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The Importance of Handwashing

Washing your hands; it’s one of the easiest and most ingrained hygiene habits in the world. We’re taught to wash our hands as soon as we can use the restroom on our own. We all know exactly how to do it properly, right? Apparently not. As it turns out most of us weren’t taking handwashing as seriously as we should’ve. As COVID-19 became a growing concern in the United States, guidelines for protecting oneself from the disease grew ever important. One of the most vital steps? Washing your hands often and thoroughly.

The CDC provides clear cut instructions on how you should properly wash your hands. These steps include wetting your hands with warm or cold water, applying soap and lathering your hands thoroughly (don’t forget in-between your fingers), scrubbing for 20 seconds, rinsing off the soap, and drying your hands with a clean towel. Seems straight forward, but that 20 second rule left people wondering how they could make the process more fun. That’s where Dolly Parton comes in! Well her hit song “Jolene”, at least.

Songs to Wash Your Hands To

The CDC recommends singing the Happy Birthday song twice, but that can get old pretty quickly. Fortunately, there are plenty of other catchy tunes you can sing in your head to get you to the 20 second mark. The LA Times took it upon themselves to compile a great list of hits to choose from. As mentioned above, singing the chorus of Dolly Parton’s classic country hit “Jolene” will ensure your hands are squeaky clean. Some more of our favorites from the list include the choruses of 80’s pop classics such as Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven on Earth” and Toto’s “Africa”.

If you’d like to wash your hands to a more recent song, use the chorus of Lizzo’s catchy tune “Truth Hurts” or the chorus of Beyoncé’s “Love on Top”. If you’re in for a more existential and thoughtful handwashing, try mentally signing the chorus to Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”. You can also test out some of your own favorite songs and see if they fit the 20 second rule. There truly is a song to match any mood. Our personal favorite is the chorus of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret”:

“She wore a raspberry beret / The kind you find in a secondhand store / Raspberry beret / And if it was warm she wouldn’t wear much more / Raspberry beret / I think I love her”

With Global Handwashing Day in just a few months there’s no time like now to find your perfect 20 second song. Whatever song you sing, if you sing one at all, be sure to follow the CDC’s guidelines and stay safe out there. Happy handwashing!