Just a friendly Blogorelli public service announcement that this year's crop of colds, flus, and viruses is coming on full-speed. I've already noticed an increase of people sniffling and sneezing in the T <flinch.> So wash those hands -- and well!
Here's the "proper" technique, as outlined by Jim MacDonald at Making Light:
HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS
1) Turn on the water and get it to a temperature you like.
2) Lather up using soap. (Soap does not kill germs in the time that the germs are exposed during hand washing. There’s stuff that grows fine on a bar of soap. The surfactant action of soap helps the running water flush the germs away. That’s how it works. It’s purely mechanical. Antibacterial soap is a waste of time and money, and just helps breed antibiotic-resistant bugs.)
3) Rub your hands vigorously together, paying special attention to the fingernails, getting up onto the wrists, for as long as it takes you to sing one stanza of The Star Spangled Banner or two verses of Little Mattie Groves. (Blogorelli note: this seems like a looong time! I did an experiment with this technique yesterday and worried my co-workers might start wondering why I spent such an extended amount of time in the loo.)
4) Rinse off the soap with the running water.
5) Dry your hands with a paper towel.
6) Use the expended paper towel to turn off the water. (Blogorelli note #2: I feel like I am reliving my childhood -- this paper towel thing is classic Dad-orelli! Want to take it to the pro level? Open the door with the towel and then throw it in the wastebasket.)