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The Very Best Way to Wash Your Hands

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Since our hands come into contact with gazillions of germs daily, it’s easy for those bad boys to spread like wildfire, making us sick in the process. Proper hand-washing is key to helping prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria, but, since the advent of antibacterial soap in 1984, many of us have slacked off on the scrubbing, assuming the soap will do the work. Wrong. In September 2016, the FDA concluded that there is “no scientific evidence” that antibacterial soaps “are any better than plain soap and water,” and companies soon will not be able to market antibacterial washes with certain ingredients. Some manufacturers have already begun phasing out the products. Donald Chen, MD, epidemiologist at Westchester Medical Center, says, “We should rub our soapy hands together for at least 15 seconds before rinsing. To make sure you’re washing long enough, try singing ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ once or ‘Happy Birthday’ twice.”                                 

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