The proper hand washing technique is to wet hands with running water and apply soap, rub hands together to lather, rinse hands with water and then dry hands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hands can be washed with either cold or hot water and with liquid or bar soap.
Hands should be washed after activities such as preparing food, using the toilet, treating a wound, coughing and sneezing. Using soap and water to wash hands is the best way to reduce microbes on them, as reported by the CDC. When hand washing, make sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds and between the fingers to properly clean hands, as noted by Mayo Clinic. Hand sanitizer can be used as an alternative to washing hands if there is no running water, but it may not be as effective.