When to Wash Your Hands With Soap and Water or Use Alcohol-Based Sanitizer
Use soap and water to wash hands:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the bathroom, changing diapers, or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal food and treats, animal cages, or animal waste
- After touching garbage
- If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy
Use alcohol-based sanitizer to wash hands:
- Before and after visiting a friend or a loved one in a hospital or nursing home
- When soap and water are not available but wash with soap and water as soon as you can.
Do NOT use hand sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy unless a handwashing station is not available.
https://www.cdc.gov. Accessed September 2020.