Continue rubbing your hands all over. This will usually take about 20 to 30 seconds.
  3. Keep rubbing all over until completely dry.

Now that’s done, your hands are clean and safe to use.

Remember, cleaning your hands properly is a simple way to help you and others stay safe and well.

Reviewed 12 May 2022