4.5 Checklist for Hand Hygiene With Soap and Water

Use the checklist below to review the steps for completion of “Hand Hygiene With Soap and Water.”


Disclaimer: Always review and follow agency policy regarding this specific skill.

  1. Remove jewelry according to agency policy; push your sleeves above your wrists.
  2. Turn on the water and adjust the flow so that the water is warm. Wet your hands thoroughly, keeping your hands and forearms lower than your elbows. Avoid splashing water on your uniform.
  3. Apply a palm-sized amount of hand soap.
  4. Perform hand hygiene using plenty of lather and friction for at least 15 seconds:
    • Rub hands palm to palm
    • Back of right and left hand (fingers interlaced)
    • Palm to palm with fingers interlaced
    • Rotational rubbing of left and right thumbs
    • Rub your fingertips against the palm of your opposite hand
    • Rub wrists
    • Repeat sequence at least 2 times
    • Keep fingertips pointing downward throughout
  5. Clean under your fingernails with disposable nail cleaner (if applicable).
  6. Wash for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  7. Keep your hands and forearms lower than your elbows during the entire washing.
  8. Rinse your hands with water, keeping your fingertips pointing down so water runs off your fingertips. Do not shake water from your hands.
  9. Do not lean against the sink or touch the inside of the sink during the hand-washing process.
  10. Dry your hands thoroughly from your fingers to wrists with a paper towel or air dryer.
  11. Dispose of the paper towel(s).
  12. Use a new paper towel to turn off the water.
  13. Dispose of the paper towel.


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Nursing Skills Copyright © 2021 by Chippewa Valley Technical College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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