20 Seconds of Suds All it takes is 20 seconds of suds to get clean hands and keep germs at bay. First, start with comfortably hot water. Cold water is fine, but hot water helps to remove oils from your hands that may harbor bacteria. Next, lather up with lots of soap. The more suds, the better the wash! Scrub the palms of your hands, in between your fingers, under your fingernails and around your thumbs. Don’t forget to scrub the top/back of your hands. Finally, rinse and dry. A friendly reminder to wash your hands before and after you eat, and after every bathroom visit.