Wet the hands, lather with soap, and scrub the hands and nails thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Rinse the hands under running water, and dry them with a clean towel or allow to air-dry. If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests washing hands before eating or preparing food, after using the toilet or sneezing, and at other times when hands potentially come into contact with bacteria. To be a viable option, hand sanitizer needs to be at least 60 percent alcohol. Apply it to the palm of one hand, and rub the hands together until dry. However, choose hand-washing when possible because hand sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and microbes.