Alton Brown’s Must-Watch Video About Handwashing Is Both Hilarious and Informative

updated Mar 19, 2020
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Credit: Brad Barket / Stringer; Getty

Washing your hands has always been important, and right now for the safety of ourselves and others during this pandemic, it is essential. The CDC has shared their own five-step process for handwashing, part of which involves singing “Happy Birthday” twice while you scrub your hands. And in the last couple weeks, many memes have also come out showing other songs or phrases to wash your hands to (my personal favorite is this Schitt’s Creek version).

Given everything that’s going on, it’s not a surprise that celebrities and influencers have also been posting their handwashing techniques, and after watching many of them, Alton Brown, culinary mastermind and chocolate chip cookie aficionado, might have the best method. Brown posted a hilarious and informative video on his YouTube channel where he gives us all the lowdown on how to properly wash our hands (he even gets into the science of handwashing!)

For starters, Brown recommends that you carry bar soap with you. He doesn’t trust bar soap elsewhere, so he carries his in a tin to make sure it is clean soap. It does not need to be antibacterial, as it is “useless,” he says.

Okay, now the soaping session. Here’s his complete method:

  • Use hot or cold water — doesn’t matter — then grab the soap and vigorously lather for a five-count (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 — count out loud). 
  • Put the soap down and rub your hands together for a five-count.
  • Grab the soap again and work the back of each hand, counting in five-count. Then reverse it, counting again. 
  • Curl the fingers and go after the nails, with the five-count, and then reverse again for the count.
  • Then do in between the fingers for a final five-count.
  • Grab the soap and wash again for another five seconds. 
  • Finally use a towel to turn off the faucet. 

He says it takes about 45 seconds (longer than the CDC method).

Do you have a different handwashing technique? Let us know in the comments!