Strategies for Keeping Your Family's Hands Clean

Discover smart strategies for keeping everyone's hands germ free.

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Everyone knows that proper hand washing can be a strong defense against germs -- but it turns out that's only half of the story. Discover smart strategies for keeping your family's hands clean.

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Teach your kids to wash their hands before they eat -- and after they use the bathroom, touch their pets, play outside, and cough or sneeze.

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The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water, using a scrubbing motion to help remove germs from the skin. Be sure you cover every surface of your hands -- including under your nails.

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Skip the antibacterial soap: Studies show it does no better than plain old suds at clearing away germs. Be sure to use soap. Studies show plain old suds to be as good as antibacterial soap in cleaning away germs.

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Most people don't know that the CDC also recommends thoroughly drying hands to help remove moisture that could harbor germs.

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Need help encouraging your kids (or you) to scrub and dry? Sing along to Kleenex Brand's catchy new tune (link to song below), which lasts just long enough to ensure your hands get enough attention.

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Sharing the same hand towel as everyone else -- as Americans do about 200 billion times each year -- could actually put germs and dirt back to your hands.

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Courtesy of Kleenex

Keep in mind that even freshly laundered hand towels could still harbor germs -- and that a towel that looks clean may still have dirt that's invisible to the naked eye.

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Courtesy of Kleenex

Consider using disposable towels -- studies show that one-time-use towels can help prevent the spread of bacteria and disease.