The Correct Method for Washing Your Hands Has More Steps Than Your Morning Beauty Routine

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Photo: Jutta Klee

A new study suggests that the way Americans are taught to wash their hands isn’t the most effective when it comes to getting rid of germs. The superior way is going to annoy you, though.

The study found that following six extremely precise steps when applying hand sanitizer nixed more bacteria than just rubbing the stuff all over, which is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells people to do. (The winning method consists of numbers two to seven below.)

And that’s the easy way — when you’re using soap and water, your chore is now a whopping 11 steps, but the study author said it works equally well. (Let it be noted that the best hand-sanitizer method has more steps than the CDC’s advice for using soap.)

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It's so simple, guys!Photo: Courtesy of WHO

While it’s very lovely to know that a six- or 11-step cleaning is more effective at eliminating germs than what’s commonly taught, all it takes is one vile person who doesn’t wash their hands touching the bathroom doorknob for you to have fecal microbes on your paws again.

But take heed, gross humans: Even if all germaphobes open the door with a paper towel, you still need to wash your hands after relieving yourself because of the innumerable other things you touch during the day. Come on.