5 Tricks to Washing Your Hands for 20 Seconds Without Relying on a Song

Okay, there’s also a fun song trick too...

March 10, 2020
JMatt Washing Hands
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Yes, you read the title correctly. And no, I can’t believe that in the year 2020, I’m writing a blog about making washing your hands for 20 seconds easier – but here we are. This whole situation was completely preventable… but I guess they call that 20-20 hindsight.

There are so many suggestions going around about how you can sing the chorus of your favorite song to help you wash your hands for the full 20 seconds. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember music lyrics for the life of me and yes… my day job is a radio DJ.

There is a nifty website that Riggs sent me, WashYourLyrics.com, where you enter the song title and artist name and it generates 20 seconds worth of lyrics with the steps of washing your hands.

But as I said earlier, I’m not going to remember those lyrics, so I figured I’d come up with a list of ideas that will take you approximately 20 seconds to accomplish.

1) Use a timer. Yes, it’s the tried and true method to be as exact as possible. Buuut… now you have to take your phone out in the bathroom, so maybe that defeats the purpose.

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2) Literally count to 20. But in that slow way, you know, one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand… and so on.

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3) Spell out your full name twice. If your name is short, do it 3 times to be safe (and no, this isn’t a race, you’re not setting a speed record). Getting too quick at it? Spell out your Mom’s full name… then pick another person next time.

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4) Words of Affirmation. As long as you’re doing something physically positive for yourself, do something mentally positive – think of 3-5 reasons you’re awesome and remind yourself of those things. If you’re struggling to come up with 3 things, don’t worry, it’s probably been 20 seconds by now.

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5) Take 3 deep breaths. Speaking of other positive activities you can do for yourself at the same time, try the 4-7-8 exercise (breathe in for four seconds, hold for seven seconds, exhale for eight seconds… one of those cycles is 19 seconds and you’re likely going to return to whatever you were doing, much calmer.

If all else fails, wet your hands and pretend you washed your… wait, no, that’s not what we’re doing anymore. WASH your hands… it literally takes less than a minute. 1 minute of 1,440 minutes in a day – you can spare it each trip to the bathroom or before preparing a meal.

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Per the Center for Diseases Control’s (CDC) list of symptoms for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), sneezing is NOT a symptom to be concerned about on its own; rather, watch out for: fever, cough, shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Prevention comes down to good hygiene, wash your hands, wipe down countertops, avoid touching your face (and yes, you start noticing just how much you do it once you realize you’re not supposed to).

I say it all the time on the radio and on social media, I’m NOT a hugger… so the tip of avoiding hugs and shaking hands, I’m so on board for. Finally, if you’re sick, actually take the sick day. No sick days at work? Then you need a better job (I get it, easier said than done) – but employers, you need to figure out a way to accommodate staff to prevent your whole team from getting sick.

I’m not a doctor, nor do I work for the CDC – so, do your own research, stay up to date as COVID-19 evolves. Stay safe, be smart, don’t feel bad about canceling plans for a few weeks.

While you’re staying healthy and avoiding catching this, hit me up on social media at @JMattMke (same handle on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok)!

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