As citizens of the world, we are forced to touch doorknobs, shopping carts and all sorts of community property every day. That’s why I’m happy to see these signs popping up in more and more public restrooms.
This is a good start, but the sign doesn’t go far enough. Here is some much-needed clarification.
1) Wet your hands
Turn faucet(s) until water comes out of the spout. The water should be hot enough for effective cleansing, but not so hot it burns you. If your skin begins to blister, turn the “hot” faucet down.
Hold hands under the spout, directly in the path of the running water. Leave hands in this position until all hand skin achieves desired nondryness.
2) Liquid soap
Hold one hand under the spout of the dispenser with the palm facing up and cupped.
Use other hand to press, flick or otherwise activate the release mechanism on the dispenser.
Leave cupped hand underneath dispenser until a quarter-sized glop has been received. If you have only a nickel-sized glop (or penny or dime), continue press/flick motion until quarter-sized glop is achieved. Susan B Anthony dollar or Sacagawea dollar-sized glops are equally acceptable. However, if a Kennedy half-dollar sized-glop is accidentally dispensed, you have gone too far. Wipe hands free of soap and repeat step 2.
3) Lather and scrub – 20 Sec
Lathering is best achieved by rubbing 2, soapy hands together briskly. As the pictures show, each hand should belong to someone with a different skin tone.
If you are African American, locate a Swedish American lather-buddy. If you are Asian American, partner with a New Yorker who has retired to a seniors-only community in Boca Raton. This unites us all in a Rainbow of Cleanliness.
20 seconds is the recommended time for the lather and scrub portion of the process. This is the length of time it takes to whistle The Star Spangled Banner or say an Our Father. For non-religious/non-patriotic American washers, recite the “what is your quest?” bit from Monty Python (just the part with King Arthur.)
4) Rinse – 10 sec.
See step 1 for a description of the proper liquid to use. This is the amount of time it takes to sing 3/4 of the chorus of “Mairzy Doats” Sing out loudly so you don’t lose track of time.
5) Dry Your Hands.
The sign appears to suggest the hand-washer is using a paper towel. Since these are no longer available in public washrooms, washers should use any clean piece of beige paper or cloth. Savvy public-washroom-users make it a point to wear beige clothing with long sleeves or really full skirts so they are always prepared.
6) Turn off tap
You should NEVER turn off the tap with your freshly cleaned hands. That is because the washer just before you may NOT have actually washed. Some just wet their hands to give the illusion of cleanliness, without going to the bother of finding a lather-buddy. Then they turn off the tap with hands full of staph germs that have been merely moistened. All that does is make the germs mad and even more potent.
See #5 for a discussion of how to locate a beige cloth. If you do not have a beige cloth, you may be able to turn off the tap with the force of air generated by the Xcelerator hand dryers found in many modern washrooms. Merely aim the air stream toward the faucet until it has been turned the desired amount. Be careful, however to turn the stream away before it totally shears the faucet from the sink. NEVER let your hands interrupt the air flow produced. This may strip the skin right from your bones. Always use ear protection when using this method of faucet-turning.
Don’t Forget To Wash
A few last words on this topic remind us to clean between the fingers, under the nails and on the tops of the hands. Washing wrist skin is recommended, but not required. This depends on the bathroom activities you participated in prior to washing. Wash up to the shoulders if you think you will be called upon to perform surgery in the next 10 minutes.
What’s next on the horizon for instructional signs?
“How to Poop”
Coming soon to a public restroom near you.